Future-Of-Artificial Intelligence


AI is addressing one of the ultimate puzzles along with support to mankind. How is it possible for an electronic brain to perceive, understand, predict, and manipulate a world more complicated? How do scientists go about making these properties? Developing of AI can be evaluated by various arguments in favor and against in terms of three aspects: replacement of workforce, effect on humanity and impact on society. The researcher in AI has evidence that anything is possible. The advent of using the computer in 1950s helped the human race greatly. Many scientists believed that new Electronic Super Brains have the unlimited potential for intelligence. AI turned out to be more difficult than it was imagined and still require decades. AI is further divided into sub fields such as perception and logical reasoning, to specific tasks such as playing chess, proving mathematical theorems, writing poetry {poetry}, and diagnosing diseases. In this sense, it is truly a universal field.


Few years ago, the chances of assuming that a piece of technology could understand human behavior precisely seemed quite unlikely and impracticable. The term “Artificial Intelligence” (hereafter “Al”) was first coined by John McCarthy in 1956 as referring to the intelligent computer systems that permitted them to do jobs that would normally require human intelligence such as self-driving vehicles. (Artificial Intelligence Illuminated). One definition of Artificial Intelligence is: Artificial Intelligence is the study of systems that act in a way that to any observer would appear to be intelligent. (Artificial Intelligence Illuminated). The Proponents of the strong AI believe that computer that behaves in an intelligent way is capable of possessing the mental states as well, therefore, of being truly conscious and intelligent in the same way as people are. (Artificial Intelligence Illuminated).

Understanding AI requires having the knowledge of psychology, biology, linguistics and philosophy. Turing’s test is a way in determining if the computer have become truly intelligent by seeing if it could fool a human during conversation into thinking that it is also human. (Artificial Intelligence Illuminated) Since the 1950s, the study of AI has been drastically increased with more realism added to it. The progress in the past decades has been phenomenal.


The history of Al relates to the subject whether machines will be able to think like human beings. For example, in the 17th century philosophers Hobbes, Leibniz and Descartes pondered whether the process of human rational thoughts could be mechanized and showed systematic as algebra or geometrically. As a modern academic discipline, AI was established in 1956 after the Dartmouth Conferences and the paper that was written by Alan Turing regarding the notion of machines if they can, for instance, play chess. A new wave of Artificial Intelligence breakthroughs is enabling the technology to succeed in adapting the ways of life which seemed impossible at first. The advancement in AI is making our lives easier as well as productive. For others it presents a new round of angst and fear related to the future of artificial intelligence.

A well-known scientist with Microsoft Research Cambridge, Chistopher Bishop said regarding AI, “Right now we’re in a phase of very fast advances, and that may well continue for a small number of years”. () There have been advances in machine learning that includes the probabilistic models and deep neural networks; computer today can identify faces, accurately recognize and caption the photos and translate the written and spoken conversations. In short, computer can be your own personal assistant. () Still until now, computer have not approach the complexity of adapting human culture, thinking and lifestyle and certainly cannot perform all individual tasks required from them. There is still long way to go. The scientists also believe that human brain is really difficult to emulate. This may sound really complicated, but it is definitely not impossible. (Bostrom & Yudkowsky, 2011)


Aspect 1: Replacement of Workforce with AI technology

With the AI automation in the market, the result may be destruction of jobs faster instead of creating the new ones. Erik Brynjolfsson who is an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and co-author of The Second Machine Age, reflects in his book which jobs will be left in the new era once the AI technology overtakes the domain of humans such as driving cars and translating speeches. Heath, N. (2015) A panel discussion was held by Bishop and Eric Horvitz – renowned scientist and also the managing director of the Microsoft Research’s Redmond Lab – to discuss the progress in artificial intelligence called myths, realities and aspirations. The panel discussions are held annually by the Microsoft Research’s annual Faculty Summit and anyone can access it online. Erik Brynjolfsson highlights the pace of the digital technologies growing in power and their role in replacement of workforce. “There is a significant fall in the ratio of employment to population,” said Erik Brynjolfsson. Heath, N. (2015) He also added that the prediction of society heading toward the state of technological unemployment was being made many years ago by John Keynes. The middle-skilled structured tasks and also the routine information processing tasks will especially be under pressure as they can be easily replaced by automation. “Maybe not lawyers or attorneys but the first level associates. I already talked to one big law firm and they said they’re not hiring as many of those sorts of people because a machine can scan through hundreds of thousands or millions of documents and find the relevant information for a case or a trial much more quickly and accurately than a human can,” said Brynjolfsson. Heath, N. (2015).

One might object here that machines are not good at certain tasks such as comforting, caring, nurturing and motivating people. The human interactions are important in all jobs, so far at least machines are incapable and inadequate to perform these tasks. It might seem that these non-existed social skills of the AI machines or superhuman will infect help entrepreneurs, managers, salespeople, nurses, lawyers, kindergarten teachers etc. Heath, N. (2015). They seem to have a bright future with AI technologies. Admittedly, a more optimistic look at the possible outcome is that these AI technologies will help people in achieving more rather than leading to mass unemployment. The ability for translation, understanding languages and speech recognition will come as a blessing for many people working in different jobs. Smith, A., & Anderson, J. (2015) The point of AI discovery will be the cooperation between human beings and machines, rather than the competition. AI routines would rely on taking larger role in helping the people do their jobs. Hern, A. (2014, 08 06)

But if this is so, what about the increasing rate of employment already occurring throughout the world? Brynjolfsson identifies various astonishing technologies lining up to encroach on human labor. Let’s consider the Rethink Robotic’s Baxter, a robotic humanoid torso complete with arms, claw-like grips and a head with an LCD face. The purpose of the creation of Baxter was to replace the factory line workers employed in the repetitive tasks. Hern, A. (2014, 08 06) Baxter is created to be trained to perform new jobs much better than the robots before, picking up and dropping items more efficiently than humans. As the country’s productivity is increasing, there must be a direct link to increase in the total employment. However there is seen no associated increase in the more employment with the economic growth as suspected. “As The Nobel Prize-winning economist Wassily Leontief agreed, stating definitively in 1983 that ‘the role of humans as the most important factor of production is bound to diminish in the same way that the role of horses in agricultural production was first diminished and then eliminated by the introduction of tractors’.” “According to our estimate, 47 percent of total US employment is in the high risk category, meaning that associated occupations are potentially automatable over some unspecified number of years, perhaps a decade or two,” they predict in the report The Future of Employment. They are forecasting two ‘waves of computerization’ in the future during which many categories of the jobs will be washed away and almost all fields of employment will be taken into account. Hern, A. (2014, 08 06)

Aspect 2: Threat to humanity?

No, AI technology is not a threat to humanity as the purpose of creating it and advancement in technology is to have a better standard of living for human beings. In the long run, the future of AI have the potential to enhance people’s quality of life in areas of healthcare, transportation and education. The latest breakthroughs in the artificial intelligence were the causes of major advancement in AI which consisted of reasoning, perception, and machine learning. Today, the powers and authority of computer has increased drastically. Similarly the growth of internet and Web opportunities has opened new gates of collecting, sharing and storing large amounts of data. The computing systems have been improvised and they have succeeded considering many new uncertainties and solutions to problems. Through the integrative AI efforts, new abilities have been taught to systems including machine learning, natural languages, speech, vision, and planning in order to create more reliable computing systems. “AI has become more central to the competitive landscape for these companies,” Horvitz said. People on the optimistic side believe that AI will increase human capabilities such as by deepening memory, speeding recognition and learning rapidly. (Russell and Norvig, 1995). The whole point of AI advancements is to help the human race and understands their issue.

Other the other side, the advancements is causing legal and ethical concerns in order to make sure that during the next years, as the companies get better with the AI driven technology, they are also thinking through the potential dilemmas or threat. The idea that computers can do something faster and better than humans worry many people even though the concept was being laid since the 1960s. As the systems improve gradually, the researchers and scientists are also spending great quality of time ensuring the AI systems are not threatening, they will perform safely under unpredictable conditions. Horvitz said regarding this, “We have to stay vigilant, be proactive and make good decisions, especially as we build more powerful intelligence, including systems that might be able to out-think us or rethink things in ways that weren’t planned by the creators,” When one part of the researchers, industry experts and scientists are making advancements in the search of AI systems, the other part is making tools, controls and constraints in order to prevent the unexpected consequences. According to Kurzweil, computers will become more intelligent than human and also humans will no longer even be able to understand what they are doing (Kurzweil, 2014). Movies and fiction stories like Frankenstein, Terminator and the Matrix have reflected the worst of future where machines become superhuman and destroy human race. They have portrayed dystopian futures where the computers will develop superhuman intelligence making them dangerous. However, this kind of imagination is not alone since some important figures and scientists think that such scenarios might be true. For instance, the famous theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking said, “The primitive forms of artificial intelligence we already have, have proved very useful. But I think the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” Hawking told the BBC. “Once humans develop artificial intelligence it would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate,” he said. (Phys.org, (2015). Artificial intelligence: Hawking’s fears stir debate)It may seem like science fiction, but the future will decide. Nick Bostrom, director of a programmer on the impacts of future technology at University of Oxford said, “I think machine intelligence will eventually surpass biological intelligence—and, yes, there will be significant existential risks associated with that transition.” Phys.org, (2015). Artificial intelligence: Hawking’s fears stir debate

Contradicting to this theory, many believes AI will help human race and make them more intelligent and effective whilst increasing the standard way of life. It really depends on what the creator is actually making. AI is being developed in order to help the humanity, not to become a potential threat. (Russell and Norvig, 1995). Thomas Dietterich – President of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and renowned professor of computer science at the Oregon State Univeristy- said that Elon Musk contributed $10 million to the Future of Life Institute which was necessary to ensure the safety of AI. However, the real risks are not even close to or related to as people and movies visualize. ()”For a long time the risks of artificial intelligence have mostly been discussed in a few small, academic circles, and now they are getting some long-overdue attention,” Dietterich said. “That attention, and funding to support it, is a very important step.” He continued, “We’re now talking about doing some pretty difficult and exciting things with AI, such as automobiles that drive themselves, or robots that can effect rescues or operate weapons. These are high-stakes tasks that will depend on enormously complex algorithms. The biggest risk is that those algorithms may not always work,” he added. “We need to be conscious of this risk and create systems that can still function safely even when the AI components commit errors. Computer systems can already beat humans at chess, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make a wrong move,” he said. “They can reason, but that doesn’t mean they always get the right answer. And they may be powerful, but that’s not the same thing as saying they will develop superpowers.” So basically, in short everything related to AI advancements depend on humans.

Aspect 3: Impact on Society

The medical researchers have introduced many new computing systems such as systems which can predict which patients are most at risk for re-admission to hospital after discharge or for a hospital acquired infection. The concept of AI will become better once the AI is incorporated into medicine, automobiles and defense. Horvitz said. According to Bishop, the AI is the perfect opportunity for letting the machines do the dangerous, dirty and labor-intensive work that most people don’t want to do. Bostrom, n., & Yudkowsky, E. (2011) AI could also bring changes in tackling serious world issues such as climate change or hunger. The target is to make such machines that can converse, see and understand human beings. According to Horvitz, the new and quick advances are a result of popularity among the consumers, today people have gotten used to the world where technology understands their language. Bostrom, n., & Yudkowsky, E. (2011) For example technology today helps you to find the fastest route home in rush hour traffic, get rid of unwanted spam emails automatically, understands your taste in movies, shopping and recommends accordingly. Horvitz also said, “We see more and more of these successes in daily life, we quickly grow accustomed to them and come to expect them.” Hence the need to such technology have led technology companies becoming more dependent on building the better and successful artificial intelligence based systems. Bostrom, n., & Yudkowsky, E. (2011).

Opposing to the above stated effect on the society, some people believe that only the lazy ones need the advancements in order to success. The future of AI also seems to be unwanted as the more intelligence there is in the world, the less valuable it will become. There will be no unique capabilities of super-intelligent computers not available to anyone. As there are advancements in AI, there also has been increasing crime rate. If the world is abundant in intelligence, the valuable resources will be those which are limited like oil, minerals, energy and land.

On the contrary, AI chess algorithm helped people becoming better chess player. (Russell and Norvig, 1995) Therefore in future, AI will help people in their respective profession and hence there will be better teachers, judges, pilots, and doctors.


What are the advantages of machines? Certainly, they don’t bear the same physical weakness as human; that is, machines don’t get tired, and with the material which they are constructed from, they can be many times stronger than humans, thus making it possible for them to do things beyond human’s ability. Combining these advantages and AI, it is possible for them to become a substitute of a human. Studying and predicting the future with AI in interesting and give the reason that the created intelligent entities will be useful in their own way. AI is still developing and until now has proved to be worthy and successful in advancements today. No one can predict what will actually happen in the future when AI technology will be successful, however it is quite obvious that computers having human intelligence will completely change the lifestyle in future. It will have a huge impact on the lives of people then and on the future course of civilization.


Future of artificial intelligence

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