Analysis and Theory

Building the Field

The Challenge of Next-Generation AI

March 28, 2023

Hybrid event (see details below)
*Lunch provided for in-person attendees*

March 28, 12:00 PM–March 28, 1:00 PM

Join us on March 28th as Dr. W. Russell Neuman discusses his new book, Evolutionary Intelligence: How Technology Will Make Us Smarter. Moderated by Visiting Scholar Yong Jin Park. RSVP required.

The idea of artificial intelligence was developed in the 1950s but it took 70 years for it to come to full fruition. How come? Well, three unmet challenges: 1) insufficient computing power, 2) the lack of large accessible data bases of language and imagery, and 3) the lack of mathematical techniques that permit modeling of the big data. Now, thanks to Moore’s Law, the web and neural net techniques we are confronting exponential growth in the capacity of AI. But there is a fourth urgent and as yet unmet challenge that calls for research and analysis. It is the subject of Russ Neuman’s forthcoming book – Evolutionary Intelligence: How Technology Will Make Us Smarter. The challenge is designing a successful interface between human and artificial intelligence.

Neuman draws on Douglas Engelbart’s seminal concept of augmented intelligence in the effort to migrate the ultimate locus of control back from the machine to the human. Human Centered AI is not an entirely new conception, but its relevance becomes increasingly important as we confront the subtle challenges of AI-HCI. A key component in this domain will be a notion of compensatory intelligence as computational systems may be able to proactively correct for relatively well understood systematic errors and biases in the evolved human cognitive system. The challenge remains – if sound advice is provided — will humans be prepared to understand and accept it. Neuman’s presentation will address practical issues of interface design as well as broader questions of privacy and public policy.

Moderated by Visiting Scholar Yong Jin Park.

In-person address

Lewis International Law Center

1557 Massachusetts Avenue, Rm. 515

Cambridge, MA, 02138

Zoom address: Link to come!

W. Russell Neuman is Professor of Media Technology at New York University. He served as a Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy working in the areas of information technology, broadband policy and international security. His recent books include The Gordian Knot: Political Gridlock on the Information Highway, (MIT Press), Digital Difference: Evolving Media Technology and the Theory of Communication Effects (Harvard University Press) and Evolutionary Intelligence: How Technology Will Make Us Smarter (MIT Press). Dr. Neuman held the John Derby Evans Chair of Media Technology at the University of Michigan, taught at the University of Pennsylvania where he directed the Information and Society Program of the Annenberg Public Policy Center.  He also taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School and Yale University and was one of the founding faculty of the MIT Media Laboratory.  His sociology is from the University of California, Berkeley and his undergraduate degree is from Cornell University.