Technological Progress and Potential Future Risks

Emerging technologies, such as industrial robots, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, are advancing at a rapid pace. These developments can improve the speed, quality, and cost of goods and services, but they also displace large numbers of workers. This possibility challenges the traditional benefits model of tying health care and retirement savings to jobs. In an economy that employs dramatically fewer workers, we need to think about how to deliver benefits to displaced workers. If automation makes jobs less secure in the future, there needs to be a way to…

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Lack of diversity risks creating big gaps in AI

In a panel discussion at this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Joi Ito, director of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Media Labs, warned that many computer scientists and AI (artificial intelligence) engineers generally come from similar backgrounds. This meant that AI systems could often be programmed in a way that their trainers see the world, leading to gaps in knowledge. “I think that people who are very focused on computer science and AI do not like the messiness of the real world,” said Ito. “You do not get the…

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