Smart Machines: 5 Articles About Artificial Intelligence

Novelists and filmmakers have provided us with a number of fictional scenarios, both thrilling and terrifying, of the role artificial intelligence could play in our lives. But what does our future with AI really hold? There's recently been quite a bit of writing and discussion on this topic as AI has become more integrated in our lives. Here are five recent articles that explore the topic of AI.

"AI Is Beginning to Assist Novelists" by David Streiftfeld
The New York Times, October 19, 2018 (also available from The New York Times website)
I was shocked recently when I stumbled on a news item that Christie's sold a painting made using AI for nearly a half million dollars. However, AI isn't only painting portraits; your favorite novelist might be using AI to write their next novel.

"Dr. Bot Will See You Now" by Douglas Heaven
M.I.T. Technology Review, November/December 2018
Almost all of us are guilty of searching our symptoms on the internet to self-diagnose. What if you could describe your symptoms to an app that uses AI to "mine huge medical databases, machine learning to string together correlations between symptom and condition?" The technology, which is innovative but not problem free, is being currently used by the United Kingdom's National Health Service.

"The Commonality of AI and Diversity" by Alina Tungend
The New York Times, November 6, 2018 (also available online from The New York Times website)
Recent news that Amazon had to abandon its AI recruiting tool because it was biased raises questions about the ability of AI to create a diverse workforce. This question and others were recent topics of discussion among business leaders with the goal of creating some guidelines to steer companies and other organizations tackling these issues.

"Will Robots Become Self-Aware? Will They Have Rights? Will They Be in Charge? Here Are Five Scenarios from Our Future Dominated by Artificial Intelligence" by Stephan Talty
Smithsonian,  April 2018 (also available from Smithsonian Magazine online with the headline, "What Will Our Society Look Like When Artificial Intelligence Is Everywhere?")
Will AI lead to a longer life? Better romance? A chaotic world? Talty delves into AI and finds "unbelievably cool and good or gut-wrenchingly awful" possibilities.

"AI Hits the Barrier of Meaning" by Melanie Mitchell
The New York Times, November 5, 2018 (also available from The New York Times website)
What are the limitations of AI? The ability to deeply understand situations and find meaning, like humans, is definitely a challenge.

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