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research_priorities.pdf - Articles Research Priorities for...

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Articles WINTER 2015 105 A rtificial intelligence (AI) research has explored a variety of problems and approaches since its inception, but for the last 20 years or so has been focused on the prob- lems surrounding the construction of intelligent agents — systems that perceive and act in some environment. In this context, the criterion for intelligence is related to statistical and economic notions of rationality — colloquially, the abil- ity to make good decisions, plans, or inferences. The adop- tion of probabilistic representations and statistical learning methods has led to a large degree of integration and cross- fertilization between AI, machine learning, statistics, control theory, neuroscience, and other fields. The establishment of shared theoretical frameworks, combined with the availabil- ity of data and processing power, has yielded remarkable suc- cesses in various component tasks such as speech recogni- tion, image classification, autonomous vehicles, machine translation, legged locomotion, and question-answering sys- tems. Copyright © 2015, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. All rights reserved. ISSN 0738-4602 Research Priorities for Robust and Bene fi cial Arti fi cial Intelligence Stuart Russell, Daniel Dewey, Max Tegmark Success in the quest for arti fi cial intelligence has the potential to bring unprecedented bene fi ts to humanity, and it is therefore worthwhile to inves- tigate how to maximize these bene fi ts while avoiding potential pitfalls. This article gives numerous examples (which should by no means be construed as an exhaustive list) of such worthwhile research aimed at ensuring that AI remains robust and bene fi cial.
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Articles 106 AI MAGAZINE As capabilities in these areas and others cross the threshold from laboratory research to economically valuable technologies, a virtuous cycle takes hold whereby even small improvements in performance have significant economic value, prompting greater investments in research. There is now a broad con- sensus that AI research is progressing steadily, and that its impact on society is likely to increase. The potential benefits are huge, since everything that civ- ilization has to offer is a product of human intelli- gence; we cannot predict what we might achieve when this intelligence is magnified by the tools AI may provide, but the eradication of disease and poverty is not unfathomable. Because of the great potential of AI, it is valuable to investigate how to reap its benefits while avoiding potential pitfalls. Progress in AI research makes it timely to focus research not only on making AI more capable, but also on maximizing the societal benefit of AI. Such considerations motivated the AAAI 2008–09 Presi- dential Panel on Long-Term AI Futures (Horvitz and Selman 2009) and other projects and community efforts on AI’s future impacts. These constitute a sig- nificant expansion of the field of AI itself, which up to now has focused largely on techniques that are neutral with respect to purpose. The present docu-
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