While the iconic HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey may not yet be a fixture in our homes, many of us have intelligent assistants, such as Alexa or Google Home, that help us manage our daily lives. And that technology is quickly becoming commonplace in schools, as well. Some argue that intelligent assistants will be one of the most disruptive technologies in the near future.
While Silicon Valley workers continue to protest their employers selling artificial intelligence products to the US military, the US military is still looking to spend money on AI. The Army Research Lab, the Project Maven team, and the US Department of Defense’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center will host technology companies later this month in Maryland, where the government will view private demonstrations.
No jobs are safe from automation -- not even reading the news on TV. China’s state media agency Xinhua just revealed the first “AI anchor” that can talk, move, and act like a real human news anchor. It also revealed an English version of its new AI anchor.
Silicon Valley was once able to write off Chinese tech companies as mere copycats. The big American players, from Twitter to Facebook to Google, all had a Chinese impersonator. But the rise of hugely successful Chinese messaging apps like WeChat -- not to mention all the U.S. tech companies that failed in China -- now make clear that the nation’s tech companies should not be underestimated.
This year, Carnegie Mellon said it became the first university in the country to offer a separate undergraduate A.I. degree through its College of Computer Science. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology last month announced plans to establish a college for A.I., backed by $1 billion in investments.
Bob Work, who served as deputy defense secretary under Presidents Obama and Trump, said Tuesday during a speech at the annual SAP NS2 Solutions Summit. “We’re looking for narrow AI systems that can compose courses of action to accomplish the tasks that the machine is given and it can choose among the courses of action.”
Microsoft plans to continue to provide its technology to the U.S. military, despite worries that advances in the field of artificial intelligence could empower weapons to act autonomously and kill people.
The growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies (ET) is poised to reshape the workforce. While the exact impact of AI and ET is unclear, experts expect that many jobs currently performed by humans will be performed by robots in the near future, and at the same time, new jobs will be created as technology advances.
As algorithms and artificial intelligence infiltrate science, don’t expect bots to replace researchers -- but AI may guide scientists and funding agents toward the most promising unexplored territory. There’s a lot of room for improvement in the way humans are choosing scientific questions, said sociology professor James Evans, who suggested the use of algorithms for guidance in a special section of Science Magazine called “Toward a More Scientific Science.”
In November 2017, an advocacy group called the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots published a short film called “Slaughterbots” in which autonomous drones developed by the military-industrial complex terrorize and kill innocent civilians. Though compelling, Slaughterbots is disingenuous propaganda that stigmatizes incredibly valuable AI research done by defense agencies--research that will have broad social and economic benefits beyond just defense applications.