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GAO Report to Congress on Artificial Intelligence

The following is the June 26 Government Accountability Office written testimony, Artificial Intelligence: Emerging Opportunities, Challenges, and Implications for Policy and Research. 

From the Report:

The field of artificial intelligence can be traced back to a 1956 workshop organized by John McCarthy, held at Dartmouth College. The workshop’s
goal was to explore how machines could be used to simulate human intelligence. Numerous factors, primarily the trends underlying big data
(i.e., increased data availability, storage, and processing power), have contributed to rapid innovation and accomplishments in AI in recent

As we noted in our March 2018 technology assessment, there is no single universally accepted definition of AI, but rather differing definitions and
taxonomies. In addition to defining AI overall, researchers have distinguished between narrow and general AI. Narrow AI refers to applications that provide domain-specific expertise or task completion, whereas general AI refers to an AI application that exhibits intelligence comparable to a human, or beyond, across the range of contexts in which humans interact. While there has been considerable progress in developing AI that outperforms humans in specific domains, some
observers believe that general AI is unlikely to be achieved for decades in the future.