A panel of scientists and researchers at Stanford University have completed the first in a series of studies on the effect of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on human society. This series of studies is expected to continue over the next century so this is a LONG TERM project.
It will have to be, automation and robotics already have an enormous effect on our lives and careers from automated assembly lines to robot vacuum cleaners in our homes. However, recent advances in AI seem to have brought us to a tipping point. Remember when the computer Watson won Jeopardy, well that same level technology will soon be driving on our highways, doing much of the work around the house and even helping physicians by doing routine medical procedures and exams.
The study published by the group at Stanford is entitled “Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030 and can be found at www.ai100.stanford.edu/2016-report
The report covers eight general areas:
Home / Service Robots
Low Resource Communities
Public Safety and Community
Employment and Workplace
No one doubts that the effect of AI in these areas will be a tremendous advance for humanity in the long run. It’s just that things which are tremendously beneficial in the long run are very often hated and despised in the short term. In fact it has been estimated that as much as one third of the jobs people currently hold will no longer exist and the people who lose those jobs will hardly be overjoyed by all the wonderful new jobs they’re not qualified for.
This sort of change in society has happened before and at least this time it appears that some people are examining the consequences before the problem becomes too great. But we as a society need to think about the kind of future we want and how to get it. AI could go a long way in making this world a place where everybody has a career that truly makes their life worth living, or it could make this world an actual hell on Earth.