Silicon Valley may be behind much of the development of AI in the modern world, but it's vital that everyone feel included in the technology, said Fei-Fei Li, Google Cloud chief scientist for AI. "It's time to bring AI together with social science, with humanities, to really study the profound impact of AI to our society, to our legal system, to our organizations, to our society to democracy, to education, to our ethics," Li said. "Again I stress: AI doesn't belong to just a few tech giants in Silicon Valley, and these few companies in Silicon Valley have a responsibility to harness AI for the good of everyone, but they also have the responsibility to work with everybody, recognize we don't know it all, and to include everybody. "This is a historical moment, and we have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility and to really think about how to remedy this problem." Li delivered her remarks today in a discussion with former White House CTO and Shift7 CEO Megan Smith.
SAN FRANCISCO – Google worker outrage over the idea of censoring searches to appease Chinese officials highlights the dilemma U.S. tech companies face in accessing the lucrative market. Using technology to make the world better is a well-worn mantra in Silicon Valley, preached so strongly by internet companies such as Google and Facebook that it has become part of their identity. That idealism has repeatedly run headlong into a wall of reality when it comes to internet firms needing to compromise with the interests of governments that have oppressive approaches to online activity. "The tech industry had a utopian view of the world and of itself," said Irina Raicu, director of the internet ethics program at Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley. "It's running up against its own narrative of how it holds certain values."
Self-driving cars and robots that can zoom on their own around warehouses are just some of what's possible because of artificial intelligence. But expect unforeseen consequences if researchers ignore the inherent ethical dilemmas in the emerging technology. That's one of the takeaways from a panel about AI ethics and education in San Francisco that was hosted by the Future of Life Institute, a research group focused on preventing societal problems created by the technology. Although humans typically program AI-powered robots to accomplish a particular goal, these robots will typically make decisions on their own to reach the goal, explained Benjamin Kuipers, a computer science professor and AI researcher at the University of Michigan. It's these smaller decisions that robots make on their own that can cause trouble because human programmers may fail to take all of a robot's possible choices into account, Kuipers said.
Melinda Gates is launching a new initiative that will be dedicated to getting more women in tech-related fields and keeping them in STEM fields. For Gates--a co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private philanthropy--this endeavour is personal. "I care about computer science," said Gates, who has a degree in computer science from Duke University, to Backchannel in an interview. "When I was in school in the 1980s, women got about 37 percent of computer science degrees and law degrees then. Law went up to 47 percent now.