Man has long feared the rise of the machine – man’s own creation (i.e. artificial intelligence based devices) are becoming smarter and more intelligent than man. As artificial intelligence and machine learning are rapidly changing the world and powering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, humanity does not need to become/ afraid of it.

In the last decade, artificial intelligence has gone from a science-fiction dream to a critical part of our everyday lives. We use AI systems to interact with our phones and speakers through voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google; cars made by Tesla interpret and analyse their surroundings to intelligently drive themselves; Amazon monitors our browsing habits and then serves up products it thinks we’d like to buy; and even Google decides what results to give us based on our search activity. Artificially intelligent algorithms are here, and they’ve already changed our lives — for better or worse. But this is only the beginning, and one day we’ll look back at AI in 2018 and laugh about how primitive it was. Because in the future, AI is going to change everything. But, do we want it to?

First, what exactly is AI? Maybe a better question might be: what exactly is “intelligence”? The simplest descriptor is collecting data about the world, and using that data to make predictions in the short and long term. That applies to both people and machines.

When we talk about artificial intelligence in our lives, we are talking about everything from a computer being able to read a handwritten document, like an OCCR reader, to a robot performing complex surgery on its own or a massive database categorizing your personality based on what you have written and looked at online. Because the world of artificial intelligence is so incredibly large, let’s take a look at some of the most ground breaking developments we expect to see in the near future, and whether that’s a step forward or backward for society.

5 ways how ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE is changing the world:

  1. Creating New Jobs

“Artificial intelligence will change the workforce,” says Carolyn Frantz (secretary of Microsoft Corporate). The austere view of artificial intelligence as a job killer is but one side of the coin: while 75 million jobs may disappear, as many as 133 million more engaging, less repetitive new roles are expected to be created. Artificial Intelligence “is an opportunity for workers to focus on the parts of their jobs that may also be the most satisfying to them,” says Frantz.  

  • Bridging Language Divides

Whether it’s teaching new languages in a personalized way or translating speech and text in real-time, artificial intelligence-powered language tools from Duolingo to Skype are bridging social and cultural divides in our workplaces, classrooms and everyday lives. Digital translation services are not “perfect,” admits Mark Sparvell (leader of Microsoft education) but “they offer a means of understanding” that might not otherwise be possible.

  • Transforming Government

Less paperwork, quicker responses, a more efficient bureaucracy – AI has the power to drastically change public administration, but are governments ready? This tech comes with both risks and opportunities that need to be understood and evaluated. Academic Kevin Desouza believes gamification and role-playing could be the key to public servants analyzing complex cases, coming up with better solutions, and truly understanding the future of autonomous systems.

  • Delivering Health Care

AI has the potential to make health care “much more accessible and more affordable,” insists Paul Bates, director of NHS services at Babylon Health. Babylon, an app that offers symptom checking and fast access to physicians if needed, is providing advice to more than one million residents in central London through an AI-powered chatbot. Patients can get an accurate, safe, and convenient answer in seconds – and save health care providers’ money too.

  • Creating Art

Computational creativity is drastically changing the nature of art. Software, more than a tool, is becoming a creative collaborator, merging computer scientist with artist. As Austrian artist Sonja Bäumel assures, “The exhibition space becomes a lab; art becomes an expression of science, and the artist is the researcher.”

Conclusion:

The more we study and develop artificial intelligence, the clearer it becomes that this massively powerful tool comes with a great deal of responsibility. As futurists try to plan out a rapidly changing and advancing world, the biggest hurdle isn’t technology, but economic and political. Just a few tech monopolies control the latest breakthroughs in data collecting, processing, and analysing, and while we hope that artificial intelligence will help advance our society, it may just end up working to benefit the tech industry and only those who can afford to take advantage of cheaper, smarter human replacements – maybe, to the detriment of society. Artificial society is here, but for now, we just don’t know what the future holds.