Artificial intelligence might seem like a fan of the future but it’s already here transforming our lives every day. There are autonomous cars on the roads and robotic restaurant waiters. There will be smart thermostats in every home like we have electric bulbs now over the next fifteen years and AI technologies will become even more integrated into our lives.
The Next 15 Years
We will have massive changes in different areas including transportation, healthcare, education, public safety and employment. How will Artificial intelligence technologies impact life in a typical city in the next 15 years? Can AI change our way of life to such extent?
Artificial Intelligence will be everywhere in the coming future, from solving complex global challenges including SDGs like climate changes to helping us in the kitchen to cook a hot and spicy custom dish. Not only they will be our personal assistants and bots but they are the future Supermans and will help us in dangers. Robotics is already witnessing a massive revolution with AIs. Automated cars and drone delivery systems have been the hottest topic in the twenties and are ready to be at our service by near tomorrow. AI will help us succeed much more in space explorations and in solving really complex problems that human brains and prevailing machines can’t simulate.
Although augmenting humans with computers still sounds a fantasy today, a lot of research is being done in this field which will allow us to enhance our natural abilities by letting our brain communicate with an integrated robotic hardware in our body. This will really be a boon for differently-abled people. This will also help us to innovate new ideas and build systems beyond our mind can currently imagine.
On the other hand, AI is already beginning to have a significant impact in various fields and that includes transportation in which the one most parents are people with autonomous vehicles and drones. But, health care and education are the sectors where only a small part of the potential that’s been realized. Entertainment is another area where I think people don’t even think about having artificial intelligence technology. There are some potential areas with great promise like helping in low-resource communities and helping with public safety.
Complementing Human Intelligence
It’s much more productive to think about Artificial Intelligence and the technologies it develops, s complementing human intelligence. For example, in the medical area where there’s now a great deal of hope in all of the data that’s being collected in electronic health records. Computer systems can mine that data and can look at many more articles in journals using which they could help bring information to a human decision maker. That is an excellent example of complementing a human- very different from saying we don’t need doctors to do diagnosis, we can have a computer do it. Because, since doctors had access to the actual person, they have ways of understanding the person’s situation, their family and their emotional state that certainly present machines don’t have. And, it’s clear that you would not want to change that personal interaction.
Also, another big challenge is designing a system that can work better more collaboratively with its human partner. I think it’s very important for any system that has Artificial Intelligence technologies in it that contributes to any kind of decision making to be able to explain its conclusions. That’s a very hard thing to do and for example, the current generation of deep learning systems cannot do this at all. One of the major research challenges is to figure out ways if is very powerful technology could actually be augmented in a way that you could understand why it’s making the recommendations that it’s making.
But Are We Ready?
I think that lack of consensus about what is and isn’t true about AI is especially apparent among the general audience. Most of them get their quote-unquote facts about artificial intelligence from science fiction or culture where the prevailing narrative seems to be a guy who is going to take over the world tomorrow but it’s definitely not going to happen.There is a need to bring the expertise of people in the field of Artificial Intelligence and help the general audience get the facts about AI right before it gets rooted into their lives.
The Right Time
We have the technology, what about the variety of social ethical, legal and policy challenges that that technology might raise. Can we answer the legal and ethical questions that will arise from integrating AI into our lives? Are we even asking the right questions?
Now is really the time to consider the design, ethical and policy challenges that Artificial Intelligence technologies raise. Because of the field has moved from an academic pursuit into a much larger concern which includes technologies and integration in systems that are out there in the world. Such technologies and integrations challenge us to bring together these very different fields.
Moreover, it’s essential for people in each of those areas to first learn the vocabulary of other people to understand the language they speak so that they understand each other and to learn enough about what matters. Most often people agree on values but not on the facts of the matter. Now with Artificial Intelligence, there are values differences. So bringing people together to see where those differences are and to consciously decide which values predominate and what the facts are is really important and a major role.
Of course, there are so many important issues to take care of just in getting a system that works. At the end, I would like to mention about the Facebook emotion contagion experiment and the ethics of manipulating information given to people. Like the various sites that recommend you to buy things, they could recommend something else using the information collected. There is really an insane variety of fields where AI can drive us to.
The hope is that the combination of predictions and recommendations through AI will help the world move things in a better direction than would otherwise be. In addition, it is equally more important to get attention paid to societal and ethical issues before the AI systems get integrated into our lives.