A newly published report on the state of artificial intelligence says the field has reached a turning point where attention must be paid to the everyday applications and even abuses of AI technology
“In the past five years, AI has made the leap from something that mostly happens in research labs or other highly controlled settings to something that’s out in society affecting people’s lives,” Brown University computer scientist Michael Littman, who chaired the report panel, said in a news release.
“That’s really exciting, because this technology is doing some amazing things that we could only dream about five or ten years ago,” Littman added. “But at the same time the field is coming to grips with the societal impact of this technology, and I think the next frontier is thinking about ways we can get the benefits from AI while minimizing the risks.”
Those risks include deep-fake images and videos that are used to spread misinformation or harm people’s reputations; online bots that are used to manipulate public opinion; algorithmic bias that infects AI with all-too-human prejudices; and pattern recognition systems that can invade personal privacy by piecing together data from multiple sources.
The report says computer scientists must work more closely with experts in the social sciences, the legal system and law enforcement to reduce those risks.