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Episode Info: The O’Reilly Radar Podcast: AI on the hype curve, imagining nurturing technology, and gaps in the AI conversation.This week, I sit down with anthropologist, futurist, Intel Fellow, and director of interaction and experience research at Intel, Genevieve Bell. We talk about what she’s learning from current AI research, why the resurgence of AI is different this time, and five things that are missing from the AI conversation.Here are some highlights: AI’s place on the wow-ahh-hmm curve of human existence I think in some ways, for me, the reason of wanting to put AI into a lineage is many of the ways we respond to it as human beings are remarkably familiar. I'm sure you and many of your viewers and listeners know about the Gartner Hype Curve, the notion of, at first you don’t talk about it very much, then the arc of it's everywhere, and then it goes to the valley of it not being so spectacular until it stabilizes. I think most humans respond to technology not dissimilarly. There's this moment where you go, 'Wow. That’s amazing' promptly followed by the 'Uh-oh, is it going to kill us?' promptly followed by the, 'Huh, is that all it does?' It's sort of the wow-ahh-hmm curve of human existence. I think AI is in the middle of that. At the moment, if you read the tech press, the trade presses, and the broader news, AI's simultaneously the answer to everything. It's going to provide us with safer cars, safer roads, better weather predictions. It's going to be a way of managing complex data in simple manners. It's going to beat us at chess. On the one hand, it's all of that goodness. On the other hand, there are being raised both the traditional fears of technology: is it going to kill us? Will it be safe? What does it mean to have autonomous things? What are they going to do to us? Then the reasonable questions about what models are we using to build this technology out. When you look across the ways it's being talked about, there are those three different factors. One of excessive optimism, one of a deep dystopian fear, and then another starting to run a critique of the decisions that are being made around it. I think that’s, in some ways, a very familiar set of positions about a new technology. Looking beyond the app that finds your next cup of coffee I sometimes worry that we imagine that each generation of new technology will somehow mysteriously and magically fix all of our problems. The reality is 10, 20, 30 years from now, we will still be worrying about the safety of our families and our kids, worrying about the integrity of our communities, wanting a good story to keep us company, worrying about how we look and how we sound, and being concerned about the institutions in our existence. Those are human preoccupations that are thousands of years deep. I'm not sure they change this quickly. I do think there are harder questions about what that world will be like and what it means to have the possibility of machinery that is much more...
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