In last week’s issue of The Batch, Yoshua Bengio, Alon Halevy, Douwe Kiela, Been Kim, and Reza Zadeh shared their hopes for AI in 2023. I also asked people on LinkedIn and Twitter about their hopes for AI this year. Rather than focusing on the latest buzzy topics in the news, many offered an amazing diversity of answers.
In addition to hopes for further technical advances, common themes include:
- Societal matters. Fairness, bias, and regulation are top concerns. Progress in responsible AI remains important, and with the rise of technologies like generative AI, we need new techniques to make them responsible as well. (For instance, how do we stop image generators from producing unwanted sexualized images of women?) Regulators worldwide are also struggling to keep up.
- Progress in application areas including agriculture, biology, climate change, healthcare, scientific discovery, and many more. It feels like the number of applications still outstrips the number of people we have! I'm glad the AI community continues to grow.
- More open sharing and open source. Many people appreciate the open sharing of ideas and code and hope it continues. With respect to open source, personally, I hope that teams will release code under licenses approved by the Open Source Initiative, which permit broad use, rather than more restrictive licenses.
- Training in AI and data literacy for many more people. AI capabilities and the availability of data are rising rapidly, so the potential for value creation via AI and data science grows every year. But most of the world is able to access this value only through systems built by someone else, usually a large tech company. Better training will enable people to solve a wider variety of problems, enriching society.
- Personal growth including learning more and/or finding a job. Many individuals want to keep learning, advance their skills, and build a career. The opportunities are out there, so I’m glad that so many of us are working to better ourselves to meet the opportunities!
That we all have so many different dreams for AI is a sign of how large our community has become and the broad footprint of our impact. It also means more fun technologies to learn about and more people we can learn from and collaborate with.
I found the comments inspiring and am grateful to everyone who responded. If you’re looking for AI inspiration, take a look at the discussion and perhaps you’ll find ideas that are useful in your work. If you find the variety of comments overwhelming, consider writing software that clusters them into topics and share your results with me!