AI Future Outlook Articles and Reports
Explore future perspectives on artificial intelligence applications and trends - including products and applications in marketing, finance, and other sectors.
Despite the progress made in artificial intelligence over the past few years, deep learning software still lags far behind the pattern recognition and learning capabilities of the mammalian mind. Where a human might be able to recognize an apple after seeing just a couple apples, even the most sophisticated deep learning software has to review hundreds of thousands of apples to identify one.
At the heart of our present day sharing economy is the often lauded, sometimes corrupted, and occasionally controversial open source model. Though the open source model has its roots in the early days of automobile development, our Internet age has proved an ideal medium for free licensing and distribution.
The world’s biggest names in technology – particularly those in Silicon Valley – have released their artificial intelligence technology via the open source model over the past few months in a domino effect that has made some of the most sophisticated AI programs available to anyone with Internet connection. In huge maneuvers, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and China’s search engine giant Baidu have taken deep learning even deeper.
In November of last year, Google open sourced the software library for TensorFlow, the tech giant’s perceptual and language comprehension program. Though TensorFlow wasn’t the first open source AI software out there – software such as Torch, Caffe, and Theano – it is widely regarded as some of the most advanced AI algorithms in the world. Thus Google’s move to make TesorFlow open source marked an unparalleled step forward, which its competition couldn't resist but to follow.
White collar professions were once considered safe from automation. It was blue collar work such as labor and manufacturing jobs that appeared at risk of becoming redundant in the wake of advancing technologies. But according to the Word Economic Fund – who held a conference last week in in Davos Switzerland – white collar work is not so secure as it seemed. AI systems continue to advance and challenge the status quo.
The "fourth industrial revolution" is upon us and, according to the World Economic Fund, it is set to drastically disrupt business modes, labour markets, and economies across the world. In fact, in a report released this week, the Swiss foundation gave a conservative estimate of 7.1 million jobs that could vanish due to redundancy and automation by 2020. Some 2.1 million jobs will be created and marginally offset that loss – but the 5 million remaining, mostly white collar jobs, will see themselves performed by one or more machine.
Where previous industrial revolutions were powered by tools that workers could control, the current revolution is lead by machines which may well control themselves. The WEF lists artificial intelligence and machine-learning among the most disruptive technologies to date, predicting that the advancements in these fields will cause “enormous change…in the skill sets needed to thrive.”
The report comes just one day before the WEF’s annual forum in Davos, Switzerland – a forum to bring over 2,500 business leaders, governmental figures, and members of society together to discuss the state of the global economy. This year, the focus will be on jobs, with a particular emphasis on the effects of potential but widespread automation.
To formulate their report, the WEF surveyed held a broad survey representing 65 percent of the global workforce, including senior executives from 350 companies from nine industries and 15 economies.
The report found that healthcare, energy, financial services, and investors will take the biggest hit from automation. We’ve seen how AI and robots already perform as surgeons and caregivers. Earlier this year, Financial Times and the BBC reported how AI programs are transforming the financial industry.
China entered 2016 with a struggling stock market that made many analysts question the strength of the world’s largest economy. Despite this economic omen, China closed 2015 with a pretty stellar year in artificial intelligence and robotics, sparking what may be the beginning of a revolution.
Even folks without a remote interest in artificial intelligence understand that it's starting to surround them. The easy examples can be conjured by just about anyone walking the street: Siri, Amazon's recommendations, Pandora's playlists, Facebook's face-tagging and newsfeed, and Google's search results - these are the easy examples.
One of the world's oldest and most prestigious universities is offering a new study focus that sheds light on its progressive approach to academia. With a grant from the non-profit foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, academics at England’s Cambridge University will be able to study artificial intelligence ethics over the next ten years.
This article was originally written in 2017 by Lauren D'Ambra, former editor at Emerj.com.
"Design fiction," as defined by MIT Media Lab, is "sparking imagination and discussion about the social, cultural, and ethical implications of new technologies through design and storytelling." Storytelling, more specifically science fiction (and even popular nonfiction science) seems to be a natural gateway to this relatively new concept. A series of recent email interviews with science fiction writers inspired us to think more about the avenue of storytelling as an influence in shaping technology and human history in the making.