These recommendations reflect the views and research of the AI Now Institute at New York University. We thank the experts who contributed to the AI Now 2017 Symposium and Workshop for informing these perspectives, and our research team for helping shape the AI Now 2017 Report.
Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are in a phase of rapid development, and are being adopted widely. While the concept of artificial intelligence has existed for over sixty years, real-world applications have only accelerated in the last decade due to three concurrent developments: better algorithms, increases in networked computing power and the tech industry’s ability to capture and store massive amounts of data.
AI systems are already integrated in everyday technologies like smartphones and personal assistants, making predictions and determinations that help personalize experiences and advertise products. Beyond the familiar, these systems are also being introduced in critical areas like law, finance, policing and the workplace, where they are increasingly used to predict everything from our taste in music to our likelihood of committing a crime to our fitness for a job or an educational opportunity.
AI companies promise that the technologies they create can automate the toil of repetitive work, identify subtle behavioral patterns and much more. However, the analysis and understanding of artificial intelligence should not be limited to its technical capabilities. The design and implementation of this next generation of computational tools presents deep normative and ethical challenges for our existing social, economic and political relationships and institutions, and these changes are already underway. Simply put, AI does not exist in a vacuum. We must also ask how broader phenomena like widening inequality, an intensification of concentrated geopolitical power and populist political movements will shape and be shaped by the development and application of AI technologies.