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CHAPTER VI - Conclusion

As the astonishing functionalities of AI burst forth and proliferate, it is becoming clearer that these hyper-rational instruments do not just perform certain intended tasks amazingly well. They radically change the context in which traditional institutions, the economy and everyday life operate. Artificial intelligence is not just about a certain type of robotics or predictive analytics or on-the-fly marketing. It is about a much larger landscape – major industrial and commercial sectors, the character of democratic governance, the sovereignty of people in making their own choices, and the lens through which we will view human purpose and meaning. No wonder the questions and quandaries provoked by AI are multiplying!

Fortunately, as the conference confirmed, there are many thoughtful initiatives underway to try to make sense of a rapidly approaching future. There are concerned players attempting to figure out suitable forms of governance for this very disruptive class of technologies. The disruptions will yield many important benefits, but they could well be eclipsed if trusted, transparent and responsive governance does not also materialize. We hope that this report will help catalyze deeper discussions about this urgent challenge.

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