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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Microsoft Sees Need for AI Laws, Regulations

"There are a bunch of players in this space, and if you are Microsoft you want to be seen as trusted. Any sufficiently transformative technology is going to require new laws." — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington

M. Ryan Calo
Source: Industry Week
January 18, 2018

To Scale AI, Rethink Business Processes: MIT’s Brynjolfsson

"It’s not because the technology is lagging. It really has to do with the organizational side, the culture, and the co-invention of business processes that takes a lot longer." — Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Erik Brynjolfsson
Source: Wall Street Journal
January 3, 2018

Training for Artificial Intelligence in Warfare

"There will be a substantial impact on the military because the capabilities of all kinds of systems will change and there will be an introduction of automation on a lot of different functions." — Edward Felten, Director, Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University

Edward Felten
Source: U.S. News
November 8, 2017

AI Experts Want to End 'Black Box' Algorithms in Government

"We should have equivalent due-process protections for algorithmic decisions as for human decisions." — Kate Crawford, Co-founder, AI Now

Kate Crawford
Source: Wired
October 18, 2017

Artificial Intelligence—With Very Real Biases

"Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming part of the information infrastructure we rely on every day. Early-stage AI technologies are filtering into everything from driving directions to job and loan applications. ... Error-prone or biased artificial-intelligence systems have the potential to taint our social ecosystem in ways that are initially hard to detect, harmful in the long term and expensive—or even impossible—to reverse." — Kate Crawford, Co-founder, AI Now

Kate Crawford
Source: Wall Street Journal
October 17, 2017

DeepMind Announces Ethics Group to Focus on Problems of AI

"Autonomous systems are already deployed in our most crucial social institutions, from hospitals to courtrooms. Yet there are no agreed methods to assess the sustained effects of such applications on human populations." — Kate Crawford, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research and Ryan Calo, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Washington

Kate Crawford
Source: The Guardian
October 4, 2017

What Parts of the Workforce Might Be Safe from Robots?

"The big waves have been more structured work versus less structured work, with more structured work being automated faster and work that involves creativity and interpersonal skills as being more robust in the long run." — Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor of Economics and Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, MIT

Erik Brynjolfsson
Source: NPR’s All Things Considered
September 4, 2017

Robots Stealing Human Jobs Isn't the Problem. This Is.

"We need to move to a world where there is lifelong learning. You have to get rid of this idea that we go to school once when we’re young and that covers us for our career. ... Schools need to teach people how to learn, how to teach themselves if necessary." — James Bessen, Economist and Law Lecturer, Boston University

James Bessen
Source: USA Today
June 29, 2017

Evidence That Robots Are Winning the Race for American Jobs

"The conclusion is that even if overall employment and wages recover, there will be losers in the process, and it’s going to take a very long time for these communities to recover." — Daron Acemoglu, Professor of Economics, MIT

Daron Acemoglu
Source: The New York Times
March 28, 2017
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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

The Black Box Society

Financial service providers, insurers, and Internet companies collect vast amounts of data, but we know little about how they use this data to make decisions. New legal strategies are needed to check abuses.

By: Frank Pasquale