In this column, in my textbook, and in a speech “What Society Must Require from AI” I am currently giving around the world, I document some of the hype, exaggerated claims, and unrealistic predictions that workers in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) have been making for over 50 years. Here are some examples. Herb Simon, an AI pioneer at Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU), who later won a Novel Prize in Economics, predicted in 1958 that a program would be the world’s best champion by 1967. Marvin Minsky of MIT, and Ray Kurzweil, both AI pioneers, made absurd predictions (in 1967 and 2005) that AI would achieve general human intelligence by 1980 and by 2045. John Anderson, discussed below, made the absurd prediction in 1985 that it was already feasible to build computer systems “as effective as intelligent human tutors”. IBM has recently made numerous false claims about the effectiveness of its Watson technology for domains as diverse as customer support, tax filing, and oncology.Read More »
Diverse design thinking in technology
Contributed by Muriam Fancy. Muriam is a masters student at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. She recently completed her BA in Peace, Conflict, and Justice with a double minor in Indigenous Studies; Diaspora & Transnational Studies. She runs Diverse Innovations (@diverseinnovat1), a platform discussing social good technology.
Amazon launched an artificial intelligence (“AI”) system in efforts to revolutionize its recruitment strategy, and found that their AI program was discriminatory against women. A Chicago court implemented an AI system called COMPAS to do a predictive risk analysis of the chances offenders are to re-offend either by committing the same crime that they were charged for or committing a more significant offense. However, the AI system used discriminated against black defendants noting that they will most likely commit a more significant offense in comparison to white defendants – read more in Chapter 11 of Computers and Society: Modern Perspectives.Read More »
A session at the New Yorker Festival this past weekend discussing how history will judge Trump got me thinking again about media, tweeting, and Donald J. Trump.
Media play a huge role in politics. Here are some examples. In the medium of a large enclosed space filled with people, Adolf Hitler was able to whip crowds to a frenzy. Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his radio fireside chats reassured Americans that they could and would survive the economic hardships of the Great Depression. Winston Churchill’s stirring oratory during World War II lifted the spirits of people in Great Britain despite the Germans’ intense aerial bombardment. John F Kennedy‘s photogenic and relaxed television manner when contrasted with Richard Nixon’s swarthy scowling played a huge role in his victory in the 1960 US presidential election. Finally, Ronald Reagan’s commanding performances in televised addresses and his style of speaking to Americans in ways that they could understand and could trust justified his being called “the great communicator“.Read More »