Geekwire Series Seeks to Help Readers Get a Handle on Uses, Influence of AI in Life

special series by explores the evolving relationship between humans and machines, examining the ways that robots, artificial intelligence, and automation are impacting our work and lives. If you have followed for a while, the advancement of AI into nearly every business and home worldwide should seem obvious.

We have come to depend on AI that analyzes vehicle problems, or the AI the answers your questions on Siri or Alexa. But are these examples really using artificial intelligence? Well, to find out we recommend you take the quiz. You will probably be surprised by the results.

A national survey, involving 1,547 adult Americans who were given a 20-question quiz about AI’s capabilities, found that only 16% of the test takers scored a passing grade of better than 60% on the quiz.

“The majority of Americans are AI illiterate,” Nicole DeCario and Oren Etzioni report today in a posting to, an information service provided by the institute, also known as AI2. Etzioni is AI2’s CEO, while DeCario leads AI2’s special projects team.

The education of students regarding AI varies greatly across America. Some students get the information some students don’t. This will make for a very unbalanced society if it goes too far in the wrong direction.

“We need a systematic way to distribute information at scale,” the researchers write. “To that end, we ask that the Biden administration include the development of an AI literacy standard as part of the National AI Initiative within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. We also call on companies big and small to better educate their employees and consumers about the true capabilities and limits of AI.”

The AI2 duo acknowledge that a lot of questions would need to be addressed. For example, who’d create the standard, and who’d update it to reflect fast-moving progress in the AI field? How do you ensure that people have equal access to information and an equal voice in the resulting debates?

So the inequality of resources that have helped create a great divide in our nation is now showing its imbalance in the way we educate our children. The money spent in advancing AI will be wasted if we don’t have the population that understands and operates our growing AI world.

Take the quiz and then have your kids take the quiz. It could be very educational for both of you.