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A Look at How A.I. is Helping the Human Race

A Look at How A.I. is Helping the Human Race

Artificial intelligence is quickly creeping into our lives, from smart phone apps that help us find the quickest path through rush hour traffic to voice assistants that serve up lasagna recipes on command. In their new book AIQ: How People and Machines Are Smarter Together, James Scott and Nick Polson lay out an optimistic vision for how AI can help us overcome our cognitive weaknesses and live happier, healthier lives. The book is already attracting attention from media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, The Times (UK) and PBS's SciTechNow.

Scott, an associate professor in the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Statistics and Data Science and the McCombs School of Business, was recently interviewed on the PBS television program SciTech Now (Watch).

He said artificial intelligence is one of three major revolutions in human history. The first, the Industrial Revolution, augmented our physical abilities. The second, the computational revolution of the mid 20th century, augmented our deductive abilities, that is, the ability to take a set of known facts and draw a logical conclusion, such as computing the correct trajectory to send a space capsule to the moon. The third revolution is artificial intelligence.

"Well the AI revolution is going to augment our inductive capabilities, our ability to see patterns to learn what kinds of inputs tend to go with what kinds of outputs," Scott said.

An example of this kind of inductive reasoning would be scanning health records from thousands of cancer patients to find patterns in treatments and outcomes that can help doctors choose the best treatment for a newly diagnosed patient.

"Those three together I think really do make for three fundamental revolutions in the capability of human beings," he added.

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Wednesday, 26 January 2022

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