Promoting Balanced AI Dialogue: The Initiative for Informed Media Engagement

Through its collaboration with international media outlets, the initiative is devoted to sharing a balanced and informative narrative about the evolution of AI and its historical challenges. Describing AI’s historical cycles as seasons presents inherent risks. In winter, the disillusionment stemming from unmet expectations may result in a waning of interest towards these systems. In summer, nevertheless, exaggerated expectations could turn into mass excitement, preventing a proper framing of the issue. These cycles, instead, underscore the need for a balanced perspective on AI’s potential and limitations, also in order to avoid to impacting investments adversely.

The trouble with seasonal metaphors is that they are cyclical. If you say that artificial intelligence (AI) got through a bad winter, you must also remember that winter will return, and you better be ready. An AI winter is that stage when technology, business, and the media come to terms with what AI can or cannot really do as a technology without exaggeration.

We have planetary problems—such as global warming, social injustice, and migration—which require ever higher degrees of coordination to be solved. It seems obvious that we need all the good technology that we can design, develop, and deploy to cope with these challenges, and all human intelligence we can exercise to put this technology in the service of a better future. AI can play an important role in all this because we need increasingly smarter ways of processing immense quantities of data, sustainably and efficiently. In order to do that we need to resist oversimplification.

The scientific-based approach of AI4People aims to contribute to shaping a more informed and realistic public perception of AI, mitigating the extremes of enthusiasm or pessimism. Furthermore, by partnering with leading international media platforms, AI4People intends to promote an informed and comprehensive dialogue about AI, promoting a deeper understanding of its potential, limitations, and ethical and social implications.

This initiative and introductory text were inspired by the paper AI and Its New Winter: from Myths to Realities

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