"Please think forward to the year 2030. Analysts expect that people will become even more dependent on networked artificial intelligence (AI) in complex digital systems. Some say we will continue on the historic arc of augmenting our lives with mostly positive results as we widely implement these networked tools. Some say our increasing dependence on these AI and related systems is likely to lead to widespread difficulties. Our question: By 2030, do you think it is most likely that advancing AI and related technology systems will enhance human capacities and empower them? That is, most of the time, will most people be better off than they are today? Or is it most likely that advancing AI and related technology systems will lessen human autonomy and agency to such an extent that most people will not be better off than the way things are today? Please explain why you chose the answer you did and sketch out a vision of how the human-machine/AI collaboration will function in 2030.
But the ambiguity of human decision-making often makes it extraordinarily hard for the legal system to know whether anyone has actually discriminated. To understand how algorithms affect discrimination, we must therefore also understand how they affect the problem of detecting discrimination. By one measure, algorithms are fundamentally opaque, not just cognitively but even mathematically. Yet for the task of proving discrimination, processes involving algorithms can provide crucial forms of transparency that are otherwise unavailable. These benefits do not happen automatically. But with appropriate requirements in place, the use of algorithms will make it possible to more easily examine and interrogate the entire decision process, thereby making it far easier to know whether discrimination has occurred. By forcing a new level of specificity, the use of algorithms also highlights, and makes transparent, central tradeoffs among competing values. Algorithms are not only a threat to be regulated; with the right safeguards in place, they have the potential to be a positive force for equity.
Students walk on campus at the Harvard Business School. Harvard Business School is the subject of journalist Duff McDonald's new book, "The Golden Passport," which examines the school's basic purpose and role in society. The book caused a stir at Harvard and beyond. It also struck a chord with Scott, who penned this open letter to the school and Harvard. It's published here for the first time.
The focus of this course is on installing a private blockchain on a cloud machine and then deploying smart contracts. This course explains how to: setup and access a cloud machine; install the Ethereum client (geth); install truffle; and to deploy a smart contract. We focus on the operational environments such as mining, contract addresses, ABIs, and options for geth. Geth has enormous flexibility and we cover the basics of how geth may be configured for a private directory, with different accounts, and mining. This is a hands-on course designed to get a student who has only knowledge of Ubuntu commands to a point in a few hours of being able to implement a new blockchain, deploy contracts, and setting up a server.