Our artificial intelligence odyssey

If a machine is better at detecting disease, can a doctor be sued for overriding its decision? Should there be autonomous AI weapons? Humans have yet to fully register the implications of their growing reliance on the technology, warn the authors of a new book

A Nissan Motor staff member during a field operation test of Easy Ride, a driverless mobility service, in Yokohama, Japan, September 2021.

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An elder statesman, a retired Big Tech chief executive and a computer scientist meet in a bar. What do they talk about? Artificial intelligence (AI), of course, because everyone is talking about it - or to it, whether they call it Alexa, Siri or something else. We need not wait for a science fiction future; the age of AI is already upon us. Machine learning, in particular, is having a powerful effect on our lives, and it will strongly affect our future, too.

That is the message of the fascinating new book The Age of AI: And Our Human Future by former United States Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Schwarzman College of Computing dean Daniel Huttenlocher. And it comes with a warning: AI will challenge the primacy of human reason that has existed since the dawn of the Enlightenment.

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