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Ghost Canyon

'FRONTLINE: In the Age of AI'
(DVD / PG-13 / 2020 / PBS)

Overview: FRONTLINE examines the promise and perils of artificial intelligence (AI) -- from fears about work and privacy to rivalry between the US and China.

DVD Verdict: Under President Donald Trump, great power competition has become the organizing principle of American foreign policy.

This has led to near-daily invocations of the Cold War to describe the intensifying rivalry between the United States and China, and to frequent analogies to an “arms race” to describe bilateral competition in advanced technologies, including quantum computing and artificial intelligence (AI).

Public statements and national plans from both governments have reinforced this zero-sum dynamic. Such framing has done more to conceal than clarify and, if taken to its logical end-point, will do more harm than good for the United States.

This, it's been called "The New Space Race," but this time it's China taking on the United States, and the race is to seize control of a technology with the potential to change everything -- the way we work; how we play; how our democracy functions; how the world could be realigned.

The US and Soviet Union went through many crises during the cold war, some threatening to doom mankind, before arriving at an arrangement for self-constraint and coexistence.

The world today is more complicated and there is more at stake. Do we need a bigger crisis to help us find the right path?

Can China and the US resolve their differences and coexist peacefully, or decouple, as some in Washington seek, and therefore tear the world apart?

FRONTLINE explores some of the ways in which our world is being re-shaped and reimagined by the technology of artificial intelligence, whose development has been compared to the industrial revolution and the discovery of electricity as an epochal event in human history.

The film explores both the peril and the promise of this ascendant technology -- tracing the battle between the U.S. and China to harness its power; examining fears about what AI advances mean for the future of work; and revealing how AI algorithms are ushering in an age of both great problem-solving potential, and of new and troubling threats to privacy and democracy.

Ergo, 'In the Age of AI' is a powerful and telling journey into how this new technology will transform our world -- and some of the ways it already has. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.