AI holds the potential to be a major driver of economic growth and social progress.
Experts say the real value in AI lies in increasing efficiency and accuracy in our everyday work.
It’s tempting to believe that artificial intelligence can do just about anything. If tech experts are to be believed, artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform the world. But Elon Musk says this would be a threat to humanity and life as we know it. Thinking among AI researchers has evolved over the years, and the future impact of AI is strongly debated among experts.
Currently, AI and machine learning power self-driving cars, complex adtech audience optimization, and a host of intelligent agents such as Alexa, Cortana and Siri. At the same time, leading AI experts, business owners, and analysts caution against an overly rosy view of its current capabilities.
The hype surrounding AI’s potential has misled many into overlooking its current utility. It will eventually redefine industries and build technologies we never thought possible, but business leaders and AI experts say the real value in today’s AI lies in increasing efficiency and accuracy in our everyday work.
Preparing for The Future – The Government’s Role
AI holds the potential to be a major driver of economic growth and social progress, if industry, society, government, and the public work together to support development of the technology with thoughtful attention to its potential and to managing its risks.
The U.S. government has several roles to play. It can participate in conversations about important issues and help to set the agenda for public debate. It can monitor the safety and fairness of applications as they develop, and adapt regulatory frameworks to encourage innovation while protecting the public. It can provide public policy tools to ensure that disruption in the means and methods of work enabled by AI increases productivity while avoiding negative economic consequences for certain sectors of the workforce. It can support basic research and the application of AI to public good. It can support development of a skilled, diverse workforce.
And government can apply AI to serve the public faster, more effectively, and at lower cost. Many areas of public policy, from education and the economic safety net, to defense, environmental preservation, and criminal justice, will see new opportunities and new challenges driven by the continued progress of AI. The U.S. government must continue to build its capacity to understand and adapt to these changes.
As the technology of AI continues to develop, practitioners must ensure that AI-enabled systems are governable; that they are open, transparent, and understandable; that they can work effectively with people; and that their operation will remain consistent with human values and aspirations. Researchers and practitioners have increased their attention to these challenges, and should continue to focus on them.
Developing and studying machine intelligence can help us better understand and appreciate our human intelligence. Used thoughtfully, AI can augment our intelligence and help us to chart a better and wiser path.
By Srinivas Nagaram, Charter Global tech blogger