Newswise — Debate between tech moguls across the globe about whether artificial intelligence will decimate or elevate humanity has escalated to Twitter insults and high visibility media call-outs. In the meantime, consumers are caught in the tug-of-war.

AI drives our smart phones, appliances, automobiles and planes, but the truth is that no one knows how the journey will end.

Arizona State University Computer Engineering Professor Subbarao (Rao) Kambhampati acknowledges “AI is now a very ubiquitous part of our everyday lives, so there is a visceral understanding of its impact.”

In addition to leading computer scientists into the future at ASU, Kambhampati also serves as Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence president and as a trustee for the Partnership on AI, a nonprofit group from global tech companies, universities and foundations.

“Elon Musk started this trend of AI fears by remarking that what keeps him up at night is the idea of super-intelligent machines that will become more powerful than humans. Then Stephen Hawking chimed in,” explained Kambhampati. “Statements like that, coming from influential people, of course make the public worry. I don’t take such a pessimistic view.

But while Kambhampati thinks AI will accomplish much good, he believes it also is a very powerful technology that will shape and change our world.

“So we should remain vigilant of all the ramifications of this powerful technology, and work to mitigate unintended consequences,” like addressing social and workforce displacement issues and establishing industry-wide best practices and ethics guidelines.

If you’d like to speak with Subbarao (Rao) Kambhampati, including through ASU’s in-house HDTV studio, please call or email Terry Grant, (480-727-4058), or [email protected].

Additional background:

Potential world-changing impacts of artificial intelligence raise promising possibilities and societal changes (Q & A with Rao Kambhampati)

AI Scientists to Elon Musk: Stop Saying Robots Will Kill Us All, Inverse, July 18