Artificial intelligence could be the most transformative technology conceived by humans. The car revolutionized the way we travel, the phone changed how we communicate and the Internet reshaped how we share information, but artificial intelligence could redefine how we relate to machines altogether.

As machines get smarter they’re breaking out of their traditional role as productivity tools and taking on more complex decision-making tasks. Today, AI already touches virtually every sector of the economy. It is being used to provide investment advice, scrutinize medical images for signs of disease, screen job applicants – even analyze simulated nuclear fusion reactions.

The latest edition of MaRS magazine looks at how the rise of AI will reshape our world. It features many of innovators behind the algorithms and looks at how Toronto has emerged as a centre for AI development. It considers how AI can be used to mitigate some of our darker impulses, like racism and sexism, highlights some of the ways in which we can build ethics into AI, and even delves into the intriguing possibility that intelligent machines might have an artistic side.

Here’s what’s in The Future of Artificial Intelligence:

How diversity will help Toronto win the AI race

Canada’s largest city is gaining a reputation as a major player in AI, but it’s going up against competitors in the U.S., China and beyond. By leveraging the dynamism and unique insights from its multicultural population, Toronto aims to come out on top.

Robots and researchers are teaming up to design better drugs

It can take 15 years and billions of dollars to create life-saving drugs. AI kicks the process into overdrive by finding the genetic mutations at the root of diseases and rapidly predicting the effectiveness of treatments.

Computers are already better than doctors at diagnosing some diseases

Tiny pauses during speech can foreshadow Alzheimer’s and a few pixels on a medical image can betray the presence of early-stage cancer. Finding these small details is what AI was built for.

How bots are making banking better

Customer service chat-bots and investment robo-advisors are already changing how people interact with their banks. The next frontier for financial services? AI that can detect fraud, improve cybersecurity and predict how world events will move markets.

Can big data save the planet?

AI is transforming our relationship with energy – from how and when we consume electricity to how we produce, store and trade it. The effect will be a more efficient, secure and safe energy system.

R.I.P. resumes

Even with the best intentions, human interviewers struggle to look past their unconscious biases. AI-enabled screening tools can help employers truly see their candidates and reduce racism, sexism and ageism in the workplace.

How far should we let AI go?

As AI’s disruptive potential sinks in, some leading figures in tech are asking whether these cutting-edge algorithms should be regulated, taxed or even – in some cases – blocked.

Will a robot be the next great artist?

AI can already produce poetry, pop music and movie scripts. As machine-learning algorithms expand their scope from productivity to creativity, could we see the emergence of artificial imagination?

26 things you need to know about AI

How is AI changing healthcare? How did it help design a better plane? And how will it affect the future of work? Here’s how machines that learn are changing the world.

READ THE FULL ISSUE

MaRS News Desk