LEADING ARTIFICIAL-INTELLIGENCE RESEARCHERS gathered recently for the prestigious Neural Information Processing Systems conference have a new topic on their agenda. Alongside the usual research, discussions, and socializing: concern about AI’s power.
The issue was crystallized in a keynote from Microsoft researcher Kate Crawford. The conference, which drew nearly 8,000 researchers to Long Beach, California, is deeply technical, swirling in dense clouds of math and algorithms.
Crawford’s good-humored talk featured no equations and took the form of an ethical wake-up call. She urged attendees to start considering, and finding ways to mitigate, accidental or intentional harms caused by their creations. “Amongst the very real excitement about what we can do there are also some really concerning problems arising,” Crawford said.