“There is no doubt that artificial intelligence is rapidly evolving and growing more sophisticated every day. Some people believe that AI will eventually replace human workers altogether, taking away their jobs and leaving them unemployed. While it is true that AI is capable of performing many tasks more efficiently than humans, there are certain things that AI will never be able to do as well as humans.”
Such as writing editors’ notes! The above paragraph was generated by GPT-3, a language processing model that cranks out text that sounds like it was written by a human. It does a pretty good job — if you like reading term papers. For this issue’s cover story, we dispatched a real person to explore one of the biggest questions surrounding the future of AI: Will algorithms and machines replace brains and brawn? Not necessarily. In “How to Survive the AI Revolution,” experts describe an exciting alternative scenario where artificial intelligence can spur progress without replacing human ingenuity.
Before we figure out how to play nice with technology, we still have to learn how to get along with each other. Ideological polarization has plagued many countries, but the current state of U.S. politics is undeniably alarming. Americans don’t just differ on the issues — they intensely distrust and dislike those they disagree with. A recent poll coauthored by GSB professor of political economy emeritus David W. Brady found that fewer than 10% of Democrats or Republicans consider supporters of the other party intelligent, honest, open-minded, or generous. As GSB professor of political economy and director of the Hoover Institution Condoleezza Rice puts it, “We don’t know each other very well anymore.”
Not surprisingly, many members of the GSB community are focused on understanding and alleviating this problem. In “Pulling Back from Polarization,” more than a dozen of them offer their insights on what fuels political divisiveness and, more importantly, ways to cool the animosity. Though some of the longer-term fixes they propose aren’t quick, they provide plenty of ideas you can use (whether you live in the U.S. or not) to engage with people with different values and beliefs — while still agreeing to disagree. The first step is to recognize that even your fiercest adversaries are, after all, human.
— Dave Gilson