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Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Consider the AI Outlook

Good piece, the rest at the continuation link. 

An AI Outlook, By Karen Emslie, Commissioned by CACM Staff, February 1, 2022

Five global AI experts weigh in on the challenges they anticipate the technology will face, and potentially overcome, this year.

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) continue to happen at an extraordinary pace. News of breakthroughs in machine learning, computer vision, data science, and machine-human interaction come almost daily. Growth is massive, and it is impacting all sectors.

According to a new forecast from the technology research company Gartner, worldwide artificial intelligence (AI) software revenue is forecast to total $62.5 billion in 2022, an increase of 21.3% from 2021.

The AI boom has been fueled by incredible technological leaps, yet with progress comes challenges. We asked five global AI experts to weigh in with their thoughts on trends, breakthroughs, and challenges in the year ahead.

Societal concerns will increasingly drive AI breakthroughs

Adji Bousso Dieng is a computer science professor at Princeton University and a research scientist at Google AI; her work spans probabilistic graphical modelling, statistics, and deep learning.

Dieng flagged up the growing trend of applying AI to "critical domains" that impact everyone in society, such as climate and biology. "I am expecting AI to continue to break ground in more scientific domains in 2022 and beyond, and I am very excited to live in this era where we are able to tackle important problems leveraging data, computation, and human insights," she said.

According to Dieng, AI research has tended to focus on building increasingly large models, supported by investment from both industry and academia. She expects this trend continue, but adds, "I personally hope we will shift energy and focus away from chasing bigger and bigger models and focus on tackling the important problems facing humanity."

Daniela Rus is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she also serves as director of the university's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). As an expert in AI, robotics, and data science, Rus said she has noticed a "heightened awareness about the challenges with today's AI solutions" and expects this to inform future trends.

Among Rus' predictions for 2022 are developments in data availability, interpretability, and privacy. She pointed out that the massive datasets that deep neural networks depend upon need to be manually labeled, and are not easily obtained in every field. "The quality of that data needs to be very high, and if the data is biased or bad, the performance of the systems trained on this data will be equally bad."

Rus said AI currently faces significant challenges around privacy and trust. "As we gather more data to feed into AI systems, the risks to privacy will grow. So will the opportunities for authoritarian governments to leverage these tools to curtail freedom and democracy in countries around the world." ..... ' 

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