Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Excellent Interview with Amy Webb of NYU on Artificial Intelligence



I have been reading a lot about Artificial Intelligence recently. It's coming, there is no doubt about it. But I really enjoyed this interview with Futurist and NYU professor Amy Webb on the coming of AI. Webb has a new book out that I probably should pick up, but in this interview she discusses some very important points on American tech companies and their Chinese competitors.

For lack of a better term, the Chinese are kicking our butts. While US companies are reliant on shareholders and positive quarterly reports, Chinese companies have government funding and a 100 year strategy. That time perception makes a huge difference in how these companies develop and roll out their new technology. US companies force products to market, Chinese companies are part of a bigger plan.

Another great point Webb makes is the importance of diverse education, especially for those who major in technology. Throughout the interview, she weaves the importance of knowing technology, economics, and politics.

I thought this was a great paragraph, especially considering my emphasis on being a "hybrid analyst":
Universities must create space in their programs for hybrid degrees. They should incentivize CS students to study comparative literature, world religions, microeconomics, cultural anthropology and similar courses in other departments. They should champion dual degree programs in computer science and international relations, theology, political science, philosophy, public health, education and the like.

Check out the rest of this really good interview:

Why AI is a threat to democracy—and what we can do to stop it - MIT Technology Review, 2/26/2019

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