Why AI Is Powerful and We Need to Harness That Power For Good

Artificial intelligence (AI) makes many people uneasy…and rightfully so.

Dumbfounded, the world’s top Go player (Lee Sedol) reviewed the game board and quickly realized he had just lost to a computer. In 2016, AlphaGo, a neural network built by DeepMind (now Google) made a superhuman move to victory. Go is considered the most complex board game in the world. AlphaGo mastered the game by learning not only from human moves, but also from playing itself.

In that single beautiful move, AI forever changed the strategy of a game that humans have played for almost 4000 years. Go is now played differently by every top player in the world.

This is just one example of the power and intelligence of AI.

“The world hasn’t had that many technologies that are both promising and dangerous” the way AI is, Bill Gates said, to the Stanford Daily. “We had nuclear weapons and nuclear energy, and so far so good.” Comparing AI to nuclear weapons might seem dramatic. But many experts agree with Gates. There is a legitimate risk.

AI is a double-edged sword. If not used responsibly and ethically, AI will change society and the fate of humanity for the worse and potentially become an existential crisis. Conversely, used for social good, AI will accelerate making the world a better place. As with any powerful technology, we have a duty to know what we are getting into. “With great power comes great responsibility.” This adage certainly holds true for AI.

AI is being used for social good in countless ways. AI is helping:

AI spots patterns in data and can predict changes over time. These advanced analytics allow us to design better solutions for the future (also known as predictive analytics). AI is empowering us to solve some of the world’s most complex and entrenched problems.

At boodleAI, we are studying how AI can be used for good in the nonprofit sector. We help nonprofits become more effective and efficient with their missions in order to do more good in the world. We take our role of AI stewardship very seriously.

We appreciate and respect the power of AI because we use it every day. We do not fear AI but we know that we must keep tight control and closely monitor its evolution. Society must have ethics, principles, and public policy to guide AI’s development and usage. Until then, we are doing our part. We have built our platform to be used safely and soundly with human users always in control and with privacy at the core of our design.

When it comes to harnessing the power of AI for good, we put our money where our mouth is.

Learn more: boodleAI gives more than tech to nonprofits.

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