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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to technologies that perceive, learn and reason in ways that simulate human cognitive abilities. TAP scholars consider AI’s effects on labor, business, policing, law, medicine, war, free speech, privacy and democracy, and discuss potential solutions to mitigate harms.

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Quotes

We're Not Prepared for the Promise of Artificial Intelligence, Experts Warn

"We're trying to grapple with big questions that no discipline has monopoly over. What we want to do is make sure we get the greatest minds studying these questions." — Susan Athey, Professor of the Economics of Technology, Stanford Graduate School of Business


Susan Athey
Source: The Mercury News
March 18, 2019

We're Not Prepared for the Promise of Artificial Intelligence, Experts Warn

"The problem is that human skills, human institutions, business processes change much more slowly than technology does. We're not keeping up. That's why this human-centered AI initiative is so important. How can we adapt our economics, our laws, our societies? Otherwise, we're going to be facing more of the unintended consequences." — Erik Brynjolfsson, Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy


Erik Brynjolfsson
Source: The Mercury News
March 18, 2019

Trump’s Plan to Keep America First in AI

"Are they aware enough of its social impacts and thinking about the effects on society and how to address the problems it creates? That’s what we have to watch for." — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington


M. Ryan Calo
Source: Wired
February 11, 2019

Trump to Launch Artificial Intelligence Initiative, But Many Details Lacking

"The White House’s latest executive order correctly highlights AI as a major priority for U.S. policymaking." — Kate Crawford, Co-Director, AI Now


Kate Crawford
Source: Science
February 11, 2019

Trump Calls for Investment in Artificial Intelligence

"The good news is America’s research infrastructure in artificial intelligence is leading the world. But other countries are making much more aggressive investments and rapidly closing the gap, especially China." — Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor of Economics, MIT


Erik Brynjolfsson
Source: AP News
February 11, 2019

Why Business Leaders Shouldn’t Have Blind Faith in AI

"I’ve seen companies blow hundreds of millions of dollars by letting engineers make decisions without the input of business people. Machine learning solves simple problems, but it is not sentient. And it struggles when applied to many business problems." — Susan Athey, Professor of Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business


Susan Athey
Source: Fast Company
February 6, 2019

Tech Is Splitting the U.S. Work Force in Two

"The view that we should not worry about any of these things and follow technology to wherever it will go is insane. In the standard economic canon, the proposition that you can increase productivity and harm labor is bunkum." — Daron Acemoglu, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Daron Acemoglu
Source: The New York Times
February 4, 2019

Is that tweet from a human? N.J. lawmaker wants bots to identify themselves, but experts have concerns.

"So while on its face it doesn’t require someone to say who they are, as enforced it has that potential, and it creates a tool to unmask people just by calling them bots." — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington


M. Ryan Calo
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
December 28, 2018

China Is Achieving AI Dominance by Relying on Young Blue-Collar Workers

The article explains how China is embracing a new type of work in order to be a world leader in artificial intelligence: the country relies on young “data labelers” who work eight hours a day processing massive amounts of data to feed algorithms and train automated systems. James Bessen, Boston University School of Law, is quoted.
James Bessen
Source: Motherboard
December 21, 2018

Facial Recognition Has to Be Regulated to Protect the Public, Says AI Report

"It’s time to regulate facial recognition and affect recognition. Claiming to ‘see’ into people’s interior states is neither scientific nor ethical." — Kate Crawford, Distinguished Research Professor, New York University


Kate Crawford
Source: MIT’s Technology Review
December 6, 2018
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TAP Blog

Harvard’s Jonathan Zittrain Discusses Three Eras of Governing Digital Platforms

Harvard professor Jonathan Zittrain shares several years of thinking around digital governance during his talk at the 2020 Tanner Lecture on Human Values. His two-part lecture, titled “Gaining Power, Losing Control,” reflects on how technology has empowered humanity, and yet in many ways, we have less and less control.

TAP Staff Blogger

Fact Sheets

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to technologies that perform learning and reasoning in ways that simulate human cognitive abilities.

Featured Article

Algorithmic Bias? An Empirical Study of Apparent Gender-Based Discrimination in the Display of STEM Career Ads

The use of algorithms to make decisions can lead to bias; one algorithm displayed a “gender neutral” ad to more men than women. The algorithm was designed to be cost-effective; because advertisers pay more to display ads to young women, the ad was shown to fewer women.

By: Catherine Tucker, Anja Lambrecht