Distributed for Boston Review
A look at how new technologies can be put to use in the creation of a more just society.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not likely to make humans redundant. Nor will it create superintelligence anytime soon. But it will make huge advances in the next two decades, revolutionizing medicine, entertainment, and transport, transforming jobs and markets, and vastly increasing the amount of information that governments and companies have about individuals.
AI for Good leads off with economist and best-selling author Daron Acemoglu, who argues that there are reasons to be concerned about these developments. AI research today pays too much attention to the technological hurdles ahead, without enough attention to its disruptive effects on the fabric of society: displacing workers while failing to create new opportunities for them and threatening to undermine democratic governance itself.
Yet the direction of AI development is not preordained. Acemoglu argues for AI's potential to create shared prosperity and bolster democratic freedoms. But directing it to that task will take great effort. It will require new funding and regulation, new norms and priorities for developers themselves, and regulations of new technologies and their applications.
At the intersection of technology and economic justice, this book brings together experts—economists, legal scholars, policy makers, and developers—to debate these challenges and consider what steps tech companies can do take to ensure the advancement of AI does not further diminish economic prospects of the most vulnerable groups of population.