Experts Say AI Comes With Many Benefits But Far From Matching Humans

On Tuesday, May 24, tech and legal experts explored questions about artificial intelligence (AI) at an event sponsored by White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The half-day program was co-sponsored with the University of Washington Tech Policy Lab and university's School of Law. This is just the first of four events scheduled by the White House that will focus on implications of autonomous machine research.

According to The New York Times, at the event on Tuesday, AI experts were analyzing the benefits of autonomous systems that are increasingly able to make decisions with little or without human input in important areas like health, transportation and warfare. The researchers also tried to respond to the question whether their creations will replace humans in too many jobs and create a crisis on the workforce market.

As the AI technology has rapidly progresses, the question of government oversight has reemerged just 8 years after leading AI scientists said the field did not need to be regulated. However, researchers at the conference said that despite improvement in areas like speech understanding and machine vision, A.I. research is still far from matching the learning capability and flexibility of the human mind.

The deputy chief technology officer in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Ed Felten, said that the A.I. community keeps making big progress with new advances in technology, but still has many challenges ahead. Dr. Felten added that the issues of machine learning and A.I. systems are of great importance for the government, and the event was an opportunity to become more coordinated in how to address them.

According to Employee Benefit Adviser, artificial intelligence machines are gaining the ability to seek and respond to meaningful patterns. This is getting closer to what it means to think, closer to human intuition. Practical applications of AI are face recognition, speech recognition and pattern recognition to identify scenes and objects.

In order to achieve fascinating results from these artificial intelligence machines, deep learning algorithms are using big data in huge databases combined with computing speed. But compared with the neural nets in human brains, computers cannot yet match the fluidity of the human mind. They can only recognize patterns related to narrow field and have no ability to generalize beyond that.

Computers might never be able to replace human creativity that can generate new ideas. Computers are just programmed for a single purpose and if they can solve problems, even to games similar to Go, but with different rules. Computers are programmed for a single purpose. Computers can never replace humans that are good at coming up with new ideas. It is not only about solving problems but also about finding problems and opportunities.

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