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Artificial intelligence is going industrial, says Stanford report

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Artificial intelligence is becoming a true industry, with all the pluses and minuses that entails, according to a sweeping new report. Why it matters: AI is now in nearly every area of business, with the pandemic pushing even more investment in drug design and medicine. But as the technology matures, challenges around ethics and diversity grow. Driving the news: This morning, the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) released its annual AI Index, a top overview of the current state of the field. By the numbers: Even with the pandemic, private AI investment grew by 9.3% in 2020, a bigger increase than in 2019.


AI Index 2019 assesses global AI research, investment, and impact

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Leaders in the AI community came together to release the 2019 AI Index report today, an annual attempt to examine the biggest trends shaping the AI industry, breakthrough research, and AI's impact to society. It also examines trends like AI hiring practices, private investment, AI research contributions by nation, researchers leaving academia for industry, and how much AI plays a role in specific industries. The report also notes strides in the reduction of the amount of time it takes to train AI systems and computing costs, two of the biggest hindrances to AI adoption rates. "In a year and a half, the time required to train a large image classification system on cloud infrastructure has fallen from about three hours in October 2017 to about 88 seconds in July, 2019," the report reads. The report is compiled by the Stanford Human-Centered AI Institute in collaboration with people from OpenAI.


Why India needs an AI policy

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With China making rapid progress in artificial intelligence (AI)-based research, it is imperative that India view AI as a critical element of its national security strategy, recommends an August 2016 report titled India and the Artificial Intelligence Revolution. Thanks to the increasingly digital economy, fuelled by improving education and globalization, the Indian consumer is unknowingly the country's biggest beneficiary of recent advances in AI, notes the report. From utilizing various applications powered by AI to using a range of online services such as Amazon Marketplace and Netflix that learn from consumers' online behaviour to make intelligent product and service recommendations, consumers are readily engaged with the proliferation of AI in India, whether they appreciate it or not. Indian academics, public researchers, labs, and entrepreneurs face a different challenge than the corporations that dominate the space--the infrastructure necessary for an AI revolution in India has been neglected by policymakers. While lack of physical infrastructure is certainly a major impediment, India's AI development also suffers from the paucity of the necessary cultural infrastructure, which is key for recent advances from lab to marketplace in AI.


Why India needs an AI policy

#artificialintelligence

With China making rapid progress in artificial intelligence (AI)-based research, it is imperative that India view AI as a critical element of its national security strategy, recommends an August 2016 report titled India and the Artificial Intelligence Revolution. Thanks to the increasingly digital economy, fuelled by improving education and globalization, the Indian consumer is unknowingly the country's biggest beneficiary of recent advances in AI, notes the report. From utilizing various applications powered by AI to using a range of online services such as Amazon Marketplace and Netflix that learn from consumers' online behaviour to make intelligent product and service recommendations, consumers are readily engaged with the proliferation of AI in India, whether they appreciate it or not. Indian academics, public researchers, labs, and entrepreneurs face a different challenge than the corporations that dominate the space--the infrastructure necessary for an AI revolution in India has been neglected by policymakers. While lack of physical infrastructure is certainly a major impediment, India's AI development also suffers from the paucity of the necessary cultural infrastructure, which is key for recent advances from lab to marketplace in AI.


AI ethics is all about power

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At the Common Good in the Digital Age tech conference recently held in Vatican City, Pope Francis urged Facebook executives, venture capitalists, and government regulators to be wary of the impact of AI and other technologies. "If mankind's so-called technological progress were to become an enemy of the common good, this would lead to an unfortunate regression to a form of barbarism dictated by the law of the strongest," he said. In a related but contextually different conversation, this summer Joy Buolamwini testified before Congress with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) that multiple audits found facial recognition technology generally works best on white men and worst on women of color. What these two events have in common is their relationship to power dynamics in the AI ethics debate. Arguments about AI ethics can wage without mention of the word "power," but it's often there just under the surface. In fact, it's rarely the direct focus, but it needs to be. Power in AI is like gravity, an invisible force that influences every consideration of ethics in artificial intelligence. Power provides the means to influence which use cases are relevant; which problems are priorities; and who the tools, products, and services are made to serve. It underlies debates about how corporations and countries create policy governing use of the technology.