web analytics

AI Report 2024

data codes through eyeglasses
Photo by Kevin Ku on Pexels.com

Summary

This document offers selected news about various aspects of artificial intelligence. For additional background see Artificial Intelligence Report 2023.

Misconceptions

Some of the amazing breakthroughs being credited to AI are actually capabilities we’ve had for decades. In a video posted by NVIDIA in 2023, an example is given of service repair people being notified when there is an equipment failure. [Source] This is an example of how AI is being sold to investors, governments, tax payers and society on somewhat inaccurate grounds.

There are huge costs associated with AI, and thus huge profits to be made. So, even for applications where AI may be wasteful, excessive, and unnecessary, people and businesses will be enticed to use AI.

Basic computing methods and even basic electronics and switches can accomplish tasks much more efficiently, at much lower cost, with much more reliable outcomes.

Sensors and systems for predictive failure have existed prior to AI being employed for such purposes. For example, SMART systems can detect conditions likely to result in hardware failure, or mechanical behaviors indicative of an upcoming failure. This is done without the use of AI.

For these reasons, it is important to stay realistic and accurate regarding the strengths of AI so it can be used in the most practical ways possible.

Concerns

Issues of primary concern are: high energy usage, elimination of jobs, dehumanization of services, use in warfare, and overall impact on society.

On 6 May 2024, Warren Buffett speaking about AI stated: “It has enormous potential for good and enormous potential for harm… We let a genie out of the bottle when we developed nuclear weapons… AI is somewhat similar…” [Source: CNN, 6 May 2024]

According to the International Monetary Fund, “nearly 40% of global employment could be disrupted by AI.” [Source: CNN, 6 May 2024]

Areas of concern are not necessarily reasons to resist AI. They are focal points for study where one should consider impact more deeply and pursue solutions to avoid negative outcomes.

News

Below are videos from selected news coverage about AI. Some of these videos praise the hopeful possibilities of AI, and others warn about its dangers. It’s important to have a broad understanding of these perspectives to consider the overall impact of AI.

On Point (20 May 2024)

Labor economist David Autor’s research shows how historically, technological advances hurt the incomes of middle- and working-class Americans. But when it comes to AI, Autor says the exact opposite could happen. On Point [Listen]

CBS (16 May 2024)

“CEO Sal Khan on why he thinks AI can become every student’s personal tutor” — Khan Academy Founder and CEO Sal Khan joins CBS Mornings” to discuss his new book, “Brave New Words: How AI Will Revolutionize Education (And Why That’s a Good Thing).” [Source]

CBS (8 May 2024)

“More workers are adopting AI, Microsoft finds” — A new Microsoft report shows that 75% of workers now use artificial intelligence at their jobs. Jared Spataro, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of AI at work, joins CBS News to discuss how the technology is changing workplaces. [Source]

Bloomberg (8 May 2024)

“Google CEO Sundar Pichai and the Future of AI” — Google & Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai sits down exclusively with Bloomberg Originals Host & Executive Producer Emily Chang to discuss the future of search, rebuilding Google’s AI model Gemini from the ground up, competing with Microsoft and OpenAI, Google’s culture challenges, and how his upbringing prepared him for this moment. [Source]

Helen Toner (1 May 2024)

“How to Govern AI — Even If It’s Hard to Predict” — No one truly understands AI, not even experts, says Helen Toner, an AI policy researcher and former board member of OpenAI. But that doesn’t mean we can’t govern it. She shows how we can make smart policies to regulate this technology even as we struggle to predict where it’s headed — and why the right actions, right now, can shape the future we want. [Source]

DW News (29 Apr 2024)

“How AI causes serious environmental problems (but might also provide solutions)” — Companies and the academic community are rushing to take advantage of big, recent advances in artificial intelligence. In many cases, they’re using AI to minimize humanity’s impact on the environment and find solutions for the climate crisis. But AI consumes an enormous amount of natural resources, like water and electricity, in order to function. So, is AI a climate solution or problem? [Source]

Mark Zuckerberg (21 Apr 2024)

“Energy, not compute, will be the #1 bottleneck to AI progress” — [Source]

NBC (6 Mar 2024)

“AI industry aims to revive nuclear power to fuel itself” — A Silicon Valley-backed company wants to build a 15 megawatt reactor based off an experiment done by the Idaho National Lab decades ago that could power the future of AI. NBC News’ Jacob Ward explains how the reactor will work and who could benefit from the project. [Source]

Background

Cathie Wood (18 Dec 2023)

“Why AI Will Spark Exponential Economic Growth” — Investor Cathie Wood explores this unique moment in technology, which she sees as being marked by the simultaneous evolution of five pivotal innovation platforms — a scenario unparalleled in history. Exploring the role of AI in reshaping economic paradigms, she predicts a surge in global GDP growth and productivity, underscoring the need for businesses and investors to adapt in order to keep up. [Source]

Sasha Luccioni (6 Nov 2023)

“AI Is Dangerous, but Not for the Reasons You Think” — AI won’t kill us all — but that doesn’t make it trustworthy. Instead of getting distracted by future existential risks, AI ethics researcher Sasha Luccioni thinks we need to focus on the technology’s current negative impacts, like emitting carbon, infringing copyrights and spreading biased information. She offers practical solutions to regulate our AI-filled future — so it’s inclusive and transparent. [Source]

NVIDIA (24 Jul 2023)

“Powering the Future of Clean Energy” — See how #AI is helping accelerate the clean energy transition by optimizing solar and wind farms, simulating climate and weather, modernizing power grids, capturing carbon, and advancing fusion breakthroughs. [Source]

CBC (13 Jun 2023)

“AI’s hidden climate costs” — As the demand for artificial intelligence grows, so does its thirst for one of our planet’s most precious resources. Andrew Chang explores how the supercomputers that run AI stay cool — by using massive amounts of fresh, clean drinking water. [Source]

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com