Great technological advances are often a double-edged sword. A backlash follows an initial “honeymoon period”.

Unintended consequences that were not immediately obvious during the technology’s infancy become more apparent, and may even overwhelm the initial, benefits. A historical example is the cotton gin, which led indirectly to the U.S. Civil War.   The challenge is to iron out the rough edges while preserving the benefits.

We have been living through a great technological revolution, driven by the ever-increasing capabilities of information systems, and convergence with communications technology.  The byproduct is the widespread availability of unimaginably vast amounts of data. Yet data value is latent at best, unless we have some way to make sense of it.

This is where AI fits in: it processes data to produce insights. Yet, today, the “AI honeymoon” is coming to an end, experiencing the first waves of widely recognized unintended consequences.

Gathering and analyzing data is, in its way, a new kind of “microscope”, providing insights into human behavior, science, medicine, and more. For instance, a Target grocery store can now famously determine if a girl is pregnant before her parents find out. Read more from…

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