Artificial Intelligence

From self-driving cars to personal assistants, the potential uses for AI techniques are growing quickly and will change the world.

Ritchie School's Artificial Intelligence Research & Development

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Fundamental research in AI is driving the technologies that will change the world in the next decade and beyond. From self-driving cars to personal assistants, the potential uses for AI techniques are growing quickly.

Fundamental research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) is driving the technologies that will change the world in the next decade and beyond. From self-driving cars to personal assistants, the potential uses for AI techniques are growing quickly. This has been recognized nationally, with federal strategic plans for AI recommending that funding be doubled over the next few years. The private sector is also embracing the potential of AI, with large AI research groups at companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and many others.

Yet, with the new ubiquity of AI, there is also a need to understand the limitations of AI and to avoid applying AI techniques in ways that jeopardize our country, or in ways that unfairly discriminates against underrepresented members of society. With ongoing research in AI and its applications, DU has a strategic opportunity to broaden this work and establish itself as a force for the public good in AI research. It can do this by building a research area with traditional research expertise that is also applied to the question of the future of AI and of the ethical and moral challenges of deploying AI systems. As the use of AI broadens in our society, such work will be crucial in ensuring that we can shape this future in a way that will be equitable to all.

Overview

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is broadly impacting on the lives of individuals in society. From personal assistants such as Siri and Cortana to the promise of self-driving cars, or from the recommender systems used in online sites such as Amazon or Netflix to computer- aided medical diagnosis, the impact of AI on society is only expected to grow. AI techniques are also used broadly for commercial applications such as logistics planning or for data analysis. But, the impact of AI goes far beyond the individuals or companies on our planet. AI is also fundamental for space exploration, with AI planning techniques playing a crucial role in scheduling science operations on space missions.

AI is a broad field with numerous subfields in deterministic and probabilistic reasoning, problem solving, knowledge representation, natural language processing, and machine learning. Machine Learning (ML) is currently one of the fastest-growing areas of AI. With the use of ML, the old “recipe-based” paradigm of programming computers is slowly changes, and the impacts of these paradigm shift are slowly but steadily affecting the ways in which we program and interact with computers. Work in ML, particularly in the use of deep learning, has found widespread applications to many problems, and is one of the hottest areas in computer science. ML is changing the state-of-the-art in speech and image recognition, but was the core new technique used in the game-playing program AlphaGo, the first Go program to beat a top grandmaster in Go.

Yet, alongside these positive impacts are fears of AI running amok. Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Stephen Hawking are but three voices of concern about the future of AI, and what might happen if learning systems grow without control. While most researchers in the field are not worried about rogue AI systems, it would be irresponsible to ignore the potential misuse of AI systems.

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Autonomous Robots

Autonomous Vehicles

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