Why AI needs a human touch

Elon Musk caused a media stir recently. Not for his innovative technologies or promises to commercialize space travel. In front of a meeting of the National Governors Association, the Tesla CEO warned attendees that “[Artificial Intelligence] AI is a fundamental existential risk for human civilization.” Based on his observations, Musk cautioned that AI is “the scariest problem.” It’s not the first time he’s sounded this alarm. He made headlines with it a few years ago. In fact, Musk is so concerned, he suggested something almost unthinkable for most tech leaders: government regulation. What AI needs, in fact, is a human touch. AI is most certainly here as a fixture in our lives — from suggesting news articles we might like to Siri on your phone to credit card fraud detection to autonomous-driving capabilities in cars. But are we having the right conversations about its impact? There are conversations about the kinds of job loss that might come from future technologies like self-driving cars or the blue-collar jobs that might be lost to increasingly automated processes. But do we really need to look far into the future to see its impact and its potential for harm? And are these impacts only relegated…


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