In April 2020, Institut Montaigne, OpenClassrooms and Fondation Abeona launched a free, online course designed to give everyone the basic intellectual tools to understand how AI works, how it is affecting our lives and how we might want it to evolve in the future. A year later, 130 000 learners have joined the course and Destination AI is being launched in English, to participate in a broad movement to train over 1% of the global population. You can start the course yourself here.
Why should we all be concerned about how Artificial Intelligence evolves?
The Covid-19 epidemic has precipitated changes in the use of digital services, many of which are based on Artificial Intelligence - a real paradigm shift in the way we communicate, work, vote, travel, and educate our children. In the domain of healthcare, we are now able to predict breast cancer risk up to four years before it would be spotted by a doctor using traditional imagery, develop personalized treatments and accelerate diagnosis.
On the other hand, improper use of sensitive data and privacy breaches can produce great harm. Imagine if health providers were to sell information about your medical history to your future employer or deliver a prediction on your life expectancy to an insurance company. Moreover, improperly designed AI algorithms could learn and accentuate the worst human biases, such as sexism and racism, exacerbating discrimination and social injustice. They could also focus on objectives that are not truly aligned with the public interest, such as providing clickable but divisive content.
Today, Artificial Intelligence is constantly present in our daily lives, whether to help recommend news, videos or friends’ posts, to suggest items we might want to buy, to guide us on our trips to new locations, and in countless other ways. It is critical that we collectively ensure that AI’s considerable power is solely used for good, without causing intentional or unintentional harm.
How can we maximize the full potential of this new technology, while learning to mitigate its risks?
The key is education - all citizens should have open access to learning the basics of Artificial Intelligence.
The first benefit from learning about the basics of AI - how it works, where it is used in our daily lives and how it can complement our existing skills - is to make the most of this technology's incredible potential.