AI: Hype and Reality

Start: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 5:45 PM

End: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 7:00 PM

Second of a series of three sessions on The politics of defense spending: science, profits, and endless wars

After the end of World War II, U.S. embarked upon a policy to spend large sums of money for defense. It was a two-pronged strategy to at once fight communism, and spur economic growth. A big part of the defense budget was for weapons R&D in order to gain a “technology-edge” over the USSR. The strategy continues nearly 30 years after the Cold War ended. Today, the U.S. defense budget is over $700 billion per year, which is more than the combined spending of the next ten nations. It includes more than $80 billion for weapons R&D. An unfathomable $1-trillion will be spent on nuclear weapons modernization over the next 30 years, shortchanging research on climate change, e.g., and many other social needs. The course will present a brief history of the “military-indistrial complex,” the defense budget and associated politics, profits and waste in weapons R&D, whistleblowing, and the endless wars. In recent years “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) has become a focus of attention for governments, the media and universities.  In his guest lecture, Yarden Katz will discuss the forces behind the so-called AI “revolution” – who profits from its various narratives and how. He is a Fellow in Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, and received a PhD in neuroscience from MIT in 2014.

Enrollment: Limited: First come, first served (no advance sign-up)
Limited to 59 participants
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions