“You only have a few months to live.” That sentence is undoubtedly something no one ever wants to hear. The bearer of such a message is usually a doctor, a person who knows about illness – and whether a patient will survive it or not.
It’s a scene characteristic for medical series such as House, MD or ER: An alarm goes off and the rapid response team rushes in to revive a patient. But what if the warning had come hours before the life-threatening event actually occurred? The US Food and Drug Administration recently greenlighted a system designed to provide […]
What operations should algorithms be allowed to perform? What standards of quality should they be held to? For what purposes may they be used? Although they are deeply relevant for society, we have yet to reach a social consensus on these issues. A number of international organizations seek to answer these questions by formulating quality […]
The late visionary theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking was not only a leading scientist in the study of black holes, quantum mechanics and cosmology, he also professed strong views about artificial intelligence (AI). AI, he warned, could be “the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity. We do not yet know which.” Hawking’s fear was that not […]
Jules Polonetsky is the CEO of Future of Privacy Forum. The non-profit organisation based in Washington, DC explores the challenges of new technologies and deals with the question how data protection can be developed to address these new demands. It works on various topics such as Big Data, Connected Cars and Internet of Things […]
The development and expansion of today’s communications platforms have led to a radical change in how public discourse is conducted and public opinion formed. In particular, the traditional boundary between personal and public communication has disappeared. A prime example is a 2017 case involving the American actor William Shatner – best known for having played […]
Last week, I spoke about the impact of artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision making on societies and education at the Global Learning Network Convening 2017 organized by America Achieves in Boston. It is a fine line between the promise of better opportunities for all and the peril of increasing social inequality by using such new […]
The Wikimedia Foundation wants to create a knowledge platform that goes beyond encyclopedia entries. It wants to achieve that goal using bots and similar technologies. But what role will human authors play?
Bots take care of many routine tasks at Wikipedia. The automated assistants greatly influence how the community interacts at the online encyclopedia. Wikipedians have learned to respond to the social effects of algorithms – for example by creating their own bot policy.
Not only is the online encyclopedia Wikipedia an indispensable platform for open knowledge on the Internet, it is also a prime example of how people and algorithms work together hand in hand. After all, numerous bots assist the site’s volunteer editors while also keeping “vandals” at bay.
Intelligent machines are part of our lives. They help doctors diagnose cancer, dispatch policemen to find criminals and preselect suitable candidates for HR departments. We must therefore re-evaluate and readjust the relationship between humans and machines. How does artificial intelligence (AI) affect us and our society? Where can algorithms enrich us, where must we put an end to their threatening omnipotence?