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article imageNew institute to look at human and AI interactions

By Tim Sandle     Mar 19, 2019 in Science
Stamford - Stanford University has launched a new technological learning center called the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. The new institute will look at guiding artificial intelligence to benefit humanity.
The new center will work across all faculties within the university, being open to any discipline that needs to embrace advanced technology. The institute will also work in partnership with businesses, governments and not-for-profit organizations. The overriding aim is to explore ways by which artificial intelligence can be put to use to create a better future for humanity.
According to the institute’s webpage: “Our goal is for Stanford HAI to become an interdisciplinary, global hub for AI thinkers, learners, researchers, developers, builders and users...who want to understand and leverage AI’s impact and potential.”
The types of businesses that the institute will be working with include tech companies, financial services, healthcare providers and manufacturers. The institute will be headed up by philosopher Professor John Etchemendy.
This appointment from a leading member of the humanities department reflects the fact that artificial intelligence is no longer simply a technical field, it is impacting across a range of everyday human activities and experiences.
The aims and values of the institute are captured in the following video:
Some of the current research projects include looking at the way people interact with artificial intelligence. This not only includes direct contact with humans, but also our vital social structures and institutions. This line of inquiry leads on to the way algorithms may introduce, compound, or mitigate business risk or bias. Another area is the implications springing from the “responsibility gap” between decisions made by machines and people. This area will also consider how artificial intelligence is being used for surveillance, population control and waging war.
A second area is with the extent that artificial intelligence can augmented human capabilities. This includes considering cultural factors, such as how artificial intelligence systems must conform to the conventions that underlie human interaction and communication. Such as, when should such machines systems “listen” and when should they “speak up”? It follows that when humans are asked to rely on machine guidance to support decisions we need to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the artificial intelligence.
Commenting on these different solutions for society, Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne states: “Now is our opportunity to shape that future by putting humanists and social scientists alongside people who are developing artificial intelligence.”
He adds: “This approach aligns with Stanford’s founding purpose to produce knowledge for the betterment of humanity. I am deeply thankful to our supporters who are providing foundational funding for the institute, which is a critical element for our vision for the future of Stanford University.”
More about Stamford, Artificial intelligence, HumanCentered Artificial Intelligence, Humanity
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