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Artificial Intelligence: The Ultimate Source of Knowledge and Power?

By Dick Weisinger

Artificial Intelligence has the potential to vastly improve the quality of life, but there are also potential risks. Chief among the risks are biases built into algorithms and the chance that those algorithms will further skew inequalities in society or be used by some as a tool of control.

Simon McCarthy-Jones, Associate Professor at Trinity College Dublin, said that “AI is the ultimate source of knowledge, making it the ultimate source of power.” Because of that, McCarthy-Jones argues that there need to be “checks and balances” on the “technological elite.”

Vladimir Putin went to far to say that “Artificial intelligence is the future for all humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”

Ziad Obermeyer, acting associate professor at UC Berkeley, said that “algorithms can do terrible things, or algorithms can do wonderful things. Which one of those things they do is basically up to us. We make so many choices when we train an algorithm that feel technical and small. But these choices make the difference between an algorithm that’s good or bad, biased or unbiased. So, it’s often very understandable when we end up with algorithms that don’t do what we want them to do, because those choices are hard.”

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