What is AI?
Artificial intelligence is machines simulating the human brain by learning, reasoning and solving problems with or without human intervention. Speech recognition, image classification, autonomous vehicles, language translation and question-answering systems all make up AI.
Is AI a threat to humanity?
Artificial intelligence is not something of the future - it is here right now, ready to be the next big thing… or as some might say the beginning of the end.
Stephen Hawking stated, “artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."
Elon Musk referred to artificial intelligence as "summoning the demon."
Bill Gates on dangers of AI, “I don’t understand why some people are not concerned.”
It is widely believed that given time AI could take off on its own and redesign itself to rival and surpass humans. Some movies that depict AI as a human threat are; “The Terminator” “The Matrix” “Ex Machina” “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “I, Robot”.
Personally I think many large organisations and industries will be threatened by extinction but humans remain to be the number threat to humanity, not robots.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
So the Internet has been the big thing of the last few decades, this has led to faster, smarter and smaller technology to access this information. Now it’s time for devices with AI to talk and feed off the Internet as well as each other… this is known as the Internet of Things (IoT).
Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Now and Microsoft Cortana are poised to be an interface between humans and AI devices. Google, Tesla, Mercedes and many more are developing autonomous vehicles. Uber has launched the first autonomous taxi service, transport departments around the world are expanding the interpretation of the word “driver” to include computer systems.
Service robots at airports can translate languages, guide passengers, detect bombs, check in and load luggage onto correct flight, facial recognition alerts and so on.
AI in the health industry is also set to revolutionise patient care from simple diagnostics and recommended treatment to DNA sampling and analysis of millions of patient records to explore better cancer treatments. All this could be done from your own home, maybe even from your car as you travel to work.
Just imagine oncologists utilising the facial recognition used in Google photos or Facebook to recognise a particular type of cancer and then AI recommends the most effective treatment based on analysing variables that would take a lifetime of research.
So who will survive, who will perish?
This is yet to be seen but if you’re a large tech company and you haven’t already put into place an AI strategy then most likely you will end up like Kodak, Blackberry or Nokia.
If you’re a human get ready for a significant change in the world as you know it.
- Stephen Mifsud