'It Is Going to Kill Us!' and Other Myths About the Future of Artificial Intelligence

The IUP Journal of Computer Sciences, Vol. XII, No. 4, October 2018, pp. 7-56

Posted: 23 May 2019

See all articles by Robert D. Atkinson

Robert D. Atkinson

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Date Written: October 1, 2018

Abstract

When it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI), myths are spreading faster than the technology itself is advancing. Left unchecked, they could inspire fears that undermine the technology’s progress to the detriment of economic growth and social progress. AI is a branch of computer science that overlaps with other areas of study, including robotics, natural language processing, and computer vision. While AI has become commonplace, the public still has a poor understanding of the technology. As a result, a diverse cast of critics, driven by fear, opportunism or ignorance, has jumped into the intellectual vacuum to warn policymakers that, sooner than we think, AI will produce a parade of horribles. Indeed, these voices have grown so loud that their narratives may soon be accepted as truth. Needless to say, when AI is so demonized, there is a real risk that policymakers will seek to retard its progress. The truth is that AI systems are tools in the service of humans, and we can use them to make our lives vastly better. Given the promise that innovation in AI holds for economic growth and societal advancement, it is critical that policymakers actively support its further development and use. The paper provides a primer on AI and debunks five prevailing myths that, if accepted, threaten to slow or undermine its progress.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Automation, Privacy, Autonomous weapons

Suggested Citation

Atkinson, Robert D., 'It Is Going to Kill Us!' and Other Myths About the Future of Artificial Intelligence (October 1, 2018). The IUP Journal of Computer Sciences, Vol. XII, No. 4, October 2018, pp. 7-56. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3380229

Robert D. Atkinson (Contact Author)

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ( email )

1101 K Street N.W.
Suite 610
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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