Tuesday, 21 November 2017
Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are in a phase of rapid development, and are being adopted widely. While the concept of artificial intelligence has existed for over sixty years, real-world applications have only accelerated in the last decade due to three concurrent developments: better algorithms, increases in networked computing power and the tech industry’s ability to capture and store massive amounts of data.
AI systems are already integrated in everyday technologies like smartphones and personal assistants, making predictions and determinations that help personalize experiences and advertise products. Beyond the familiar, these systems are also being introduced in critical areas like law, finance, policing and the workplace, where they are increasingly used to predict everything from our taste in music to our likelihood of committing a crime to our fitness for a job or an educational opportunity.
AI companies promise that the technologies they create can automate the toil of repetitive work, identify subtle behavioral patterns and much more. However, the analysis and understanding of artificial intelligence should not be limited to its technical capabilities. The design and implementation of this next generation of computational tools presents deep normative and ethical challenges for our existing social, economic and political relationships and institutions, and these changes are already underway. Simply put, AI does not exist in a vacuum. We must also ask how broader phenomena like widening inequality, an intensification of concentrated geopolitical power and populist political movements will shape and be shaped by the development and application of AI technologies.
Building on the inaugural 2016 report, The AI Now 2017 Report addresses the most recent scholarly literature in order to raise critical social questions that will shape our present and near future. A year is a long time in AI research, and this report focuses on new developments in four areas: labor and automation, bias and inclusion, rights and liberties, and ethics and governance. We identify emerging challenges in each of these areas and make recommendations to ensure that the benefits of AI will be shared broadly, and that risks can be identified and mitigated.
Read the report
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