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Anurag Banerjee: The Social Impact of Artificial Intelligence

by Steve Stine

This episode we focus on the utopian side of artificial intelligence. It’s not a subject you hear much about these days, and this program is no exception. Our guests have had a lot to say about  AI’s possible horrifying applications. But like most things, there’s another side. In this episode we turn to AI’s better angels—and see if we can believe in them.

My guest is Anurag Banerjee, Founder and CEO of QUILT.AI, an early-stage tech and consulting firm that merges machine learning with human and cultural intelligence to create insight for good and for profit. It’s a fascinating conversation.

I find myself wanting desperately to believe that AI can cure our most complex social and cultural challenge, and to worship at the altar of AI Altruism. And certainly there’s a great deal that might be possible.

But it won’t come for free. We must sacrifice privacy in return for insights that could change our world. And it might be worth it. Anurag Banerjee believes that technology – powered by AI – can connect us and solve society’s biggest problems. Our machines know us. They know what we want before we do. That’s a boon for any organization with something to sell.

But what about the ability to save someone’s life? Intervene in a crisis? Prevent a terrorist attack? Or slow the rate of suicides? Will large corporations with profit-hungry shareholders go toe-to-toe with tiny start-ups wielding AI sling-shots? That depends on your mind-set and whether you see the future as utopian or dystopian. Me? Well, I’m on the fence. How bout you?

This is not an episode to miss. Thanks for listening.