when we think from Artificial intelligenceMany of us jump into visions of the future from science fiction – like views of Hell The Matrix, the black mirror, And position or termination. But this is not necessarily the way things will turn out. Two leading tech experts believe there is more reason to be optimistic than pessimistic, although there will be speed bumps along the way.
Kai-fu Lee is the former head of Microsoft Research in Asia, and Google in China. He is now the Chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures, a venture capital firm with approximately $3 billion in assets; Nearly 70 percent of its investment is related to artificial intelligence. Lee is also the author of 2018 Super Powers of Artificial Intelligence And book 2021 AI 2041: Ten visions for our futureco-authored with science fiction writer Stanley Chan (Chen Qiufan).
Yuki Matsuoka is a Google X co-founder, former CEO of Google Nest, and a former CEO of Apple, Twitter, and elsewhere. She is now the founder and CEO of Yohana, an AI-powered personal assistance service she describes as a wellness company aimed at families to help prioritize well-being and attendance. Lee Matsuoka spoke with WIRED Global Managing Editor Gideon Litchfield at RE: WIRED Conference.
Lee believes that AI can be of great help to healthcare, although he also sees potential obstacles. Consider an AI program that helps 5 percent of patients, but hurts 3 percent. AI practitioners will likely see this as a good thing, because it helps more people than it hurts them. But doctors would view it differently, because 3 percent of people may not have been misdiagnosed by human physicians. Therefore, the two worlds will need to learn to work together. He doesn’t see that as a downside, necessarily, but as a point of friction to overcome.
Lee says people think AI is a black box, where a computer makes a decision based on thousands of calculations and we don’t know what it is or why it came to its conclusions. It’s really hard to trust something like this. Lee would prefer to create an AI that can explain, in human terms, perhaps the first three calculations he made. “As a society I think we need to get away from ‘Explain the complex black box completely or we won’t use you! Instead, he suggests asking the AI “to explain yourself reasonably and understandably to a level and degree no worse than a human explaining how a decision was made.” If we change that standard, I think it’s possible.”
Matsuoka sees great potential for AI in care delivery as well. She cites her parents, who are aging and in poor health. As the only child, she wants to help take care of them, but also respects their privacy and independence. She says she and her parents alike desire electronic devices that ensure they are fine every day. When they are not, with their consent, she will be able to receive some data to make sure she is alerted if they fall, and she can contact the caregiver. She says she wants to build a world where sensors and people can work together to predict and prevent bad things from happening. For example, sensors can show that one of her parents is moving differently, or that something in the house is broken and it could be a tripping hazard.