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Editor’s Note: The end of the world is not yet nigh. We think.

What connects Frankenstein’s monster, a fish fight in Norway, and Iron Man’s suit?

By Gavin Allen,Executive Editor-in-Chief

Oh, and the future existence of humanity. Maybe I should have mentioned that one earlier…

The answer—as with most questions being posed right now—is artificial intelligence. 

More specifically, how do we protect against AI’s risks while capitalizing on the many opportunities it creates?

That’s the focus of this edition of Transform magazine, and fear not: we’ll explain how AI relates to all the elements highlighted in that opening sentence.

For instance, the MEP and rapporteur of the European Parliament on the “Ethical Aspects of Artificial Intelligence,” Iban Garcia del Blanco, is keen to reassure everyone that EU legislation on AI will strike the right balance.

“We see regulation more as an opportunity for innovators than a risk… Sometimes this AI transition is seen like Frankenstein’s monster being released into the village. But we’ll see not just a big leap in productivity, but also a more balanced society.”

The award-winning sci-fi author Nnedi Okorafor remains unconvinced. She wonders why AI’s first use appears to be an attempt to replace creative roles.

“By definition, technology is neutral. It’s really how we use it that decides everything,” she told me. “We should be using AI to do things that humans are not intelligent enough to do. Isn’t that the point?”

And it’s not just doing the things we cannot do but doing them for positive purposes. That goal is central to Frederic Werner’s daily role as Chief of Strategy and Operations at the International Telecommunication Union’s “AI for Good” organization.

“Even the experts would say that ‘AI is too important to leave to the experts,” Werner says. “Our thinking is that we need to bring many different voices to the table so that we can have a proper, inclusive dialogue on how AI might benefit humanity.”

But even this underplays AI’s potential in the eyes of Silicon Valley inventor, author, and entrepreneur Jerry Kaplan.

He says Generative AI is a tool that can use tools—an invention that can invent. And that makes it potentially “the most important invention in human history.”

“In the future, when you want the most objective, reliable, and accurate information, you won’t go to a human being. You’re going to ask a machine. These systems will discover new drugs, address problems like climate change, and provide all kinds of advice.”

Also in this edition:

  • We’ll hear how Dr. Omar Richardson is using AI to distinguish an invasive salmon species from its native Norwegian cousin.
  • Professor Patrick Glauner urges execs to pause before adopting AI and warns against seeing it as a silver bullet.
  • A senior weather forecaster explains why even AI will be stumped when it comes to mastering our chaotic climate conditions.
  • And, just like Tony Stark and his Iron Man suit, we’ll explain why automation technology has no value without human input and understanding.
  • Throughout this edition of Transform, we hope to reassure you that superheroes aren’t required to set the guardrails for future AI development. Just calm expertise, collaboration, and innovation.

So, the end of the world is not yet nigh. We think. Or, as Nnedi Okorafor might put it, fingers crossed…  

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