This week, we discuss the complex set of problems on the Korean Peninsula; potential security risks from the partial U.S. government shutdown; using artificial intelligence in the classroom; what happens if Britain leaves the EU without a deal; a triage system to address climate change damage; and the “ethics gap” in artificial intelligence.
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are expected to hold their second summit meeting in Vietnam in late February. While denuclearization is likely to receive the bulk of attention, the North Korean nuclear threat is not an isolated issue. RAND researchers have set forth a complex set of four interconnected problems on the Korean Peninsula. The United States, its allies, and other powers—including China and Russia—should prepare for all of them.
As the partial U.S. government shutdown drags on, 800,000 federal employees are likely to miss their second paycheck tomorrow. This includes those on the front lines of homeland security. RAND's Ryan Consaul warns that cartels and other criminal organizations may prey on the financial hardship of government workers by trying to bribe border agents and airport screeners.
While artificial intelligence has succeeded in performing complex tasks in the financial, health care, and manufacturing sectors, its influence in the education world has been limited. But that may be changing. A new RAND paper explores three promising AI applications that could appear in the classrooms of the future. Rather than replacing teachers, these technologies could help them deliver more-effective instruction.
Last week, the British Parliament voted overwhelmingly to reject Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to withdraw from the European Union. With the deadline to leave the EU less than 10 weeks away, there is still no clear path forward. RAND research shows that the UK is likely to be economically worse off under most plausible Brexit scenarios. But leaving without a deal would result in the greatest losses, reducing Britain's GDP by about $140 billion over 10 years.
Recent reports have delivered sobering messages about climate change and its potentially devastating consequences. With this in mind, it's time to make hard choices and start thinking about climate impacts in terms of triage. That's according to RAND's Benjamin Preston and Johanna Nalau of Griffith University. There are opportunities to manage climate risk around the world, they say, but not everything can be saved.
The United States may be facing an artificial intelligence “ethics gap.” This means America must clear a higher hurdle to develop and deploy AI in military contexts than its adversaries. RAND's Benjamin Boudreaux says worrying about this gap may not be the most productive response. Instead, the United States could take steps to become a leader on AI ethics. This approach may be essential to ensuring that the AI arms race never becomes a race to the bottom.
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