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Experts say AI isn't quite fire or the wheel — yet

Illustration: Caresse Haaser, Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Some researchers and business leaders are putting artificial intelligence — in its current and aspirational forms — on the same pedestal of human invention and innovation as fire, electricity and the light bulb. But other experts say we will not know for a long time whether AI will ever merit such lofty imagery.

"It could be. If AI really leads to the birth of intelligences greater than humans', it will arguably be the most important event in the history of life on Earth since, well, humans. But that's a very big if, of course. In the meantime, AI's impact is far smaller than electricity or fire's (and in fact, you could say that AI is part of electricity's impact, since it wouldn't exist without it)."
— Pedro Domingos, professor of computer science, University of Washington