Last Friday 4th November, leading figures within the AI-sphere sat down for an open discussion about the future of artificial intelligence, its potential impact on individuals and nations, at the John F. Kennedy, Jr. Forum.

Introducing the topic was Kennedy School lecturer and national security expert, Juliette N. Kayeem, discussing AI’s current prevalence and the massive shifts that can occur in technology, potentially causing relations between various groups and industries, TheCrimson writes.

The debate gave the viewers insight to how these various industry professionals have experienced the change of AI and how it has influenced their work, as well as looking at how it has impacted the society on a whole.

Edward W. Felten, the deputy chief technology officer of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy mentioned the White House report, addressing the challenges faced when attempting to implement AI into the government, whereas  IBM Watson’s general manager David Kenny outlined the commercial aspects of AI and how it can “perform layman jobs enabling humans to conduct more advanced tasks”.

Another one of the panellists, Rosalind W. Picard, professor at the MIT Media Lab, explained the benefits of how machines can learn to identify environments, and then behave accordingly in an appropriate manner. Picard believes that AI can be used in terms of teaching as well, measuring the emotional state in a classroom, and then determining the most conductive way of learning.

Nico P. H. Miailhe, president of the Future Society and a senior fellow at the Kennedy School said the mission of his organisation is to “question technology and innovation and how to govern them, not regulate them. To manage them and use the Government School as a vehicle to convene the University to carry this conversation forward”, TheCrimson writes.

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