Saturday, February 25, 2017

Will Artificial Intelligence Take Your Job?

Even in China, the land of the low-paid factory worker, robots are quietly taking over from their human counterparts.

China has now overtaken Japan for having more robots than anywhere else in the world. The Chinese government is concerned about an ageing population and the rising cost of human labour making Chinese products less competitive.

It is giving over $100 Billion in subsidies for companies to replace more human workers with robots. It's hoped that the workers that will no longer work in the factories will move to the growing service sector, in part to help look after the ageing population.

Countries In the west have already lost large numbers of manufacturing jobs to china but we shouldn’t get too smug about our white-collar jobs in high tech, administration, clerical and production being safe from A.I. systems in the future.

A report from the Bank of England has warned that up to 50% of the workforce in the UK and US could be at risk of been replaced by Artificial Intelligence of some form over the next 10 to 20 years.

Even highly skilled jobs such as doctors and lawyers are at risk as A.I. becomes increasing sophisticated.

IBM’s Watson, the A.I computer that beat the human champions at Jeopardy in 2011 is one such system. In research carried out by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine using IBM’s Watson Artificial Intelligence system, it was found that in a test based on 1000 cancer diagnoses, Watson recommended the same treatment as highly trained oncologists 99% of the time.

In fact, due to Watsons ability to read and digest thousands of documents in minutes and have access to all the latest research papers and clinical trials, it found treatment options for 30% of the cases that were missed by the human doctors.

Whilst this seen as a helper for Doctors now, in the future these types of systems will be taking up more and more of the work that a human would take many years to train for. Not to mention that it works 24/7 365 days a year, doesn’t get ill, take holidays or complain about the stress and workload.

It’s predicted that the first wave of this new A.I. will have the biggest impact on sectors like transportation, logistics, office administration and labour in production.

In transport now, there is at least one human per vehicle, be that large articulated lorries, trucks, taxis, limos, trains etc. These will be some of the jobs which will be taken by autonomous vehicles.

Human drivers are prone to stress, tiredness and distraction and often limited by law to a maximum number of hours per day they can drive, this is not the case for autonomous vehicles, they can drive all day and night so the efficiencies in using such systems will be something that companies will be keenly looking into, after all a parked up truck makes no money.

Trials are already taking place with driverless cars on public roads and on October 20th, 2016 a self-driving truck developed by the Uber owned startup Otto, made the first autonomous commercial delivery of 2000 cases of Budweiser over a 120 mile about 200Km journey across Colorado.

Elsewhere, eBay has just bought up the computer-vision company, Corrigon. The A.I. here is recognising and understanding images and then categorising them, something that would normally take a human to do.

Ebay are also using A.I. to settle buyer & seller disputes at the rate of 60 million a year and similar technology is being used in the Netherlands, England and Canada to handle divorces, landlord-tenant disputes, and other legal conflicts, without hiring lawyers or going to court.

Another example could blend the speech recognition of Apples Siri virtual assistant with IBM’s Watson. This could replace call centres with intelligent, question-answering, automated systems that would more effective and cut out the human in the same way as we have grown accustomed the automated phone systems, although hopefully a whole lot better and less annoying.

New technologies have changed industries for hundreds of years and we have adapted and moved on and in the great number of cases, it’s created more jobs.

A.I technologies may not be taking over tomorrow but it is a creeping, inexorable change that will come as companies and governments strive for ever increasing efficiencies in the face competition and money saving.

The economist John Maynard Keynes predicted decades ago that there would be a period of technological unemployment as society finds new ways of making labour more efficient, faster than the displaced jobs can be taken up elsewhere.

There is no economic law that says there will always be a job created in other sectors for those who lose theirs to new technology.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How Close Are We To Artificial Intelligence?

Building a sentient mind is one of the highest aspirations of the human species. And, with current breakthroughs in technology, the goal may be more attainable than ever before. But what will this machine consciousness be like? How close are we to making it a reality?

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

How Smart Is Today's Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is creeping into our everyday lives through technology like check-scanning machines and GPS navigation. How far away are we from making intelligent machines that actually have minds of their own? Hari Sreenivasan reports on the ethical considerations of artificial intelligence as part of our Breakthroughs series.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Demis Hassabis Discusses Artificial Intelligence And The Future

Watch and listen as renowned scientist Demis Hassabis discusses what the future may be like with Artificial Intelligence.

How far can AI really take us? In this special event at the RSA, Demis Hassabis offers a unique insight from the frontiers of artificial intelligence research, and shares his latest thoughts on AI’s potential to help solve our biggest current and future challenges, from healthcare to climate change.

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

7 Days Of Artificial Intelligence

If God created his universe in 7 days; what could AI do to ours?

The arrival of artificial intelligence promises the Intelligence Explosion - where singularity would lead to an exponential increase in A.I. capabilities.

This Super Intelligence could lead to the arrival of an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent being. How would humanity receive this new entity? Would it be omnibenevolent?

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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Artificial Intelligence Will Shake Up The Economy

Will Artificial Intelligence have an affect on the economy? Watch this video and see just how much of an affect we may see.

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Saturday, February 04, 2017

Stephen Hawking - Artificial Intelligence Will Be The Best or Worst Thing To Happen To Humanity

In this video Stephen Hawking offers his insights on the Potential impact of Artificial Intelligence on humanity.

Tanscript of Professor Hawking’s speech at the launch of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, October 19, 2016 

“It is a great pleasure to be here today to open this new Centre. We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let’s face it, is mostly the history of stupidity. So it is a welcome change that people are studying instead the future of intelligence. 

Intelligence is central to what it means to be human. Everything that our civilisation has achieved, is a product of human intelligence, from learning to master fire, to learning to grow food, to understanding the cosmos. 

I believe there is no deep difference between what can be achieved by a biological brain and what can be achieved by a computer. It therefore follows that computers can, in theory, emulate human intelligence — and exceed it. 

Artificial intelligence research is now progressing rapidly. Recent landmarks such as self-driving cars, or a computer winning at the game of Go, are signs of what is to come. Enormous levels of investment are pouring into this technology. The achievements we have seen so far will surely pale against what the coming decades will bring. 

The potential benefits of creating intelligence are huge. We cannot predict what we might achieve, when our own minds are amplified by AI. Perhaps with the tools of this new technological revolution, we will be able to undo some of the damage done to the natural world by the last one — industrialisation. And surely we will aim to finally eradicate disease and poverty. Every aspect of our lives will be transformed. In short, success in creating AI, could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. 

But it could also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks. Alongside the benefits, AI will also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many. It will bring great disruption to our economy. And in the future, AI could develop a will of its own — a will that is in conflict with ours. 

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. That is why in 2014, I and a few others called for more research to be done in this area. I am very glad that someone was listening to me! 

The research done by this centre is crucial to the future of our civilization and of our species. I wish you the best of luck!”

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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The Power Of Artificial Intelligence

Watson, IBM’s cognitive computing technology, has been at the forefront of artificial intelligence. Watson has been expanding its presence across multiple industries. Watson’s advanced cognitive computing is extending human expertise in the fields of cancer treatment, analysis in personal health, financial planning, retail, law and many others. In the healthcare sector, Watson has partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Care Center to help doctors make better cancer treatment choices. Most recently, in the retail space, Watson has teamed up with Macy’s to create a mobile tool that enables shoppers to ask questions while shopping in-store. In this program, Arvind Krishna, who leads the research behind Watson’s cognitive capabilities, examines the future of artificial intelligence and Watson’s implications on industries, professions and society.

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