Horvitz, Eric


Letter to the Editor: Research Priorities for Robust and Beneficial Artificial Intelligence: An Open Letter

AI Magazine

The adoption of probabilistic and decision-theoretic representations and statistical learning methods has led to a large degree of integration and cross-fertilization among AI, machine learning, statistics, control theory, neuroscience, and other fields. The progress in AI research makes it timely to focus research not only on making AI more capable, but also on maximizing the societal benefit of AI. We recommend expanded research aimed at ensuring that increasingly capable AI systems are robust and beneficial: our AI systems must do what we want them to do. In summary, we believe that research on how to make AI systems robust and beneficial is both important and timely, and that there are concrete research directions that can be pursued today.


Letter to the Editor: Research Priorities for Robust and Beneficial Artificial Intelligence: An Open Letter

AI Magazine

Artificial intelligence (AI) research has explored a variety of problems and approaches since its inception, but for the last 20 years or so has been focused on the problems surrounding the construction of intelligent agents — systems that perceive and act in some environment. In this context, "intelligence" is related to statistical and economic notions of rationality — colloquially, the ability to make good decisions, plans, or inferences. The adoption of probabilistic and decision-theoretic representations and statistical learning methods has led to a large degree of integration and cross-fertilization among AI, machine learning, statistics, control theory, neuroscience, and other fields. The establishment of shared theoretical frameworks, combined with the availability of data and processing power, has yielded remarkable successes in various component tasks such as speech recognition, image classification, autonomous vehicles, machine translation, legged locomotion, and question-answering systems. As capabilities in these areas and others cross the threshold from laboratory research to economically valuable technologies, a virtuous cycle takes hold whereby even small improvements in performance are worth large sums of money, prompting greater investments in research. There is now a broad consensus that AI research is progressing steadily, and that its impact on society is likely to increase. The potential benefits are huge, since everything that civilization has to offer is a product of human intelligence; we cannot predict what we might achieve when this intelligence is magnified by the tools AI may provide, but the eradication of disease and poverty are not unfathomable. Because of the great potential of AI, it is important to research how to reap its benefits while avoiding potential pitfalls. The progress in AI research makes it timely to focus research not only on making AI more capable, but also on maximizing the societal benefit of AI. Such considerations motivated the AAAI 2008–09 Presidential Panel on Long-Term AI Futures and other projects on AI impacts, and constitute a significant expansion of the field of AI itself, which up to now has focused largely on techniques that are neutral with respect to purpose. We recommend expanded research aimed at ensuring that increasingly capable AI systems are robust and beneficial: our AI systems must do what we want them to do. The attached research priorities document [see page X] gives many examples of such research directions that can help maximize the societal benefit of AI. This research is by necessity interdisciplinary, because it involves both society and AI. It ranges from economics, law and philosophy to computer security, formal methods and, of course, various branches of AI itself. In summary, we believe that research on how to make AI systems robust and beneficial is both important and timely, and that there are concrete research directions that can be pursued today.


Automated Workflow Synthesis

AAAI Conferences

By coordinating efforts from humans and machines, human computation systems can solve problems that machines cannot tackle alone. A general challenge is to design efficient human computation algorithms or workflows with which to coordinate the work of the crowd. We introduce a method for automated workflow synthesis aimed at ideally harnessing human efforts by learning about the crowd's performance on tasks and synthesizing an optimal workflow for solving a problem. We present experimental results for human sorting tasks, which demonstrate both the benefit of understanding and optimizing the structure of workflows based on observations. Results also demonstrate the benefits of using value of information to guide experiments for identifying efficient workflows with fewer experiments.



Introducing Worldwide AI

AI Magazine

We are pleased to introduce Worldwide AI — a new column in AI Magazine that we hope will keep AAAI members informed about AI efforts around the world.


Introduction to the Special Issue on Dialog with Robots

AI Magazine

This special issue of AI Magazine on dialog with robots brings together a collection of articles on situated dialog. The contributing authors have been working in interrelated fields of human-robot interaction, dialog systems, virtual agents, and other related areas and address core concepts in spoken dialog with embodied robots or agents. Several of the contributors participated in the AAAI Fall Symposium on Dialog with Robots, held in November 2010, and several articles in this issue are extensions of work presented there. The articles in this collection address diverse aspects of dialog with robots, but are unified in addressing opportunities with spoken language interaction, physical embodiment, and enriched representations of context.


Introduction to the Special Issue on Dialog with Robots

AI Magazine

This special issue of AI Magazine on dialog with robots brings together a collection of articles on situated dialog. The contributing authors have been working in interrelated fields of human-robot interaction, dialog systems, virtual agents, and other related areas and address core concepts in spoken dialog with embodied robots or agents. Several of the contributors participated in the AAAI Fall Symposium on Dialog with Robots, held in November 2010, and several articles in this issue are extensions of work presented there. Others include invited contributions. The articles in this collection address diverse aspects of dialog with robots, but are unified in addressing opportunities with spoken language interaction, physical embodiment, and enriched representations of context.


Reports of the AAAI 2010 Fall Symposia

AI Magazine

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence was pleased to present the 2010 Fall Symposium Series, held Thursday through Saturday, November 11-13, at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Virginia. The titles of the eight symposia are as follows: (1) Cognitive and Metacognitive Educational Systems; (2) Commonsense Knowledge; (3) Complex Adaptive Systems: Resilience, Robustness, and Evolvability; (4) Computational Models of Narrative; (5) Dialog with Robots; (6) Manifold Learning and Its Applications; (7) Proactive Assistant Agents; and (8) Quantum Informatics for Cognitive, Social, and Semantic Processes. The highlights of each symposium are presented in this report.


Reports of the AAAI 2010 Fall Symposia

AI Magazine

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence was pleased to present the 2010 Fall Symposium Series, held Thursday through Saturday, November 11-13, at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Virginia. The titles of the eight symposia are as follows: (1) Cognitive and Metacognitive Educational Systems; (2) Commonsense Knowledge; (3) Complex Adaptive Systems: Resilience, Robustness, and Evolvability; (4) Computational Models of Narrative; (5) Dialog with Robots; (6) Manifold Learning and Its Applications; (7) Proactive Assistant Agents ; and (8) Quantum Informatics for Cognitive, Social, and Semantic Processes. The highlights of each symposium are presented in this report.


Reports of the AAAI 2010 Spring Symposia

AI Magazine

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, in cooperation with Stanford University's Department of Computer Science, is pleased to present the 2010 Spring Symposium Series, to be held Monday through Wednesday, March 22–24, 2010 at Stanford University. The titles of the seven symposia are Artificial Intelligence for Development; Cognitive Shape Processing; Educational Robotics and Beyond: Design and Evaluation; Embedded Reasoning: Intelligence in Embedded Systems Intelligent Information Privacy Management; It's All in the Timing: Representing and Reasoning about Time in Interactive Behavior; and Linked Data Meets Artificial Intelligence.