CHAPTER 7The Wake-Up Call

A MAJOR TWO-YEAR STUDY CONDUCTED by a newly formed commission on AI opened its report with these words. “Americans have not yet grappled with just how profoundly the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution will impact our economy, national security, and welfare.” This statement referred to the American masses. One could ask that despite AI being talked about in magazines, blogs, news sites, and popular media, how is it possible that America has not grappled with the effects of the AI revolution? The answer lies in developing an appreciation of how societies make sense of technological changes. Being fascinated with technology is one thing, adopting it another. Being able to adopt a technology project is one thing, approaching technology-based transformation another. Experimenting with technology is something else, strategic diffusion something totally different. The commission's report was pointing to the fact that even though Americans were in general familiar with AI, they were missing the depth and breadth of the impact the technology will have on them, their country, their economic well-being, and their lives. This assessment was not only true for the masses, but it was also true for the American leaders.

Apparently, sensing that OSTP's whitewashing and self-praising passive approach to AI was creating an existential competitive threat to the US, Congress and the executive branch sponsored a different commission to study AI from a national perspective. ...

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