Ominously, people we count on for the big answers warn us that advances in artificial intelligence (AI) may be leading to the eventual obliteration of human society. Elon Musk is quoted as stating,
“I keep sounding the alarm bell, but until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react…”
And, Stephen Hawking has reportedly said,
“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the doom of the human race.”
So, apparently, we should actually worry that at some point the robots really are going to be coming for us. Maybe, for now, the questions should be, “Which ones?” and, “When?”
Which Technology Should We Fear?
Is it AI (artificial intelligence) or is it ML (machine learning) that we should dread? Or both, or neither? Machine learning is a kind of AI. AI is the way your computer is programmed to perform its various functions, such as playing a video game, for example.
Whereas, ML is happening when, from your actions during the game and from its own reactions to your actions, the machine teaches itself how to improve the way it plays. In other words, a machine can be programmed to learn to learn and to apply the general intelligence it develops through that self-development process.
AI and ML for Business
Even today, in these relatively early days of AI and ML development, we enjoy enormous benefits of AI and ML. Our cell phones anticipate what we’re going to type. But, future applications of AI will anticipate what will happen in attempts to breach your network and will learn ways to thwart such intrusions. And, cybersecurity is just one area of functioning that will be transformed as the technology advances.
Business marketing resources will also be multiplied, for example. AI’s analytic capabilities in generating campaigns will evolve. Increasingly its campaign creations will be based on formulations drawn by coalescing information on historically effective and ineffective account-based or consumer profile-based marketing activities.
Machines will be able to provide projections and other predictions that can improve the effectiveness of targeting. Such insights would remain unnoticeable without the powerful level of data mining and analytics upon which the technology will evolve to reliably operate.
Modern business complexities have already increased beyond human ability to efficiently track typical projects with paper spreadsheets and drawers of paper files. These days, real-time analysis is fundamental to predicting outcomes. Of course, accurate data is the healthful food source that sustains digital analytics.
We have a world of data generating people and machines contributing mountains of such data daily worldwide. AI enables tracking and decision-making and work allocations based on real-time data analysis. And, we can already sense our dependency on digital resources for business and personal planning and decision-making becoming increasingly complete.
What About Killer Robots?
Robots with AI and ML capabilities are already being programmed to run automated work processes. It’s clear that the business and social possibilities are going to eventually exceed our expectations.
Perhaps it’s fairer to say that, cinematic sci-fi models notwithstanding, the possibilities will exceed our current abilities to fully comprehend what they will mean to daily life or, ultimately, perhaps too human existence itself. But, at least for the foreseeable future, it doesn’t appear that we need to worry about homicidal robots taking over the streets.
Image source: Pixabay.com