Ex­perts say AI must aug­ment, not re­place

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - ANA Re­porter

THE FAST-grow­ing de­vel­op­ment of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) should be used to aug­ment – not re­place – hu­man ca­pa­bil­ity and op­por­tu­nity.

This was the view of ex­perts at a ses­sion on AI at the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s an­nual meet­ing in Davos, Switzer­land, on Tues­day.

With the ad­vent of the Fourth In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion and the ac­com­pa­ny­ing tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions and ad­vance­ment, it was stressed that AI de­vel­op­ment be guided by the over­ar­ch­ing prin­ci­ple that tech­nol­ogy should not re­place hu­man ca­pa­bil­ity, but rather sup­port it.

Ex­perts fur­ther agreed that tech­nol­ogy and ac­cess to tech­nol­ogy should be democra­tised and said it was es­sen­tial to pro­vide peo­ple with the rel­e­vant knowl­edge and skills to lay the ground­work for a more egal­i­tar­ian and sus­tain­able era of cog­ni­tive com­put­ing.

Ginni Rometty, the chair­man, pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive at IBM Cor­po­ra­tion in the US, said trans­parency was im­per­a­tive to de­velop trust in cog­ni­tive com­put­ing.

Soon, ev­ery­one will work with AI tech­nolo­gies and peo­ple will want to know how they were de­signed, by which ex­perts and us­ing which data.

“Hu­mans need to re­main in con­trol of it,” Rometty said, adding that it was im­per­a­tive that tech­nol­ogy be cre­ated for, by and with the peo­ple.

Pan­el­lists agreed that eth­i­cal and le­gal con­cerns must be fac­tored in at the start of the de­sign process, un­der­lin­ing the im­por­tance for cus­tomers, lawyers, ethi­cists, sci­en­tists and tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ers to work to­gether.

High­light­ing the need to democra­tise the de­sign of tech­nol­ogy, Joichi Ito, the Me­dia Lab direc­tor at Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, said it was wor­ry­ing that Sil­i­con Val­ley con­sisted of mostly white men.

He gave the ex­am­ple of a face-recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy that failed to recog­nise dark faces, re­flect­ing a lack of di­ver­sity among the en­gi­neers who de­signed it.

“AI is still a be­spoke art; the cus­tomer can­not imag­ine the tool yet,” he said, sug­gest­ing that stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing the cus­tomer, the lawyer and the ethi­cist, have a say in tech­nol­ogy cre­ation.

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