EDITORIAL

AI, people, and society

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  07 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6346, pp. 7
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao2466

eLetters is an online forum for ongoing peer review. Submission of eLetters are open to all. eLetters are not edited, proofread, or indexed.  Please read our Terms of Service before submitting your own eLetter.

Compose eLetter

Plain text

  • Plain text
    No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g. higgs-boson@gmail.com
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests
CAPTCHA

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Vertical Tabs

  • RE: Impact of technological power

    Artificial Intelligence expert Eric Horvitz’s recent editorial in SCIENCE (7/7/17, p.7) notes that “it will be critical to address the influence of AI on people and society”, short and long term.
    To make that influence maximally beneficial and minimally harmful ten years (say) or more from now is a challenge, since society’s future state depends on vastly numerous factors whose currently estimated probability decreases strongly with time -- and indeed that state can never be predicted exactly without a dictatorship.
    Horvitz reports that, as AI advances, the AI community is organizing to meet that challenge, as the genetic engineering community did at Asilomar in 1975. We are faced both with weakly predictable society and with the growing – often exponentially growing -- powers of technology such as AI, genetic engineering, nanotech, and robotics. To improve predictability, we must go outside the usual boxes as we organize.
    Better prediction can come if we more strongly integrate C. P. Snow’s “two cultures” of science and humanities, more frequently bringing together members of those two worlds. There's early need to improve our social indicators to measure “happiness” more fairly, then to recommend policies and actions in every technical field most likely to promote the good life for all, reminiscent of the spirit of the Prometheus Project proposed by Gerald Feinberg in 1969.
    I judge it's relevant to conclude by rememb...

    Show More
    Competing Interests: None declared.