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Humans should be at the center of AI
There are two contrasting but equally disturbing images of artificial intelligence. One warns about a future in which runaway intelligence becomes smarter than humanity, creates mass unemployment, and enslaves humans in a Matrix-like world or destroys them a la Skynet. A more contemporary image is one in which dumb AI algorithms are entrusted with sensitive decisions that can cause severe harm when they do go wrong.
What both visions have in common is the absence of human control. Much of the narrative surrounding AI is based on the belief that automation and human control are mutually exclusive.
An alternative view, called “human-centered AI,” aims to reduce fears of existential threats and increase benefits for users and society by putting humans at the center of AI efforts.
“A human-centered approach will reduce the out-of-control technologies, calm fears of robot-led unemployment, and give users the rewarding sense of mastery and accomplishment,” writes Ben Shneiderman, computer science professor at the University of Maryland and author of Human-Centered AI, a book that explores how AI can amplify, augment, empower, and enhance human performance.
Shneiderman believes that with the right framework, design metaphors, and governance structures, we can create AI systems that can have both high levels of automation and human control.
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