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Substantial increases in the future use of AI applications, including more self-driving cars, healthcare diagnostics and targeted treatment, and physical assistance for elder care can be expected. While drawing on general research and technologies, AI systems are specialised to accomplish particular tasks. Each application requires years of focused research and careful, unique construction.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a science and a set of computational technologies that are inspired by—but typically operate quite differently from—the ways people use their nervous systems and bodies to sense, learn, reason, and take action. While the rate of progress in AI has been patchy and unpredictable, there have been significant advances since the field’s inception sixty years ago. Once a mostly academic area of study, twenty-first century AI enables a constellation of mainstream technologies that are having a substantial impact on everyday lives. Computer vision and AI planning, for example, drive the video games that are now a more significant entertainment industry than Hollywood. Deep learning, a form of machine learning based on layered representations of variables referred to as neural networks, has made speech-understanding practical on our phones and in our kitchens, and its algorithms can be applied widely to an array of applications that rely on pattern recognition. Natural Language Processing (NLP) and knowledge representation and reasoning have enabled a machine to beat the Jeopardy champion and are bringing new power to Web searches.
While impressive, these technologies are highly tailored to particular tasks. Each application typically requires years of specialised research and careful, unique construction. In similarly targeted applications, substantial increases in the future use of AI technologies, including more self-driving cars, healthcare diagnostics and targeted treatments, and physical assistance for elder care can be expected. AI and robotics will also be applied across the globe in industries struggling to attract younger workers, such as agriculture, food processing, fulfilment centres, and factories. They will facilitate delivery of online purchases through flying drones, self-driving trucks, or robots that can get up the stairs to the front door.
Contrary to the more fantastic predictions for AI in the popular press, the Study Panel found no cause for concern that AI is an imminent threat to humankind. No machines with self-sustaining long-term goals and intent have been developed, nor are they likely to be developed in the near future. Instead, increasingly useful applications of AI, with potentially profound positive impacts on our society and economy are likely to emerge between now and 2030, the period this report considers. At the same time, many of these developments will spur disruptions in how human labour is augmented or replaced by AI, creating new challenges for the economy and society more broadly. Application design and policy decisions made in the near term are likely to have long-lasting influences on the nature and directions of such developments, making it essential for AI researchers, developers, social scientists, and policymakers to balance the imperative to innovate with mechanisms to ensure that AI’s economic and social benefits are broadly shared across society. If society approaches these technologies primarily with fear and suspicion, missteps that slow AI’s development or drive it underground will result, impeding important work on ensuring the safety and reliability of AI technologies. On the other hand, if society approaches AI with a more open mind, the technologies emerging from the field could profoundly transform society for the better in the coming decades.
Lucubrate Magazine, Issue 51, December 28th, 2018
The photo on top: sdecoret
The article is from the Executive Summary of the report: “One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100),” Stanford University, accessed August 1, 2016, https://ai100.stanford.edu. The Lucubrate editor has added on the pictures for the article.
Categories: Magazine, Technology, Artificial Intelligence