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A.I. Nation

Author: WHYY

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Humanity is at an inflection point. More and more decisions once made by people are being made by machines, often without transparency or accountability. A.I. Nation, a new podcast from WHYY and Princeton University, reveals how artificial intelligence is operating in the background, and sometimes foreground, of every major story, trend, and event in our modern lives.

AI systems helped accelerate COVID-19 vaccine development, and saved lives by modeling pandemic response strategies. But Big Tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Alphabet, are also using hidden surveillance and sophisticated algorithms to predict our behavior and control our online experiences, often leading to digital echo chambers and an increasingly polarized society.

A.I. Nation investigates how machine learning, automation, and predictive analytics are impacting our lives right now. Technologies once considered science fiction, like facial recognition, predictive policing, driverless vehicles (and drones), and language-generating computer systems are already here.

The podcast will also consider how we, as digital citizens, can protect ourselves from the inherent bias in these systems, and work towards fairness and social justice. Join reporter Malcolm Burnley and Princeton University Computer Science Professor Ed Felten as they examine and explain AI’s growing influence in our lives, and forecast the role it’ll play in our future.
7 Episodes
This is an episode of another WHYY podcast called The Pulse. In a lot of ways, artificial intelligence acts as our personal butlers — it filters our email, manages the temperature in our homes, finds the best commute, shapes our social media, runs our search engines, even flies our planes. But as AI gets involved in more and more aspects of our lives, there are nagging fears. Will AI replace us? Make humans irrelevant? Make some kind of terrible mistake, or even take over the world? On this episode, we hear from scientists and thinkers who argue that we should look at AI not as a threat or competition, but as an extension of our minds and abilities. They explain what AI is good at, and where humans have the upper hand. We look at AI in three different settings: medicine, work, and warfare, asking how it affects our present — and how it could shape our future.
Ep 5. Echo Chambers

Ep 5. Echo Chambers


We examine AI’s role in polarizing America, from online echo chambers to the virulent spread of misinformation on social media.
AI systems can be highly susceptible to bias. The potential for serious consequences is huge, especially when it comes to the AI increasingly used in police departments.
AI tools played a major role in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, from developing drugs and vaccines, to aiding medical research, & coordinating healthcare providers.
Increasingly, we’re putting AI in the driver’s seat, physically, with autonomous vehicles. We’ll consider the progress, safety, security, and ethical implications of machines
Ep 1. Hello, World!

Ep 1. Hello, World!


Artificial intelligence has seen huge advances in the last decade, very notably in the technology of natural language processing.
A.I. Nation

A.I. Nation


A.I. Nation investigates how machine learning, automation, and predictive analytics are impacting our lives right now.
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