Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence

January 26th, 2015 / in Research News, robotics / by Helen Wright

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The following is a guest blog post by Tom Dietterich, current president for The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and Eric Horvitz, former president of AAAI. The first winter AAAI meeting is occurring now in Austin, Texas until Friday, January 30, 2015. 

Discussions about Artificial Intelligence (AI) have jumped into the public eye over the past year, with several luminaries speaking publicly about the threat of AI to the future of humanity.


Over the last several decades, AI — computing methods for automated perception, learning, understanding, and reasoning — have become commonplace in our lives. We plan trips using GPS systems that rely on AI to cut through the complexity of millions of routes to find the best one to take. Our smartphones understand our speech, and Siri, Cortana, and Google Now are getting better at understanding our intentions. AI algorithms detect faces as we take pictures with our phones and recognize the faces of individual people when we post those pictures to Facebook. Internet search engines, such as Google and Bing, rely on a fabric of AI subsystems. On any day, AI provides hundreds of millions of people with search results, traffic predictions, and recommendations about books and movies. AI translates among languages in real time and speeds up the operation of our laptops by guessing what we’ll do next. Several companies, such as Google, BMW, and Tesla, are working on cars that can drive themselves — either with partial human oversight or entirely autonomously.


Beyond the influences in our daily lives, AI techniques are playing a major role in science and medicine. AI is at work in hospitals helping physicians understand which patients are at highest risk for complications, and AI algorithms are helping to find important needles in massive data haystacks. For example, AI methods have been employed recently to discover subtle interactions between medications that put patients at risk for serious side effects.


The growth of the effectiveness and ubiquity of AI methods has also stimulated thinking about the potential risks associated with advances of AI. Some comments raise the possibility of dystopian futures where AI systems become “superintelligent” and threaten the survival of humanity. It’s natural that new technologies may trigger exciting new capabilities and applications — and also generate new anxieties.


Please click here to read the rest of the blog.  



  • Ulises

    So, step by step, if intelligent machines take over all human activity (as it is known), including art and science, what will happen to the organic body and its conditioned-to-work-and-think brain? Surely, will it decay? Is mankind-machines coexistence possible while people are fighting for jobs and resources: competition, enterprises, nations, and so on? Anyway, what is the endeavor in which a robot cannot take part or channel at all successfully? Why won’t the future automatons be alive? What is the fundamental difference between a mechanical structure, organic or inorganic, that imitates life and life itself? Is there any, virtual or real? If it said that there is a difference, is it just some kind of knowledge-authority who is defining and differentiating between things? Perhaps then, someday, will be a powerful automaton the one who will define life, its unique life, truth itself? Indeed, will he impose his point of view with his outstanding intelligence, a new science? Certainly, will he define where life begin and end too? Therefore, where does death too? Along these lines, there is a peculiar book, a preview in Just another suggestion, in order to free-think for a while or just to be ignored.

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  • Hello,
    I am completely agree that Artificial has an important role in almost everything which we do today. It has actually acquired almost all the fields including medicine, games, engineering etc. Also one more thing can be added to a long list of its applications is business forecasting and error handling through Artificial Intelligence.

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