AI’s Impact on Society

Experts report that artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming our society and will continue to do so in the coming generations. The speakers at the Center for Data Innovation (CDI) event “Algorithms, Automation, and Public Policy” held on Capitol Hill, pointed out that data intensive computer systems have the capacity to solve problems faster and more accurately than humans.

Greg Corrado, Senior Research Scientist at Google, explained that AI applications have the ability to monitor, discover, predict, interpret data plus interact with the physical environment, humans, and machines.

He also discussed the difference between AI and Machine Learning (ML). AI creates computing machines and systems that perform operations analogous to human learning and decision-making while ML focuses on providing algorithms that have the ability to learn how to complete tasks without receiving explicit instructions while at the same time adapting to new data.

Other speakers commenting on the impact of AI were Ashley J. Llorens, Chief of the Intelligent Systems Center at JHU’s Applied Physics Laboratory, Fernando Diaz, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, and Dennis Mortensen CEO of

Specifically discussing public policy considerations pertaining to AI were Terrell McSweeny, Commissioner FTC, Hilary Cain, Director of Technology and Innovation Policy at Toyota, Terah Lyons, Policy Advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and David Moschella, Research Fellow at CSC’ s Leading Edge Forum

The CDI’s new publication, “The Promise of Artificial Intelligence” was presented at the event. The publication discusses a number of ways that AI can be used in healthcare to help prevent, screen, and treat diseases. AI can also help to detect disease outbreaks when disasters take place, plus supplying the right data at the right time can be a big help to emergency responders.

According to CDI’s new publication, diabetics are going to be helped with research that will be on-going to develop an image-analysis algorithm for the California HealthCare Foundation to be able to analyze retinal scans of diabetes patients. When developed, it will be possible to identify subtle signs of diabetes-linked retinal damage with 85 percent accuracy and accomplish the analysis faster than traditional human analysis.

As to what AI offers in healthcare in terms of treatments and monitoring, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University used a machine-learning system to prioritize which experiments they should conduct to test new drugs. According, to the report, unnecessary tests have been reduced by up to 70 percent.

In other news related to AI, the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program within the federal government recently released their “National Artificial Intelligence R&D Strategic Plan.”

NITRD is the primary source of federally funded work on advancing information technology. The plan presents objectives for federally-funded AI research but also refers to Federally-funded research occurring outside of government as in academia.

Go to for more information on the CDT publication “The Promise of Artificial Intelligence” by Daniel Castro Vice President at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and Director of ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation and Joshua New, Policy Analyst at CDI.

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