Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka sums up AI as "any activity that used to only be done via human intelligence that now can be executed by a computer," including speech recognition, machine learning and natural language processing. The opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes called artificial general intelligence (AGI), refers to a "future AI system that exhibits apparently intelligent behavior at least as advanced as a person across the full range of cognitive tasks." In the meantime, the panel recommended the federal government explore ways for agencies to apply AI to their missions by creating organizations to support high-risk, high-reward AI research. Models for such an organization include the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and what the Department of Education Department has done with its proposal to create an "ARPA-ED," which was designed to support research on whether AI could help significantly improve student learning.
If a change is needed, it is of a different kind. The process through which students may petition for loan forgiveness may need to be streamlined and made clearer. If it acts at all, the Department of Education should redefine the current process and better communicate its availability to students. The new initiative, even if that is not its intention, has the potential to go too far because those who feed off society's productive activities – because that's where the money is – will take it there.