Friday, December 23, 2016

Will AI make things better...or worse?

Great interview with the CEO of Skymind, Chris Nicholson.  He talks about his perspective on AI and machine learning and how it will impact society in the future.  He comes across as fairly optimistic about it (like I am).  Here is on his responses on the impact of AI on jobs of the future:

Sure. Technology helps to automate existing professions, while creating new ones. So yes, some white-collar jobs that exist now will be automated by AI. But technology always adds complexity to life and society, and it’s usually up to humans to manage that complexity, so new jobs are created. AI performs a particular task for companies: It lowers the cost of thinking. It performs pattern recognition very well. So there are some pattern recognition tasks where AI will replace humans, and others where it will augment their abilities, and still others where it may not apply at all.
 He mentions the reality that machine learning and AI are applied to specific tasks, the generally make people more efficient.  Over time, people move on to different types of jobs that may not have even existed before.

AI research is moving at a breakneck pace. It’s really hard to keep up with, even when you’re deep in the field. We’re gathering more data to train algorithms on, so that’s making them smarter. And we have more powerful chips to process that data, so that’s making new applications possible. We’re getting better at computational creativity: the combination of elements to create art in various media like graphics and music. We’re getting better at perception: figuring out what’s going on in front of the machine. We’re getting better about using AI to make decisions.

This will have a big impact on healthcare, finance, manufacturing, e-commerce, you name it. Accurately classifying raw data and using that to make better decisions can apply to almost every industry. And with deep learning, the improvements in accuracy are a quantum leap beyond what used to be possible. That kind of improvement can save companies millions.
 Putting some technologies together will make drastic changes in some industries, of course.  The impact of the self-driving car will be enormous.  That doesn't make it bad.  As we've seen with technology over the last decade, changes in some areas of life are dramatic.  In others, not so much.