Armed violence is on the rise and we don't know how to stop it1. Since 2011, conflicts worldwide have killed up to 100,000 people a year, three-quarters of whom were in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The rate of major wars has decreased over the past few decades. But the number of civil conflicts has doubled since the 1960s, and terrorist attacks have become more frequent in the past ten years. The nature of conflict is changing.
As artificial intelligence is being used to solve problems in healthcare, agriculture, weather prediction and more, scientists and engineers are investigating how AI could be used to fight climate change. AI algorithms could indeed be used to build better climate models and determine more efficient methods of reducing CO2 emissions, but AI itself often requires substantial computing power and therefore consumes a lot of energy. Is it possible to reduce the amount of energy consumed by AI and improve its effectiveness when it comes to fighting climate change? Virginia Dignum, an ethical artificial intelligence professor at the Umeå University in Sweden, was recently interviewed by Horizon Magazine. Dignum explained that AI can have a large environmental footprint that can go unexamined.
Swipe right for "would like to meet", left for "wouldn't". Seven years after Tinder made choosing a date as simple as flicking your thumb across a smartphone screen, it is by far the most-used dating app in the UK and the US. Downloaded 300m times and with more than 5 million paying subscribers, it is the highest-grossing app of any kind in the world, according to the analysts App Annie. For Americans, apps and online dating are the most common way to meet a partner. "It's an amazing responsibility, and an amazing privilege," says Elie Seidman, Tinder's 45-year-old chief executive.
It's likely that most people locked in our jails believe that with a better lawyer, a more lenient judge or a more understanding jury things might have been very different for them. Human error, they will say, is to blame for them being banged up. But can the human element be removed? Law firms are already using computer algorithms to perform background research other tasks traditionally performed by human staff. As computer researchers get closer to creating true Artificial Intelligence, it's predicted to eliminate most paralegal and legal research positions within the next decade.
IT'S ALMOST A BANALITY nowadays to remark that artificial intelligence (AI) is so deeply embedded in our infrastructure that it's affecting decisions everywhere. But what's not trite is considering exactly how it will change markets, medicine, transportation, military operations, politics, social relations, criminal justice, and the likes of you and me -- which will largely depend on big tech companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and the rest. If these behemoths continue to grow by supporting products and services that cause harm, then the most important stories we tell about AI won't be about technology, but about capitalism incapacitating democratic governance. In other words: They will be about the private sector dictating the terms of innovation, including the direction of regulation. While the 25 contributors to Possible Minds: 25 Ways of Looking at AI have lots of smart, multidisciplinary things to say about software and society, they mostly underplay or quickly move past the supersized consequences of supersized corporate ambitions.
In response to the serious threat that AI-enabled bots and deepfakes pose for election integrity, the California government has pushed forward progressive pieces of legislation that have influenced federal and international efforts. Passed in 2018, the "Bots Disclosure Act" makes it unlawful to use a bot to influence a commercial transaction or a vote in an election without disclosure in California. This includes bots deployed by companies in other states and countries, which requires those companies to either develop bespoke standards for Californian residents or harmonize their strategies across jurisdictions to maintain efficiency. At the federal level, the "Bots Disclosure and Accountability Act" includes many of the same strategies proposed in California. The California "Anti-Deepfakes Bill" seeks to mitigate the spread and impact of malicious political deepfakes before an election and the federal "Deepfakes Accountability Act" seeks to do the same.
Automation is coming, pant the breathless pundits warning of A.I.-induced job loss. Ratcheting up the fear meter, presidential candidate Andrew Yang recently sounded the alarm for unprecedented employment gutting -- not just among blue-collar professions, but white-collar jobs, too. Meanwhile, renowned studies paint a gloomy picture, one in which rapid A. advances kneecap our middle-class dreams, sapping the hopes of young people who are left to wonder: Will there be a job for me when I graduate? And yet, the on-the-ground reality doesn't fit these sour prognostications. If anything, it offers good news for workers.
Climate change is the most important crisis the planet is facing today. Millions of people from all over the world took to the streets recently demanding urgent governmental action to help control the ongoing catastrophe and reverse the negative impact of climate change. We will need to marshal all our resources, including Artificial Intelligence to save our planet from peril. Some of the foremost minds in machine learning and artificial intelligence recently published a study where they outlined 13 crucial areas where machine learning can be used to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. The recommendations they made were divided into three major categories – high leverage solutions, where machine learning can make a noticeable impact, long term solutions that will take at least a couple of decades to pay off, and finally, high risk pursuits, where the technology is either not mature enough or we don't know enough to effectively predict the consequences.