Technology is a unique agent of change in the world. Its benefits are myriad, impossible to ignore or resist. The scale of socioeconomic and cultural disruption demands foresight and organized handling. Technology is the real-world expression of human-driven evolution rather than, for billions of years, evolution having been left to natural selection. The homo sapiens brain works exponentially faster than Mother Nature but the jury's out whether, as a species, there's enough wisdom to walk the line between technology changing our world and our changed world creating the conditions of human extinction.
"It’s not so hard to see how AI could one day make better decisions than we do about careers, and perhaps even about relationships. But once we begin to count on AI to decide what to study, where to work, and whom to date or even marry, human life will cease to be a drama of decision making, and our conception of life will need to change. Democratic elections and free markets might cease to make sense. So might most religions and works of art... Currently, humans risk becoming similar to domesticated animals. We have bred docile cows that produce enormous amounts of milk but are otherwise far inferior to their wild ancestors. They are less agile, less curious, and less resourceful. We are now creating tame humans who produce enormous amounts of data and function as efficient chips in a huge data-processing mechanism, but they hardly maximize their human potential. If we are not careful, we will end up with downgraded humans misusing upgraded computers to wreak havoc on themselves and on the world." - Yuval Noah Harari
Bill Joy's concerns set in motion a coordinated backlash, primarily from academic and institutional voices (e.g. John G. Messerly, usually published as a computer scientist but in fact a non-computer literate philosophy professor). The narrative was driven to consensus on rubbishing Joy's warning of technology advancing in tandem with corporate monopoly centralizing control of how its applied; who benefits and who gets excluded.
The use of AI in organizations, governments, security frameworks, energy and natural resource management, etc., is drastically on the rise. Although AI advancement levels and use may differ substantially from one geographical region to the other, there are clear indicators pointing to the fact that more people are acknowledging the solutions that the technology brings.
AI will become pervasive in the near future.
ONE DOING THE WORK OF MANY
Using AI, more people would be able to step down on having to carry out so many tasks by themselves. With a personal assistant AI, we’ll be able to remove the more mundane tasks from our lives. For instance, there may be no need to go to the grocery store, meet with an appointment, or make that deadline yourself as your AI assistant knows just what to do, and when to do it. Consider the value of such help in managing your messages, helping to sort out your wardrobe, doing your laundry. However, the AI would only function according to its developed programming. Hence, one AI may be programmed to work on multiple assignments, while another may be far more narrow in scope of application.
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE GAINS AGENCY
Unlike human labor that can be very limited, artificial intelligence provides more input with a corresponding positive output – on average. The technology works faster, more efficiently, less error prone and with greater reliability. Its takeover of the roles currently filled by human labor is inevitable. Market pressure alone will drive its spread.
Most artificial intelligence is interconnected with frameworks such as cloud database and storage, big data, cryptography and blockchain, internet of things (IoT), etc. Data becomes ubiquitous, efficiencies are magnified, scale transcends old-fashioned human capacity from the outset.
These AI natural efficiency dynamics are a recipe for inevitable centralization, and with centralized infrastructure comes a dangerous level of concentrated power. AI has the potential to be the last word in authoritarian population control.
NO MORE BLUE COLLAR JOBS
Utilization of physical manpower requires sustained salaries and allowance costs for the company. This directly effects the company’s net profits and increases operational costs. An AI operated company, where costs on human labor are largely removed, has huge gains in the long and short run due to impactful salary reduction.
AI use is already widespread in the medical, banking, gaming, transport, manufacturing, and defense sectors.
- Although it could take a decade or more to perfect them, autonomous cars will one day ferry us from place to place.
- AI powered robots work alongside humans to perform a limited range of tasks like assembly and stacking, and predictive analysis sensors keep equipment running smoothly.
- In the comparatively AI-nascent field of healthcare, diseases are more quickly and accurately diagnosed, drug discovery is sped up and streamlined, virtual nursing assistants monitor patients and big data analysis helps to create a more personalized patient experience.
- Textbooks are digitized with the help of AI, early-stage virtual tutors assist human instructors and facial analysis gauges the emotions of students to help determine who’s struggling or bored and better tailor the experience to their individual needs.
- Journalism is harnessing AI, too, and will continue to benefit from it. Bloomberg uses Cyborg technology to help make quick sense of complex financial reports. The Associated Press employs the natural language abilities of Automated Insights to produce 3,700 earning reports stories per year — nearly four times more than in the recent past.
- Customer Service
- Last but hardly least, Google is working on an AI assistant that can place human-like calls to make appointments at, say, your neighborhood hair salon. In addition to words, the system understands context and nuance.