Man and woman walking through a high-tech lab

The Age of AI: What You Need to Know

  • BY Kimberly Hawkins
  • April 9, 2024

Love it or hate it, Artificial Intelligence is here to stay. While manmade, every second it becomes more human-like. This technology can pass the bar exam, help doctors in the operating room and find you the perfect fit when it comes to jeans. It is changing even as you read this sentence. 

We asked professors studying AI across colleges at Cal State East Bay to tell us what we need to know to catch up.

Who will benefit from AI?

“AI will benefit everyone. A similar question would be who benefited from electricity or the Internet? However the impact on life will be more.” -Moayed Daneshyarei, Computer Science

“AI right now is in profit-hunting mode and will benefit the largest for-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations are left behind because of the massive computing power inequity.” -Kevin Gao, Management

What are its best uses? 

“Artificial Intelligence shines in domains that require data analysis and pattern recognition. This proficiency is vital in sectors such as:

Finance: For detecting fraud, evaluating risks, and providing tailored investment guidance.

Healthcare: In interpreting medical imagery for disease identification, prognosticating patient trajectories, and pioneering drug development.

Scientific Research: AI catalyzes advancements across diverse scientific fields by examining complex data arrays and pinpointing patterns.

Repetitive Tasks and Automation: AI is unparalleled in automating monotonous, clearly defined tasks, thereby liberating human resources for more strategic pursuits.

However, it's important to remember AI is a tool, and its effectiveness depends on the quality of the data it's trained on and the specific task it's designed for.” -Levent Ertaul, Computer Science 

What are your biggest concerns? 

“My concerns are threefold, near future (2-3 years), far in the future (10-15 years) and in between. In the near future, a lot of jobs will be done by AI. The loss of jobs creates a big group of jobless people. The mid-level danger is if the advanced AI technology falls into bad human actors. The far in the future danger is if the super-intelligent entity is much smarter than us, it can control sapiens’ life.” -Moayed Daneshyari, Computer Science

“AI can amplify existing societal biases if trained on biased data. I am also concerned about privacy and security, autonomous weaponry, job displacement, regulation and governance and existential risks, transparency and explainability, data quality and bias.” -Levent Ertaul, Computer Science

How can we ensure that AI systems are developed and used ethically? 

“Humans would benefit from having social scientists on every panel, think tank, research group, committee, government agency, and industry using AI. Social scientists will assess the social impact on humans and challenge the techno-utopian or techno-chauvinist ideology that dominates so much of our AI discourse.” -Nolan Higdon, Communication

How can bias in AI algorithms be mitigated?

“AI bias is deeply rooted in a biased society. AI is trained on historical data and by biased humans. There is no clean way to have truly unbiased AI because we cannot define what is unbiased across nations. Mitigation is through involving of all social groups and third-party testing.” -Kevin Gao, Management

What role should governments and international organizations play in regulating AI development and deployment?

“They should move rapidly. We saw that the hands-off approach to big-tech in the early stages of the internet resulted in massive inequalities of wealth, power and political influence that negatively impacted users. The electorate would be wise to ensure that the same thing does not occur with AI.” -Nolan Higdon, Communication

“Governments and international organizations hold pivotal roles in shaping the responsible advancement and implementation of AI. Their endeavors should focus on global standards, balancing innovation and regulation, legislative framework, promoting equity and inclusion, public engagement, monitoring and enforcement and international collaboration.” -Levent Ertaul, Computer Science