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Tyler Cowen

AI Experts Aren’t Always Right About AI

Creating a system of checks and balances for artificial intelligence systems is a task for social and political scientists.

What does it think of AI?

What does it think of AI?

Photographer: DON EMMERT/AFP

One of the lasting consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a decline of trust in public-health experts and institutions. It is not hard to see why: America botched Covid testing, kept the schools closed for far too long, failed to vaccinate enough people quickly enough, and inflicted far more economic damage than was necessary — and through all this, public-health experts often had the dominant voice.

In their defense, public-health officials are trained to prioritize public safety above all else. And to their credit, many now recognize that any response to a public-health crisis needs to consider the tradeoffs inherent in any intervention. As Dr. Anthony Fauci recently told the New York Times, “I’m not an economist.”