Speaking at London’s Westminster Abbey in late November of 2018, internationally renowned Artificial intelligence (AI) expert Stuart Russell joked (or not) about his “formal agreement with journalists that I won’t talk to them unless they agree not to put a Terminator humanoid robot in the article.” His quip revealed an obvious contempt for Hollywood representations of the far-future of AI, which tend toward the overwrought and apocalyptic. Clearly, most educated professionals now know that this representation of the future of AI is not true and in reality, the predictions for tomorrow may not be as devastating!
One example for the future of Artificial intelligence (AI) is about the ability to really understand the content of language so we can translate between languages using machines. When humans do machine translation, they understand the content and then express it. And right now, machines are not very good at understanding the content of language. If that goal is reached, we would have systems that could then read and understand everything the human race has ever written, and this is something that a human being can't do. One concern that is commonplace amongst many circles is the notion that artificial intelligence (AI) will replace the jobs of many people and is hell-bent in taking over the workplace.
AI is to become for people’s jobs. Published by the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future entitled “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work,” looked closely at developments of AI and their relation to the world of work. The paper paints a more optimistic picture. Rather than promoting the obsolescence of human labor, the paper predicts that Artificial intelligence(AI) will continue to drive massive innovation that will fuel many existing industries and could have the potential to create many new sectors for growth, ultimately leading to the creation of more jobs.
Another limitation of Artificial intelligence (AI) has currently is the inability to process unrelated or differentiated subjects also known as general intelligence. Currently, it is known that AI is possessed specialized intelligence that is the ability to do and process a narrow range of subjects that are closely related. This is no small feat, as when it comes to processing data for a defined field no human can come close to the AI’s abilities. But luckily it is speculated amongst scientific communities that general intelligence may be achievable in our lifetimes, where Artificial intelligence (AI) can actually start behaving and acting more and more like humans with the ability to process multiple subjects and tasks. Another important limitation of note is that data can itself carry bias and be reflective of societal inequities or the implicit biases of the designers who create and input the data. If there is bias in the data that is inputted into an AI, this bias is likely to carry over to the results generated by the new AI. And again, this problem is rumored to be solvable through the advent of general intelligence where the machine will itself learn to recognize the validity of data and apparent mistakes in its patterns.
In conclusion, provided there is an investment at all levels, from education to the private sector and governmental organizations anywhere that focuses on training and upskilling workers AI has the potential to ultimately create more jobs, not less. The question should then become not “humans or computers”, but “humans and computers” involved in complex systems that advance industry and prosperity. In any case, AI is a fascinating topic and we as a firm are excited to see the many directions it may go in!