In the News: What Does Artificial Intelligence Mean for our World?

October 28, 2021 | Hamilton, ON
Contributed by Cassidy Bereskin for Maclean's

Technicians connect the wires on ENIAC, a U.S. computer built in the 1940s (Science History Images/Alamy)

While studying cancer biology as a health sciences student at McMaster University in 2016, Andrew Leber started to wonder how artificial intelligence might help diagnose and improve cancer treatments. He brought together 10 friends, also science students, for a reading group focused on technical concepts in machine learning.

But it turned out many more students were interested. Leber and friends opened the reading group to a wider audience, and within a month it had 50 members. A few months later, Leber launched the McMaster AI Society, which blossomed into one of McMaster University’s largest student-run clubs. The group received a sponsorship from Microsoft and has since grown to more than 1,000 members, many of whom are from faculties such as business, the humanities and social sciences.

This article appears in print in the 2022 University Rankings issue of Maclean’s magazine with the headline, “Machines are us?” Read the original article.

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