May 2, 2019

Thriving in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is already deciding who goes to jail and who gets a loan. The need for us to understand how to build technology in a way that is aligned with our own interests is clearly an emerging one.

Thriving in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Technology has undoubtedly changed the way we live our lives. It has the potential to help us flourish. It can help us to become the best version of ourselves. Faster, smarter and more productive. It’s also moving at a faster pace than ever before. As we approach the 4th Industrial Revolution, the distant dream of robots becoming part of our daily lives is suddenly not unattainable anymore. We now see this in the cars we drive, how we communicate and what technologies we are using to improve the way we work.

Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels

As believed by David Chalmers and Hans Moravec, human-level AI is not only theoretically possible but feasible within this century.  As the saying goes “with great power, comes great responsibility”. Some of the best thinking minds, from Bill Gates to Elon Musk, have constantly discussed the problems with having such a powerful system unregulated.

“AI’s a rare case where we need to be proactive in regulation, instead of reactive. Because by the time we are reactive with AI regulation, it’s too late” – Elon Musk

From killer robots to superintelligence concerns, these are not possibilities that we can afford to ignore. Artificial Intelligence is already deciding who goes to jail and who gets a loan. The need for us to understand how to build technology in a way that is aligned with our own interests is clearly an emerging one. We have seen that the path of surveillance capitalism, which some of the big tech companies are taking us can be dangerous.

Often the technology moves faster than governments can address its effects. The regulation dilemma is whether we need a separate body of laws to govern Artificial Intelligence, such as America’s Food and Drug Administration, or whether it’s viable to rely on existing laws applicable in different fields. Others argue that the best approach might be to concentrate on the rules about how personal data is managed. Europe has shown a direction on this point with the General Data Protection Regulation, which came into place in May 2018.

Independently of which path we decide to take, collaboration in this field is needed to ensure Artificial Intelligence operates as our servant and not our master. To ensure a future where humans can thrive.