The concept and implementation of artificial intelligence is nothing new, but with today's computer hardware at our perusal, AI advancement only continues to develop at a rapid pace. Siri and Cortana are both effective AI bots, able to understand a great number of your queries and spit back an answer immediately. As time goes on, AI is only going to become more prevalent, and more important.
That's a thought that Dave Coplin, Microsoft UK's Chief Envisioning Officer, agrees with. At an AI conference held late last week, Coplin made the huge statement that AI is the most important technology anyone is working on today. It's something that's not just going to benefit the companies that create and evolve it, but also us as consumers.
Microsoft's Chief Envisioning Officer, Dave Coplin
While AI can enrich our lives, it can also fall into the wrong hands, which is something we've heard Tesla founder Elon Musk reiterate on multiple occasions. Last year, he even donated $10 million to AI research in an attempt to prevent Skynet. It's that important. Again, Coplin agrees, stating, "We’ve got to start to make some decisions about whether the right people are making these algorithms."
Comparisons to Skynet might seem a bit tired at this point, but in reality, it's very apropos. The world is already filled with an incredible amount of fighting machinery, and with AI going in the direction it is, it's going to become so advanced that it can make smart (or at least correct) decisions on-the-fly without the need of a human. Such technologies could save the lives of our soldiers, for example, but it could also make the killing of others easier than ever, and with less risk.
Coplin adds, "The way in which we choose to use AI is a reflection of humans, the people, not the machines themselves." But, it's not all about the possibilities of war. It's also about replacing tasks that humans, effectively putting them out of work.
"We are aware machines can beat us at chess. They can beat us at Jeopardy. Now they can beat us at Go. They’re going to steal our jobs. Hang on! Stop. When was this ever the dialogue for what we did with technology. Technology is here to augment what we do. Support us to extend our capability."
There's some real food for thought.