Artificial intelligence The thinkers seem to emerge from two communities. One is what I call blue sky dreamers who speculate about future possibilities For technology, evoke utopian fantasies to generate excitement. blue sky ideas compelling But they are often obscured by unrealistic visions and ethical challenges of what can and should be built.
In contrast, what I call pragmatists with muddy shoes focus on problems and solutions. They want to minimize the damage that widely used AI systems can do. They focus on fixing biased and flawed systems, such as facial recognition systems that often mistakenly identify people as criminals or violate privacy. Pragmatists want to reduce the fatal medical errors that AI can make and direct self-driving cars To be safe driving cars. Their goal is also to improve AI-based decisions about mortgage loans, college admissions, employment, and parole grants.
As a professor of computer science with a long history of designing innovative applications that have been implemented at scale, I believe blue-sky visionaries will benefit by taking the thoughtful messages of muddy shoe realists. Combining the work of both camps is likely to produce beneficial outcomes that will lead to successful next-generation technologies.
While the futuristic thinking of blue sky speculators scares us and earns a lot of funding, the muddy thinking reminds us that some AI applications threaten privacy and spread misinformation racist for sureAnd the sexist And that is morally questionable. Machines are undoubtedly part of our future, but will they serve all future human beings equally? I believe that caution and the practical application of muddy boot camp will benefit humanity in the short and long term by ensuring diversity and equality in the development of algorithms that increasingly manage our daily lives. If blue sky thinkers incorporate the interests of realists in muddy shoes into their designs, they can create future technologies that are more likely to promote human values, rights, and dignity.
Blue Sky’s thinking started early in the development of artificial intelligence. Literature was dominated by authors who pioneered technology and announced its inevitable transformation in society. The “fathers” of AI are usually considered Marvin Minsky and John McCarthy of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Allen Newell and Herb Simon of Carnegie Mellon University. They came together in meetings, such as the 1956 Dartmouth Conference, which generated the enthusiasm embodied in Simon 1965 prediction That “machines will be able, within 20 years, to do whatever work a man can do.”
There were many other contributors to AI, including the three 2018 Turing Prize WinnersBy: Jeffrey Hinton, Joshua Bengio, and Yan Lecon. Their work on deep learning algorithms has been an important contribution, but their ongoing celebrations of the importance and inevitability of artificial intelligence have included Hinton’s concern. 2016 quote That “People should stop training radiologists now. It’s quite clear that in five years deep learning will be better than radiologists.” A more human-centered view Deep learning algorithms will become another toolsuch as mammograms and blood tests, which enable radiologists and other doctors to make more accurate diagnoses and provide more appropriate treatment plans.
The topic of robots replacing people, thus creating massive unemployment, was legitimized by a 2013 report from Oxford University, which claimed 47 percent of all jobs could be automated. Martin Ford’s 2015 Futurist Book Rise of the robots This idea has stuck to paint a troubling picture of low- and high-skill jobs that have become so fully automated that governments will have to provide a universal basic income because there will only be so few jobs left. The truth is that well-designed automation increases productivity, which lowers prices, increases demand and brings benefits to many people. These changes lead to the emergence of a parallel phenomenon of the active creation of new functionswhich has led to high levels of current employment in the United States and some other countries.
Yes, there were authors who offered cautionary tales and different insight, such as MIT professor Joseph Weisenbaum in his 1976 book Computer power and the human mindAnd the But these were exceptions.
Muddy-shoe pragmatists have started a new wave of thoughtful criticism of AI. They shifted the debate from blue-sky optimism to a clear identification of threats to human dignity, justice and democracy. opening pieces and White House Symposium 2016 They were helpful initiatives, mathematician Kathy O’Neill’s 2016 book Math Destruction Weapons Expand the audience. She focused on how opaque AI algorithms can be harmful when applied at scale for deciding on parole, mortgage, and job applications. O’Neill’s strong examples promoted human-centered thinking.
Other books, such as For the Soul of Benjamin Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for Jim’s New LawAnd the Depending on how algorithms need to be changed to increase economic opportunity and reduce racial bias.
Social Psychologist Shoshana Zuboff’s 2019 Book The era of surveillance capitalism It featured the change from Google’s first slogan “Don’t be evil” to calculated efforts to “obfuscate these processes and their effects”. Zuboff’s solution was to advocate for changing business models, democratic oversight, and privacy havens. Researcher Kate Crawford provides another devastating analysis of muddy shoes in her 2021 book Atlas of artificial intelligence which focused on the extractive and destructive power of artificial intelligence on jobs, the environment, human relations, and democracy. She refined her message in captivating lecture for the National Academy of Engineering, which describes constructive actions that AI researchers and implementers can take, while encouraging government regulation and individual efforts to protect privacy.
Muddy shoe activists are gaining recognition for their positive research contributions, which deliver smart designs that benefit people. In October 2021, Cynthia Rudin receives a million dollar prize for artificial intelligence for the benefit of humanity From the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. Her work on interpretable forms of artificial intelligence was a response to the baffling complexity of obscure black box algorithms, making it difficult for people to understand why they were rejected for parole, mortgages, or jobs.
Many muddy shoe thinkers are women, but men have also spoken of the need for human oversight. Technology pioneer Jaron Lanier is also raising concerns in his own country Ten reasons to delete your social media accounts right nowAnd the Which identifies the harms from social media and suggests that users have more control over its use. Legal Researcher Frank Pascual New rules for robotics It explains why AI developers should value human expertise, avoid technological arms races, and take responsibility for the technologies they create. However, ensuring human control via human-centered designs will require fundamental changes in national policies, business practices, research agendas, and educational curricula.
The diverse staff of this camp—including women, nonbinary people, people with disabilities, and people of color—have important messages to ensure that blue sky dreams can be channeled into achievable products and services that benefit people and preserve the environment.