Artificial Intelligence is here, today. How can society make the best use of it?
Until recently, “artificial intelligence” sounded like something out of science fiction. But the technology of artificial intelligence, AI, is becoming increasingly common, from self-driving cars to e-commerce algorithms that seem to know what you want to buy before you do. Throughout the economy and many aspects of daily life, artificial intelligence has become the transformative technology of our time.
Despite its current and potential benefits, AI is little understood by the larger public and widely feared. The rapid growth of artificial intelligence has given rise to concerns that hidden technology will create a dystopian world of increased income inequality, a total lack of privacy, and perhaps a broad threat to humanity itself.
In their compelling and readable book, two experts at Brookings discuss both the opportunities and risks posed by artificial intelligence—and how near-term policy decisions could determine whether the technology leads to utopia or dystopia.
Drawing on in-depth studies of major uses of AI, the authors detail how the technology actually works. They outline a policy and governance blueprint for gaining the benefits of artificial intelligence while minimizing its potential downsides.
The book offers major recommendations for actions that governments, businesses, and individuals can take to promote trustworthy and responsible artificial intelligence. Their recommendations include: creation of ethical principles, strengthening government oversight, defining corporate culpability, establishment of advisory boards at federal agencies, using third-party audits to reduce biases inherent in algorithms, tightening personal privacy requirements, using insurance to mitigate exposure to AI risks, broadening decision-making about AI uses and procedures, penalizing malicious uses of new technologies, and taking pro-active steps to address how artificial intelligence affects the workforce.
Turning Point is essential reading for anyone concerned about how artificial intelligence works and what can be done to ensure its benefits outweigh its harm.
Praise for Turning Point
“Fears of artificial intelligence have prompted warnings of ‘the end of the human race’ and ‘summoning the demon.’ West and Allen’s new book, Turning Point, provides a compelling and clear-headed explanation and analysis of the promise and perils and what we all need to do to keep it under control. Anyone who wants a deeper understanding of this new frontier should read this book.”
—Jake Tapper, CNN
“In a world of AI, machine learning, and data analytics, it is important to have technologies that serve human interests and respect human values. West and Allen have written a comprehensive account that explains what AI is, outlines its virtues and risks, and shows how to move forward into a world of human-centered technology. Their governance and policy blueprint lays out creative steps to safeguard humanity’s future.”
—Fei-Fei Li, Stanford University
“We are entering a new world: a world where artificial intelligence has enormous impacts in every aspects of our lives. Should we be excited or worried about this brave new world? Or perhaps a bit of both? In this timely, evocative, and thought-provoking book, Darrell West and John Allen argue the answer to this question will depend on the regulatory and policy choices we make as we exploit AI in business, health, transportation, and other sectors. They then offer recommendations to shape these coming choices. In the process, they provide the perfect balance to books that focus more on the technology of AI and less on the practical impact the technology will have. Highly recommended!”
—Robert Work, former deputy secretary of defense
“AI is transforming education, healthcare, and warfare, and raising a host of political, ethical, and policy questions. There hasn’t been an authoritative unified analysis of these myriad questions. Until now. This timely book by West and Allen not only poses the questions in an informed fashion but proposes thoughtful policy responses. The book is nothing short of a roadmap for our AI future.”
—Oren Etzioni, University of Washington
Darrell M. West is vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and holds the Douglas Dillon Chair. He is the director of the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings and is editor-in-chief of its TechTank blog. He is the author of The Future of Work: Robots, AI, and
Automation (Brookings), among other books.
John R. Allen is president of the Brookings Institution. He is a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and former commander of the NATO International Security Assistance
Force and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. He is co-author of Hyperwar: Conflict and Competition in the AI Century.
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