How Do You Govern Machines That Can Learn? Policymakers Are Trying to Figure That Out

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Excellent read on the future of machine learning and how it intersects with public policy, from The New York Times.

Hal Abelson, a renowned computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was working the classroom, coffee cup in hand, pacing back and forth. The subject was artificial intelligence, and his students last week were mainly senior policymakers from countries in the 36-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Mr. Abelson began with a brisk history of machine learning, starting in the 1950s. Next came a description of how the technology works, a hands-on project using computer-vision models and then case studies. The goal was to give the policymakers from countries like France, Japan and Sweden a sense of the technology’s strengths and weaknesses, emphasizing the crucial role of human choices.

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