I'd like to have a clearer picture of the domains in which AI systems have already been deployed - particularly those in which they are having the largest impacts on the world, and what those impacts are.
Some reasons why this might be useful:
- AI systems don't (currently) get deployed on large scales overnight (due to things like caution, bureaucracy, manufacturing bottlenecks). And AI systems that are highly useful in particular domains don't (currently) get developed overnight. So, all else being equal, the domains in which AI systems are being deployed today seem more likely to be the first domains in which more powerful versions of those systems begin to have large scale/transformative impacts. Knowing which domains these are seems useful, because coping with the transformative impacts of these particular future powerful AI systems seems a more urgent problem than coping with impacts of future powerful AI systems in general (the main reason I'm interested).
- It could help ground concerns about future AI systems more, which could encourage:
- AI researchers to care more about the societal impacts of their work, and
- society at large to take AI risk more seriously.
- (I think having answers to this question is likely to be useful in slow takeoff worlds, but much less useful/interesting if fast takeoff)
I'm curious for people's thoughts, either for ideas about specific impacts, or for ways I can try to investigate this despite apparent difficulties in finding out how AI systems are actually being used for commercial, political and military applications.
My current best guesses:
- selecting content on social media (due to the huge scale)
- surveillance in China, incl. of Uighurs (due to the obvious harm and large scale)
- driverless cars (in the near future)
- aiding and making decisions for e.g. employment, loans, and criminal sentencing (but how large scale are AI systems being deployed here, and are they really having a big impact?)
- delivering personalised advertising
- medical diagnosis
- algorithmic trading
Domains I'm uncertain about (but in which Allan Dafoe suggested AI systems are increasingly being deployed):
- by authoritarian governments to shape online discourse (are they really using AI systems, and if so, what kind of algorithms?)
- for autonomous weapons systems (really? are we talking DL systems, or more like plain old control systems for e.g. missile guidance)
- for cyber tools and autonomous cyber capabilities?
- in education?