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) …
The value of building data-driven businesses with AI at their core is well known today, and business executives are rushing to implement the technology into their operations and gain a competitive advantage, but it's not as simple as creating a data lake and crafting AI models. A large number of AI companies attempting to implement more AI models or build AI-first businesses have experienced challenges. A December 2018 PwC survey found that only 4% of businesses have successfully implemented AI. That's why today the World Economic Forum released the AI toolkit for Boards of Directors. The AI toolkit for Boards of Directors is being released ahead of the annual WEF meeting in Davos, Switzerland where the toolkit will be formally debuted next week.
Microsoft president Brad Smith has predicted that artificial intelligence will transform society in the next three decades, just as the internal combustion engine did during the first half of the 20th century. Smith was speaking at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal on Wednesday, where he discussed the intersection between tech and society. He said: "When we look to the decade ahead, in many respects AI will be a tool of the sort the world has seldom seen before, and hence it can become a weapon as well. When you look back at the first half of the twentieth century, it was a time that was transformed by one invention above all else: the combustion engine. "[The combustion engine] led to the car and the airplane; it led to the truck and the tractor; it changed every part of every economy.
Just because we can use it, should we? That's the question more and more people are asking about face recognition technology, software that's already in our phones and our social media feeds and many security systems. San Francisco leaders have voted to ban the police from using it, and even some in the tech industry say there should be limits. BRAD SMITH: It's the kind of technology that can do a lot of good for a lot of people, but it can be misused. It can be used in ways that lead to discrimination and bias.
After a hellish year of tech scandals, even government-averse executives have started professing their openness to legislation. But Microsoft president Brad Smith took it one step further on Thursday, asking governments to regulate the use of facial-recognition technology to ensure it does not invade personal privacy or become a tool for discrimination or surveillance. Tech companies are often forced to choose between social responsibility and profits, but the consequences of facial recognition are too dire for business as usual, Smith said. "We believe that the only way to protect against this race to the bottom is to build a floor of responsibility that supports healthy market competition," he said in a speech at the Brookings Institution. "We must ensure that the year 2024 doesn't look like a page from the novel 1984."
Microsoft president Brad Smith speaks at the 2017 annual Microsoft shareholders meeting in Bellevue, WA. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) This morning Microsoft President Brad Smith posted an essay on the company's blog that raises important questions about the human rights challenges related to facial recognition technology. Microsoft, and in particular, Smith, have led the tech industry in addressing human rights issues that inevitably grow from the spreading use of emerging technologies. As Smith points out, these new technological capacities are often a force for good, but are also subject to manipulation and can cause great harm. What is clear is that these new technologies are now part of our lives and will play an ever-greater role in the future. Smith rightly focuses on vexing challenges relating to the governance of facial recognition technologies, a rapidly evolving area which requires new models in which both governments and companies assume greater responsibilities.