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.
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.
"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.
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.
Machines like IBM’s Deep Blue and Watson are already capable of beating chess champs and Jeopardy! champs respectively, and prove that strategy and trivia are easily conquered by a machine. But this knowledge doesn’t necessarily transfer over into everyday use.
"Machine learning" is a term that's heard more often in startup and big data circles than "artificial intelligence", and interestingly enough, Google Trends confirms what's already heard through the technological grapevine: