UCLA faculty voice: Artificial intelligence can't reason why

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Judea Pearl is chancellor's professor of computer science and statistics at UCLA and co-author of "The Book of Why: The Science of Cause and Effect" with Dana Mackenzie, a mathematics writer. This column originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Computer programs have reached a bewildering point in their long and unsteady journey toward artificial intelligence. They outperform people at tasks we once felt to be uniquely human, such as playing poker or recognizing faces in a crowd. Meanwhile, self-driving cars using similar technology run into pedestrians and posts and we wonder whether they can ever be trustworthy.