Will the machine become so powerful that it begins to think to a point where it is more capable than the humans? Notice, I said capable, not powerful. No doubt computers are more powerful at giving us answers faster than human brainpower, but are they more capable? That’s what people worry about.
The fact that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are becoming more and more a part of our daily lives just proves that technology has been advancing by leaps and bounds and, unless we want our lives and businesses to be disrupted, we best jump on the bandwagon of technology in order to remain relevant. So, what are your strategies to ensure that you are prepared for disruptive impact and maintain your competitive advantage as a business?
Let’s face it, everything today is data-driven and these data are, subsequently, stored in the cloud. Information is at the very core of every business. We have information on our customers, our products, and our services — and it’s steadily increasing.
There’s little question that AI has the potential to be revolutionary. Automation could transform the way we work by replacing humans with machines and software. Further developments in the area of self-driving cars are poised to make driving a thing of the past. Artificially intelligent shopping assistants could even change the way we shop. Humans have always controlled these aspects of our lives, so it makes sense to be a bit wary of letting an artificial system take over.
Several world-renowned sciences and tech experts have been vocal about their fears of AI. Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking famously worries that advanced AI will take over the world and end the human race. If robots become smarter than humans, his logic goes, the machines would be able to create unimaginable weapons and manipulate human leaders with ease. “It would take off on its own, and redesign itself at an ever-increasing rate,” he told the BBC in 2014. “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”
Elon Musk, the futurist CEO of ventures such as Tesla and SpaceX, echoes those sentiments, calling AI “…a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization,” at the 2017 National Governors Association Summer Meeting.
Neither Musk nor Hawking believe that developers should avoid the development of AI, but they agree that government regulation should ensure the tech does not go rogue.
Not everyone believes the rise of AI will be detrimental to humans; some are convinced that the technology has the potential to make our lives better. “The so-called control problem that Elon is worried about isn’t something that people should feel is imminent. We shouldn’t panic about it,” Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates recently told the Wall Street Journal. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg went even further during a Facebook Live broadcast back in July, saying that Musk’s comments were “pretty irresponsible.” Zuckerberg is optimistic about what AI will enable us to accomplish and thinks that these unsubstantiated doomsday scenarios are nothing more than fear-mongering.
At the end of the day, artificial intelligence will be the new innovation. It’s all about knowing our customers better and using the data we collect in an intelligent way in order to improve the customer experience. And finally, to quote Steve Jobs, one of the greatest technology leaders of our time, “Start with the customer experience, and work backwards using technology.”