Does Artificial Intelligence Pose a Threat?

The Wall Street Journal recently gathered three experts from the technology industry–Centre for the Study of Existential Risk and the Future of Life Institute co-founder Jan Tallinn; Guruduth S.Banavar, vice president of cognitive computing at IBM’s Watson Research Center; and Francesca Rossi, University of Padua computer science professor and president of the International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence–to discuss the potential risks and threats posed by artificial intelligence (AI). All three agreed that any existential threat posed to humanity by AI is speculative and in the narrow domains where the technology has become dominant it has the potential to do great good. Banavar notes AI has been shown to improve the ability of doctors to make accurate medical diagnoses, for example. However, Rossi says there also is potential danger in several of these domains, such as the risks created by automated financial trading agents or self-driving cars, which need to be addressed. Tallinn also notes AI technology will likely have massive impacts on the job market that could make it necessary to “think about how to organize society around something other than full employment.” Other issues raised by the group include the need for government regulations to circumscribe the use of AI technology in particularly sensitive domains.

More info: The Wall Street Journal (05/10/15) Ted Greenwald

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