Great Decisions speaker to discuss AI technology


The United States is the global leader in artificial intelligence, the term describing computer systems that can “sense their environment, think, learn, and act in ways that humans do” by using large sets of reliable data to “uncover patterns and draw inferences.” The U.S. has twice as many AI companies — 2,000 — as its next competitor, China.

But innovation in AI is taking place worldwide at breakneck speed. The U.S. and its democratic allies confront national security issues, as well as ethical concerns about the dissemination of disinformation and hate, and the misuse of AI to repress minorities and human rights.

The radical changes in international relations this new technology forecasts will be the topic of the Great Decisions Free Community Discussion Series on U.S. Foreign Policy on Friday, Feb. 21. Ohio State University professor David J. Staley will talk about “Artificial Intelligence and Data.”

Staley is an associate professor of history — teaching courses in digital history and historical methods — and holds courtesy appointments in the departments of Design and Educational Studies. He is the director of OSU’s Humanities Institute and of the Center for the Humanities in Practice.

Staley serves as host of CreativeMornings Columbus ( and of the “Voices of Excellence from the Arts and Sciences” podcast ( A futurist, Staley writes the monthly futures column “Next” for Columbus Underground. From 2003 to 2008, Staley was executive director of the American Association for History and Computing.

He is the author of four books: “Alternative Universities: Speculative Design for Innovation in Higher Education” (2019); “Brain, Mind and Internet: A Deep History and Future” (2014); “Computers, Visualization, and History: How New Technologies Will Transform Our Understanding of the Past” (second edition 2013); and “History and Future: Using Historical Thinking to Imagine the Future” (2007).

All Great Decisions meetings begin at noon in the Fellowship Hall of the William Street United Methodist Church, 28 W. William St., Delaware. Attendees are welcome to bring a brown-bag lunch. Coffee and tea are provided.

For more information, visit

Available for purchase is a booklet with articles about this year’s eight topics, compiled by the Foreign Policy Association which originated the nationwide Great Decisions program in 1954. The Delaware County District Library’s main location in Delaware and the Orange branch make the booklet available to Delaware county readers. The library has created and offers copies of a bibliography of important books on current international affairs. It can also be found at

Audience participants can complete a survey, prepared by the Foreign Policy Association, to add their opinions to thousands of others across the nation. Survey results will be made available to Washington decision-makers.

The topic for the Friday, Feb. 28 discussion is “Red Sea Security,” featuring Blake Michael, Swan-Collins-Allen professor of religion at Ohio Wesleyan University.


Special to The Gazette

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