Robo-doctors? How AI could do jobs we once thought couldn't be automated
Research has shifted to focus on 'prediction problems,' says professor
A renaissance in artificial intelligence research has been driven by reimagining obstacles as "prediction problems," according to a professor and author.
"We never thought of driving as a prediction problem," said Ajay Agrawal, co-author of Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence.
"But we've now developed autonomous vehicles using prediction — effectively predicting how a human would react under a certain set of driving conditions," he told The Current's guest host Geoff Turner.
That shift has allowed artificial intelligence to gain a foothold in professional fields such as medicine and law, he added, which were previously "viewed as white-collar professionals who were doing things that couldn't be automated."
"We are starting to automate them because we can reformulate the thing they're doing as a production problem."
To discuss how artificial intelligence is being deployed in new areas of human work, Turner spoke to:
- Benjamin Alarie, the Osler chair in business law at the University of Toronto, and the co-founder of tech start-up Blue J Legal, which develops software to help lawyers analyze case history.
- Ajay Agrawal, professor at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and founder of the Creative Destruction Lab, an incubator for science-based companies.
Click 'listen' near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.
Written by Padraig Moran. Produced by Julie Crysler.