Six questions to ask yourself when reading about AI

Hardly a week goes by without some breathless bit of AI news touting a “major” new discovery or warning us we are about to lose our jobs to the newest breed of smart machines.

Rest easy. As two scientists who have spent our careers studying AI, we can tell you that a large fraction of what’s reported is overhyped.

Consider this pair of headlines from last year describing an alleged breakthrough in machine reading: “Robots Can Now Read Better than Humans, Putting Millions of Jobs at Risk” and “Computers Are Getting Better than Humans at Reading.” The first, from Newsweek, is a more egregious exaggeration than the second, from CNN, but both wildly oversell minor progress.

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