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Artificial Intelligence: The Challenges

If  humans can build an intelligent AI…”

Enthusiasm for the notion that humans will create an artificial intelligence that can act and think like they do is running high across the tech industry. So, it was with some surprise that the experts whom The Information convened for a panel for subscribers on Wednesday expressed some doubts about when, how and whether people will be able to do so.

The group—Luke Nosek of Founders Fund, Mark Palatucci of Anki and Paul Duan of Bayes Impact—weren’t without excitement about new technologies and breakthroughs. First and foremost: the fact you can now perform AI research on a basic laptop, thanks to the plummeting costs of storage and processing power. Previously, you would need a more powerful compute cluster. They also saw promise in new types of interfaces, like virtual reality, that allow you to be “inside the computer instead of using it,” remarked Mr. Nosek.

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Panelists discussed the big flood of investments in AI in the 1980s and early 1990s. Most of those companies weren’t able to meet expectations, causing an “AI winter” when it was nearly impossible to get those kinds of companies funded. Mr. Nosek commented that Moore’s Law came to the AI sector’s rescue by allowing faster iteration speeds and dramatically reducing the cost of building these companies.

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Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale
Founding Partner, Eight
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Chamath Palihapitiya
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Tina Sharkey
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Jonah Peretti
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Adam D'Angelo
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Brit Morin
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Dustin Moskovitz
Co-Founder, Asana
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Christina Miller
President & General Manager, Turner
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Max Levchin
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Adam Mosseri
Director of Product, Facebook
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Alex Mather
The Athletic
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Martha Josephson
Partner, Egon Zehnder
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James Murdoch
Co-Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox
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Andrew Kortina
Founder, Venmo
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Ben Chestnut
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Ruchi Sanghvi
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The West has feared robots since Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” whereas Japan has pleasant images of “automatons” serving tea for hundreds of years.