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Whenever I tell people that I’m interested in artificial intelligence (AI), most of them bring up their favorite movie that features an evil AI assembling an army of killer robots that threaten to wipe out humankind. I have to admit that I used to be right there with them, but as entertaining and enjoyable as they are, they lead to a lot of misconceptions about what AI truly is and the very real ways that it impacts our lives.
In the first two decades of the 21st century, the boom of advanced machine learning techniques and big data revolutionized modern computing. Highly capable AI has now infiltrated its way into nearly every field imaginable: medicine, finance, agriculture, manufacturing, the military and more. Rather than sentient beings, AI has taken form as complex algorithms — ones that can diagnose breast cancer from mammograms more accurately than trained radiologists or detect DNA mutations in tumor gene sequences.
Now more than ever, AI has an enormous capability to impact people’s lives in a meaningful and substantial way. But it also raises multidimensional questions that simply don’t have easy answers.
In Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, Tom Cruise leads Washington’s elite …
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