by Rachel Thomas
The term “Artificial Intelligence” is a broad umbrella, referring to a variety of techniques applied to a range of tasks. This breadth can breed confusion. Success in using AI to identify tumors on lung x-rays, for instance, may offer no indication of whether AI can be used to accurately predict who will commit another crime or which employees will succeed, or whether these latter tasks are even appropriate candidates for the use of AI. Misleading marketing hype often clouds distinctions between different types of tasks and suggests that breakthroughs on narrow research problems are more broadly applicable than is the case. Furthermore, the nature of the risks posed by different categories of AI tasks varies, and it is crucial that we understand the distinctions.