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A Century-Long Commitment to Assessing Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on Society

Commitment to Assessing AI and Its Impact, illustration

Credit: Treety

The Stanford One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence, a project that launched in December 2014, is designed to be a century-long periodic assessment of the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and its influences on people, their communities, and society. Colloquially referred to as "AI100," the project issued its first report in September 2016. A standing committee of AI scientists and scholars in the humanities and social sciences working with the Stanford faculty director of AI100 oversees the project and the design of its activities. A little more than two years after the first report appeared, we reflect on the decisions made in shaping it, the process that produced it, its major conclusions, and reactions subsequent to its release.

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The inaugural AI100 report,6 called Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030, examined eight domains of human activity in which AI technologies are already beginning to affect urban life. In scope, it encompasses domains with emerging products enabled by AI methods and domains, raising concerns about technological impact generated by potential AI-enabled systems. The study panel members who wrote the report and the AI100 standing committee, the body that directs the AI100 project, intend for it to be a catalyst, spurring conversations on how we as a society might shape and share the potentially powerful technologies AI could deliver. In addition to influencing researchers and guiding decisions in industry and governments, the report aims to provide the general public with a scientifically and technologically accurate portrayal of the current state of AI, along with that potential. It aspires to replace conceptions rooted in science fiction novels and movies with a realistic foundation for these deliberations.


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