Artificial intelligence will change America. Here’s how.

The term “artificial intelligence” is widely used, but less understood. As we see it permeate our everyday lives, we should deal with its inevitable exponential growth and learn to embrace it before tremendous economic and social changes overwhelm us.

Part of the confusion about artificial intelligence is in the name itself. There is a tendency to think about AI as an endpoint — the creation of self-aware beings with consciousness that exist thanks to software. This somewhat disquieting concept weighs heavily; what makes us human when software can think, too? It also distracts us from the tremendous progress that has been made in developing software that ultimately drives AI: machine learning.

Machine learning allows software to mimic and then perform tasks that were until very recently carried out exclusively by humans. Simply put, software can now substitute for…

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