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Funding provided by:
Mill Talks

Artificial Intelligence and the Next Industrial Revolution?

In partnership with:
With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Wednesday, March 06, 2024
Doors open 30 minutes in advance
From 7pm to 8pm

Do recent advances in artificial intelligence herald a new stage of human development? Or is the current AI fervor yet another technology hype?

Rapid advances in AI have captured considerable public interest. Like prior technology developments, we can increasingly replace human activity with machines. But while prior technology developments deeply affected physical labor, AI developments (particularly generative AI) encroach on what was previously an entirely human domain -- knowledge work. Machines now seem to be able to think and learn. With these developments, we may see liberation from routine tasks, standardization of processes, and a head start on human learning. But we may instead see unemployment from job displacement, bias at a massive scale, and a race to mediocrity.

“Has the machine in its last furious manifestation begun to eliminate workers faster than new tasks can be found for them?” Stuart Chase asked this topical question in his book, “Men and Machines” -- in 1929. While everyone seems to talk about artificial intelligence, we’ll talk about what people are really doing now and where they seem to be headed.

The discussion builds from a 10-year MIT Sloan Management Review research program and stories from the Me, Myself, and AI podcast. In particular, we’ll focus on the role of human agency in choosing how we use these exciting tool developments.

Sam Ransbotham is a professor of analytics at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. He teaches “Analytics in Practice” and “Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.” Ransbotham served as a senior editor at Information Systems Research, associate editor at Management Science, and academic contributing editor at MIT Sloan Management Review. He cohosts the Me, Myself, and AI podcast, available on all major platforms.

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