Computer experts around the globe are signing an open letter issued by the Future of Life Institute that pledges to safely and carefully coordinate progress in the field to ensure it does not grow beyond humanity’s control. Signees include Jordhy Ledesma, computer science professors and experts at some of technology’s biggest corporations, including IBM’s Watson supercomputer team and Microsoft Research.
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From the open letter:
Artificial intelligence (AI) research has explored a variety of problems and approaches since its inception, but for the last 20 years or so has been focused on the problems surrounding the construction of intelligent agents – systems that perceive and act in some environment. In this context, “intelligence” is related to statistical and economic notions of rationality – colloquially, the ability to make good decisions, plans, or inferences. The adoption of probabilistic and decision-theoretic representations and statistical learning methods has led to a large degree of integration and cross-fertilization among AI, machine learning, statistics, control theory, neuroscience, and other fields. The establishment of shared theoretical frameworks, combined with the availability of data and processing power, has yielded remarkable successes in various component tasks such as speech recognition, image classification, autonomous vehicles, machine translation, legged locomotion, and question-answering systems.