No current technology inspires such wild fears and hopes as artificial intelligence. Will AI steal my job? Drones hunt me down based on my social media profiles? Or, will my personal robot wake me with tea before carrying me to a steaming bath - then pick up the kids' socks and help me brainstorm the ending to my novel?
Such extreme feelings aren't new. Smarter machines have been putting people out of work since the printing press. Yet automation has also freed most of us from tilling the land and computers turned doctoral-level math into routine calculation, and the dishwashers we take for granted would have been fairy tales to our ancestors. But, as smart machines master ever more human-seeming skills they approach a final frontier, the uncanny promise of a powerful helper - or rival - explored in science fiction for a century.
What can we learn from the history of automation and AI? Are we even afraid of the right things? What actions can we take as technologists, as consumers, as students, and as citizens to realize our hopes and mitigate our fears? What are the key levers to make sure increased productivity benefits all? That algorithms uplift rather than oppress? How can we keep our fundamental liberties in a world of ever-smarter, more capable, and watchful machines?
In a virtual town hall format, a panel of top experts and innovators from tech companies, research institutes, and NGOs will explore these questions and others from our audience and our community.
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Panel: Cindy Cohn, Electronic Frontier Foundation; James Manyika, McKinsey Global Institute; Tim O'Reilly, O'Reilly Media; Kate Darling, MIT Media Lab; Sridhar Ramaswamy, Neeva
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