Peter Norvig: Today’s Most Pressing Questions in AI Are Human-Centered

Peter Norvig is a well-known name in AI. He co-wrote Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, an introductory textbook used by some 1,500 universities worldwide, and he’s taught hundreds of thousands of students through his courses on online education platform Udacity. In this interview, Peter discusses his move from Google’s Director of Research to Stanford, building a human-focused AI curriculum, and broadening access to education. Link

One way to think of AI is as a process of optimization — finding the course of action, in an uncertain world, that will result in the maximum expected utility. In the past, the interesting questions were around what algorithm is best for doing this optimization. Now that we have a great set of algorithms and tools, the more pressing questions are human-centered: Exactly what do you want to optimize? Whose interests are you serving? Are you being fair to everyone? Is anyone being left out? Is the data you collected inclusive, or is it biased?

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