Will Artificial intelligence replace you?

Will Artificial intelligence replace you?

Dominic Bareham 17.07.2017

We recently ran a breakfast presentation on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, with a fantastic panel of speakers. It was interesting to hear we are just at the early stages of AI, with lots more to come. One of the key questions about AI currently is will it replace you at work, however it might not stop there!

I thought I’d share just how early we are on the journey in AI, and that your brain and your abilities will be very hard to beat.  

Narrow Artificial intelligence 

Also known as weak intelligence is normally focused on one narrow task and is actually the only intelligence we’ve achieved so far. 

Think Siri from Apple, Alexa from Amazon, or Home from Google. There is actually no real intelligence to what they are doing, these systems are using a lot of data on the web to answer questions or initiate an activity. However as you can see from the companies I’ve mentioned this is just the start and all the big players are investing heavily to win the race to the next step which will be a game changer, General Artificial Intelligence. 

General Artificial Intelligence

This is the type of intelligence you will probably think of when someone talks about AI. A machine that can apply intelligence to solve any problem, think in an abstract way like a human. In a lot of the movies this intelligence is in a robot, a physical technology to interact with. There is some debate over what GAI is and how to confirm it’s been achieved. From my brief research the easiest way to summarise would be to say that the computer can do the same things as a human i.e. gain a degree, make a cup of tea, converse with another human without them knowing they are talking to a robot. Whilst these things are easy for us to do, it’s extremely complex for a computer and despite a lot of advances we are still a long way off achieving this. 

Super Artificial Intelligence 

University of Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom defines superintelligence as "an intellect that is much smarter than the best human brains in practically every field, including scientific creativity, general wisdom and social skills."

Whilst we have seen systems like DeepMind beat the top Go player in the world (Go is considered one of the hardest games to become a master) it did this through programming and learning this specific task. It’s not able to be the best at a range of tasks, let along be creative. 

Super AI has the potential to radically change our world solving problems and tackling issues that have eluded mankind for centuries. 

It’s also where we humans have the potential to be replaced and there has been a lot of debate that creating this type of intelligence could either be amazing or the downfall of mankind. 

Stephen Hawking states "In short, the rise of powerful AI will be either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity. We do not yet know which."

Summary 

At the moment it’s a long way off replacing you, at best it can perform certain tasks in the work place but these are narrow in scope and will actually create new roles. 

Some of the biggest companies and greatest minds in the world are working on developing Artificial Intelligence so it will happen, the question is when, and what we will do to make sure it’s not the downfall of humanity. 

 

Dominic Bareham's picture
Director | Accounting & Finance
dbareham@morganmckinley.com.au