There is no bigger topic of conversation this year for technologists than artificial intelligence. The rapid, exponential growth of AI, specifically generative AI, has caused such alarm that the San Francisco-based Center for AI Safety issued a statement last month warning AI poses a “risk of extinction” on scale with nuclear war. The statement was signed by industry leaders including Sam Altman, chief executive officer of OpenAI, which is the creator of ChatGPT.

Despite this startling statement, there seems to be a disconnect between those employed in the technology industry and those on its outskirts. There’s a fair number of people who don’t have a clear understating of what AI is – and several experts in the field who believe AI technology is nowhere close to causing human extinction. Some business leaders say they have found that the use of artificial intelligence boosts productivity in the workplace.

As part of this year’s Innovation Issue, BizTimes Milwaukee set out to close the information gap, update readers on some of the latest developments in AI and highlight the ways it’s shaping business in southeastern Wisconsin.

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