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Let's Talk AI

by Audrey Russo

We commit this issue of TEQ to AI and of course, why not?

We have the seen the utilization of AI seep into our every day use since the “end” of COVID, faster than the rapid onslaught of Facebook at its earliest growth (eons ago). Not a conversation can be had without discussions of tools, ethics, privacy, integrity, applications, the future of work, national security, research and plagiarism, amongst them. Fearfulness and protectionism, including tech titans asking to be regulated! 

Of course, this sea change did not appear overnight. The likes of every search engine have been anticipating and amalgamating our online search inquiries since the dawn of the internet. Our collective outrage over innovation has always tugged at the emotions and intellect of our species. In the past century, we have reacted to radio, television, telephones, drones, robots, analogue-to-digital, streaming, disease curation, voice recognition, online learning, remote work, aerospace, calculators, computers, “handheld devices”, bring-your-device-to-work (BYD), bandwidth limitations and interferences amongst the thousands of iterations make our life today what it is. 

Should we stop? Pause? Take heed of the tsunami of AI? Grind the brakes and craft legislation to create gridlock? Were we not worried when search engines would eliminate critical and legitimacy to research? Do we overlook the complex opt in/out agreements of every app installed on our devices that limit developer liabilities because we enjoy the functionality?

Yes, we have become numb to the array of changes but on the other hand, we expect this. We expect that we will have ubiquitous capabilities in our daily lives; we ostensibly demand it. We assume that processes will improve, and we expect solutions in rapid fire.

Who could blame the researchers and innovators who race to the commercialization of AI? Thankful that we have people who understand the market demands and yes, with that comes application that is dark, breaches privacy and grinds us to our weakest spots. That is the dichotomy of change. 

Why not focus on how AI can help lessen the digital divide? Close the economic divide? Provide access to those who have been left out of innovation and personal growth? How we can use tech for good to ensure that while our regional population is widening the chasm of equity, we are closing it...for good? 

If you want to hear from the leaders who are researching and practicing, Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science has a summer series of virtual events with their leaders in AI across finance, health, future of work, and more.  These sessions are free through August: 

Keep yourself educated. Plus, we have members who are practitioners who provide services to companies – reach out to us and we will connect you. 

Read the rest of the TEQ AI Exploration issue here.