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Assessing Artificial Intelligence for Humanity: Will AI be the Our Biggest Ever Advance? or the Biggest Threat [Opinion]

Andrzej Nowak; Paul Lukowicz; Pawel Horodecki
In: IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, Vol. 37, No. 4, Pages 26-34, IEEE, 12/2018.


Recent rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) are arguably the most important dimension of humanity's progress to date. As members of the human race, that is, homo sapiens, we are defined by our capacity for cognition. Until now, humans were the only species capable of higher cognitive functions. But today AI has advanced to a stage where on many cognitionrelated tasks it can match and even surpass the performance of humans. Examples include not only AI's spectacular successes in winning Go, chess, and other board games with humans, and in surpassing humans on fully defined world puzzles. But AI is also now achieving extremely high efficiency in practical applications such as speech and object recognition, self-driving cars, intelligent tutoring systems, efficient decision support systems, and in the capacity to detect patterns in Big Data and in constructing accurate models of social behavior. Thus, for the first time in history, we must ask ourselves: “has our monopoly on intelligence, however defined, been challenged?”

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