A potential President Watson fields questions from the White House press. IBM
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Artificial intelligence promises to fundamentally change the way humans live. By replicating intelligence on any level, we can begin to automate all kinds of jobs and otherwise human tasks, shifting the economy and potentially eliminating the need for a flesh-and-blood workforce.

Turns out that idea perks up some ears at the White House.

The National Science and Technology Council subcommittee on machine learning and artificial intelligence will start to meet next week, for the purpose of “monitor state-of-the-art advances and technology milestones in artificial intelligence and machine learning within the Federal Government, in the private sector, and internationally; and help coordinate Federal activity in this space.”

Additionally the White House will be holding four events in Summer 2016, to create more dialogue on how A.I. could change the United States. The events partner with research programs like Carnegie Mellon and University of Washington School of Law, that focus on either the ethics or mechanics of A.I.

While government A.I. seems like the bad idea at the start of a sci-fi movie (and I’m sure it has been), this is actually a good thing. It’s even a good thing that the outlines provided for the subcommittee are vague—knowledge about this technology should be gathered and understood by the federal government before decisions need to be made.

Tickets to the four events will be free and open to the public. Registration starts “soon.”

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