What will the world wake up to in 2020?
David: The world is waking up right now. Historically we’ve acted with the viewpoint that only one race was ‘intelligent’, the human race. Today we are simultaneously in the age of understanding other natural intelligence and creating a new and different race, artificial intelligence (AI).
Countries have been making rules and creating laws that are fundamentally biased, specifically towards values that benefit their own interests. The outcome unsurprisingly is a regulation ‘gap’ internationally. This gap exists between the human-orientated laws and the rapid developments in artificial intelligence.
Countries have been making rules and creating laws that are fundamentally biased
Countries are unsure how to regulate this emerging tech that’s growing at a rapid pace. Do current regulations need to change and adapt, if so which ones, do new regulations need to come into play? And with the traditional ‘growth at all costs’ capitalism and the global race to be the AI ‘winner’, can regulation even be nimble enough to be effective?
Countries are unsure how to regulate this emerging tech that’s growing at a rapid pace
A new type of intelligence
We have this new form of intelligence; AI. Its intelligence is currently narrow, but often able to solve problems much faster than us humans. Many experts predict an imminently foreseeable future where a number of jobs are displaced by AI.
Unsurprisingly this raises questions for the labour market. How concerned should we be?
Historically, we’ve created technology that can replace workers in one sector, and seen the advancement of technology open up whole new arenas for job opportunities in new industries. If you want to remain employable you’ll have to learn how to become adaptable throughout your career.
If you want to remain employable you’ll have to learn how to become adaptable throughout your career
AI has the capability of freeing us up from mundane tasks allowing us time to use our remarkable, social, creative brains for more interesting and meaningful work. To get to this outcome, however, we need to manage this shift sensitively and carefully, to avoid negative outcomes of job displacement such as depressions, inequality, and poverty.
Personally, I’m optimistic that we can apply AI to create better outcomes for future generations of humans. This shifting perspective is coming and the world is waking up to it.
Can AI combat our human flaws?
Richard Dawkins describes ‘the selfish gene’ in his book by the same title. Meaning, as a race, our natural focus will always be on survival and passing on our specific genes. Our selfish gene seems to override us addressing complex challenges like global AI regulation or effectively changing the actions committed daily that are causing climate change.
Dawkins talks about the selfish gene in terms of evolution, but from my perspective, I think human nature is ultimately selfish. We are born with self-interest. How can we use AI to help combat the negative outcomes this can create?
I think human nature is ultimately selfish. We are born with self-interest
I don’t know about you, but I want to live in a world where we’re not destroying the planet. However, I don’t want to become an activist to do so. I want to enjoy my life. I don’t want to be thinking constantly about recycling and reduction, I want it done for me.
So how can we design an artificial intelligence to make my life easier and make these changes for me, you and everyone else? This is only made possible when we can look at the climate crises across the whole world, across governments and borders.
Currently, we have a situation where a number of developed countries look environmentally ‘clean’. The reality, however, is they’re shipping millions of tonnes of trash (that should have been recycled locally, or better yet never created in the first place), to undeveloped countries. We’re not solving the problem, we’re literally just moving it around.
The worst part is we still call this recycling. Ultimately, it’s not solving the problem.
At a global level moving trash from one place to another is utter madness. How long can we keep shifting things around, without actually making any changes?
It’s these kinds of challenges that I believe AI was born to address. AI can help to solve complex issues to create global level programmes. A new AI-powered waste programme could positively impact our climate. And robotics could do the job of the much more hazardous work associated with waste disposal or recycling, moving these jobs from people to machines.
AI can help to solve complex issues to create global level programmes