If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
According to the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, every polynomial has a root (it equals zero) for some point in its domain. Though the theorem was already stated in the early 1700s (by the three mathematicians, Peter Roth, Albert Girard, and René Descartes), the first (non-rigorous) proof was published in 1746 by the French polymath Jean Le Rond d'Alembert in his book "Recherches Sur le Calcul Integral." The author of the first rigorous proof of the theorem was Carl Friedrich Gauss, one of history's most prominent mathematicians. Let us first discuss some relevant concepts that will be used in the proof. The renowned 16th-century Italian mathematician Gerolamo Cardano (he was also a physician, biologist, physicist, chemist, philosopher, among other things) introduced complex numbers in his studies of the roots of cubic equations.
Race After Technology opens with a brief personal history set in the Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles, where sociologist Ruha Benjamin spent a portion of her childhood. Recalling the time she set up shop on her grandmother's porch with a chalkboard and invited other kids to do math problems, she writes, "For the few who would come, I would hand out little slips of paper…until someone would insist that we go play tag or hide-and-seek instead. Needless to say, I didn't have that many friends!" As she gazed out the back window during car rides, she saw "boys lined up for police pat-downs," and inside the house she heard "the nonstop rumble of police helicopters overhead, so close that the roof would shake." The omnipresent surveillance continued when she visited her grandmother years later as a mother, her homecomings blighted by "the frustration of trying to keep the kids asleep with the sound and light from the helicopter piercing the window's thin pane." Benjamin's personal beginning sets the tone for her book's approach, one that focuses on how modern invasive technologies--from facial recognition software to electronic ankle monitors to the metadata of photos taken at protests--further racial inequality.
As the coronavirus has swept across the globe, the swathes of redundancies that have followed in its wake have relegated the "robots are taking our jobs" narrative into the background. It was a narrative with a somewhat mixed logic at the best of times. For instance, research from the London School of Economics (LSE) found that the introduction of industrial robots has actually increased wages for employees while also increasing the number of job opportunities for highly skilled people. The researchers conducted a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of industrial robots over 17 countries between 1993 and 2007 across 14 different industries. The period of analysis corresponded with a huge rise in the use of industrial robots, with the price of such machinery also falling by approximately 80%.
Rabindranath Tagore once said, "Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark". The darkness that looms over the world at this moment is the curse of the COVID-19 pandemic, while the bird of human freedom finds itself caged under lockdown, unable to fly. Enthused by the beacon of hope, human beings will soon start picking up the pieces of a shared future for humanity, but perhaps, it will only be to find a new, unfamiliar world order with far-reaching consequences for us that transcend society, politics and economy. Crucially, a technology that had till now been crawling -- or at best, walking slowly -- will now start sprinting. In fact, a paradigm shift in the economic relationship of mankind is going to be witnessed in the form of accelerated adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in the modes of production of goods and services.
By Peter Dizikes This is part 3 of a three-part series examining the effects of robots and automation on employment, based on new research from economist and Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu. Modern technology affects different workers in different ways. In some white-collar jobs -- designer, engineer -- people become more productive with sophisticated software at their side. In other cases, forms of automation, from robots to phone-answering systems, have simply replaced factory workers, receptionists, and many other kinds of employees. Now a new study co-authored by an MIT economist suggests automation has a bigger impact on the labor market and income inequality than previous research would indicate -- and identifies the year 1987 as a key inflection point in this process, the moment when jobs lost to automation stopped being replaced by an equal number of similar workplace opportunities.
This is part 3 of a three-part series examining the effects of robots and automation on employment, based on new research from economist and Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu. Modern technology affects different workers in different ways. In some white-collar jobs -- designer, engineer -- people become more productive with sophisticated software at their side. In other cases, forms of automation, from robots to phone-answering systems, have simply replaced factory workers, receptionists, and many other kinds of employees. Now a new study co-authored by an MIT economist suggests automation has a bigger impact on the labor market and income inequality than previous research would indicate -- and identifies the year 1987 as a key inflection point in this process, the moment when jobs lost to automation stopped being replaced by an equal number of similar workplace opportunities.
This is part 1 of a three-part series examining the effects of robots and automation on employment, based on new research from economist and Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu. In many parts of the U.S., robots have been replacing workers over the last few decades. Some technologists have forecast that automation will lead to a future without work, while other observers have been more skeptical about such scenarios. Now a study co-authored by an MIT professor puts firm numbers on the trend, finding a very real impact -- although one that falls well short of a robot takeover. The study also finds that in the U.S., the impact of robots varies widely by industry and region, and may play a notable role in exacerbating income inequality.
The heads of two prominent artificial intelligence firms came under public scrutiny this month for ties to far right organizations. A report by Matt Stroud at OneZero identified the founder and CEO of surveillance firm Banjo, Damien Patton, as a former member of the Dixie Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, who was charged with a hate crime for shooting at a synagogue in 1990. The report led the Utah Attorney General's office to suspend a contract worth at least $750,000 with the company, and reportedly the firm has also lost a $20.8 million contract with the state's Department of Public Safety. Only a few weeks earlier, Luke O'Brien at the Huffington Post uncovered that Clearview AI's founder, Cam-Hoan Ton-That, affiliated with far right extremists including former Breitbart writer Chuck Johnson, Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, and neo-Nazi hacker Andrew'weev' Auernheimer. Moreover, the reporters found evidence that Ton-That collaborated with Johnson and others in the development of Clearview AI's software.
We are seeing AI technologies increasingly deployed across many parts of society. Around the globe, governments are rushing to mobilize vast amounts of capital to invest into AI innovation. The COVID-19 pandemic prompts us to rethink what is considered high- or low-skill work. Whose skills, whose labor and whose hours, exactly, are of value to society? What and who do we value and deem essential, and how do we compensate these workers (e.g., care work or teaching)?
Tax policy is surely a complex beast, and depending on your political leanings, you probably have some strong feelings about how it should be implemented. Salesforce AI researchers are trying to build a model to bring artificial intelligence to bear on what will undoubtedly always be a highly political process. Richard Socher, who heads up AI research at Salesforce, says the company is researching all kinds of solutions related to AI and business, and how it could improve the Salesforce product family; however, he also looks at how his team could use AI to solve a set of broader social issues beyond what it can do for the product line. Socher says when you look at the biggest issues of our time, one of the largest is economic inequality, and how we could use policy to solve that. To that end, the company created a model it calls an AI economist that could look at various economic variables, a broad set of economic models and using the power of AI begin to demonstrate how various policies affect economic inequality versus productivity.