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As the Internet and digital systems penetrate further each day into our daily lives, concerns about artificial intelligence (AI) are intensifying. It is difficult to get exercised about connections between the “Internet of Things” and AI when the most visible indications are Siri (Apple’s digital assistant), Google translate and smart houses, but a growing number of people, including many with a reputation for peering over the horizon, are worried.

These questions have been with us for a long time: Alan Turing in 1950 asked whether machines could think and that same year writer Isaac Asimov contemplated what might happen if they could in “I, Robot.” (In truth, thinking machines can be found in ancient cultures, including those of the Greeks and the Egyptians.) About 30 years ago, James Cameron served up one dystopia created by AI in “The Terminator.” Science fiction became fact in 1997 when IBM’s chess-playing Deep Blue computer beat world champion Garry Kasparov.

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