In Brief
  • Carnegie Mellon University has received $10 million in funding to launch a center focused on the thoughtful discussion of AI tech and how to ensure it benefits humanity.
  • These discussions on the use of AI in society are critical as the technology has the potential to change everything about how we live.

Taking A Step Back

Over the past several years, new innovations in AI technology have been widespread. It seems to be only a matter of time before the AI in various autonomous car systems will be letting us all reach our destinations with minimal driving. AI has been assisting humans in various tasks in the medical field, including diagnosing diseases, and the tech has even been used to create art from images it is fed.

This level of rapidly increasing sophistication for AI is worrying some people who say that the technology could threaten humanity as a whole. We’ve already see this in (benign) action when an AI system beat a human player at Go, a game assumed too complex for AI to master. In an effort to get ahead of any potential threats, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has announced plans to create a research center focused on the ethics of artificial intelligence.

Credit: Google
Credit: Google

Then Moving Forward

The K&L Gates Endowment for Ethics and Computational Technologies seeks to introduce the thoughtful discussion on the use of AI in society. It is being established through funding worth $10 million from K&L Gates, one of the United States’ largest law firms, and the money will be used to hire new faculty chairs as well as support three new doctoral students. The funding will go toward a biennial conference, a scholarship, and an annual award for a graduating CMU senior as well.

As new technology develops and advances, there is a need to discuss its many implications on the world. This is especially true with recent advances in AI, which has the potential to change everything about how we live. The establishment of this research center shows that humans aren’t just blindly diving into this new technology, no matter how tempting the thought of a robot butler may be.