How Will Artificial Intelligence Shape Your Future… or Present?

Artificial Intelligence has been around for over 50 years.  The question to ask is why are discussions regarding AI so immediate now?  As with most things, change is often driven by money, and worldwide there is a significant investment in AI and robotics.  We also have industries starting to merge technology that previously works in a silo-based system that isolated industries.

Here is an interesting video with Maarten Steinbuch at the SingularityU Germany Summit in 2017.

He highlights the Robo Cup; this is autonomous vehicles playing soccer.  These robots have situational awareness of the soccer field and respond independently to the game.  That means there is no human with a controller or making decisions for the robots.  The leagues published goal is “By the middle of the 21st century, a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players shall win a soccer game, complying with the official rules of the FIFA, against the winner of the most recent World Cup.” 

We talk about autonomous vehicles taking over.  People rebelliously declare they will never give up driving their car.  Hey, I get it I love to drive.  I enjoy my freedom, and I love finding different routes to see areas of the city that I would not normally see.  Maarten predicts that in less than 30 years, it will be illegal for a human to drive a car.  His support for his prediction is every year 1.4 million people die in automobile related events.  Right now, we as a society accept that but there will come a time when dying in a vehicle will no longer be acceptable to a societal conscious.

We have to be prepared for the practical and ethical implementation of such technology.  For example, how do we relate to AI or robots?  I always loved the idea of Star Trek’s Enterprise.  What happens when we as humans fall in love with a robot?  Just like Star Treks character Data, what happens when robots get an emotion chip and they fall in love with us?  Currently, they are making robotic dolls for intimacy (No I am not providing a link to that one).  We already have people talking about how they “love” their doll.  Let’s clarify, using the term “love” in this context is the emotional love, not the love that comes with the dolls instructions.

Currently, AI systems can learn facial expressions of humans.  They have AI and robotics systems that are piercing the fields of medicine and psychology.  These systems are correctly diagnosing patients at a higher ratio than their human counterparts.  This goes back to a previous post regarding the horrible thought of being operated on by a human.

We are heading towards the world of connecting our brains to the cloud.  Do we want to be linked to the matrix?  Are we doing a version of it right now with our smart devices?

As the speaker presented, we have to frame these questions from the perspective of 30 years from now, when our children are our age today.  One option is going back and watching every futuristic movie from the 1980’s and 90’s about robots taking over.  A better option is to shift from resistance, which really is futile, to be proactive in shaping the future.  Today we can start the conversation about how we want AI and Robotics to shape our future because it is already shaping our present.  We must quickly shift our education from our current knowledge-based to an experience-based system.

Enjoy the linked video.  Maarten presents some good ideas and highlights area of caution.

Beam Me Up.