Artificial Intelligence in Society

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The artificial intelligence (AI) landscape has evolved significantly from 1950 when Alan Turing first posed the question of whether machines can think. Today, AI is transforming societies and economies. It promises to generate productivity gains, improve well-being and help address global challenges, such as climate change, resource scarcity and health crises. Yet, as AI applications are adopted around the world, their use can raise questions and challenges related to human values, fairness, human determination, privacy, safety and accountability, among others. This report helps build a shared understanding of AI in the present and near-term by mapping the AI technical, economic, use case and policy landscape and identifying major public policy considerations. It is also intended to help co-ordination and consistency with discussions in other national and international fora.

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AI applications

This chapter illustrates opportunities in several sectors where artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are seeing rapid uptake, including transport, agriculture, finance, marketing and advertising, science, healthcare, criminal justice, security the public sector, as well as in augmented and virtual reality applications. In these sectors, AI systems can detect patterns in enormous volumes of data and model complex, interdependent systems to generate outcomes that improve the efficiency of decision making, save costs and enable better resource allocation. The section on AI in transportation was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Internet Policy Research Institute. Several sections build on work being undertaken across the OECD, including the Committee on Digital Economy Policy and its Working Party on Privacy and Security, the Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy, the e-leaders initiative of the Public Governance Committee, as well as the Committee on Consumer Policy and its Working Party on Consumer Product Safety.

English Also available in: French, German

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