Between sci-fi novels and movies there’s been some outlandish representations of Artificial intelligence (AI) over the decades, however AI is here and some of these once outlandish predictions are available now – AI assistants, self-driving cars and robot deliveries to name just a few. 

AI has made incredible progress over the last few years, there is no doubt it will transform our world: the question is how and by how much? It has aroused excitement and brought about both social and economic changes. With it, we can learn and do things that we couldn’t have done 50 years ago. The rate at which the Human Genome Project was completed is just one example of how the whole of humanity can benefit from this technology (Adams et al., 1991; Schena et al., 1996). 

Nevertheless, while AI can be a force for good it is also understandable that such immense power can make people nervous - as Uncle Ben from Spider-Man said, “with great power, comes great responsibility”. How do we maximise and benefit from all AI has to offer while protecting our right to privacy, preventing bias and inequality, and ensuring accountability? And what about the impact on employment – will it displace workers or create new roles? 

With progress in technology and computing accelerating at a such rapid rate we don’t have the answers to these questions, but we hope that this latest issue of our topic-based eNewsletter gives you some food for thought and encourages you to find out more about the subject. 

Included in ‘The AI issue: Making people and machines better together’: 

We hope you enjoy this eNewsletter.