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Disruptive technologies: AI, friend or foe?

By: Chad Baker

In this post I will address the future of AI for global society, the consequences of its development (positive vs. negative), and the impact on the way people work and play every day.

AI, like most groundbreaking technologies, is either the greatest thing to ever happen to humanity, or the worst curse we could ever unleash. Elon Musk, founder of American companies SpaceX, Tesla, and others has spoken out more then most globally public figures about the possible dangerous aspects of AI. Machine learning (the coded form of AI applied to a task) is now one of the hottest fields in the technology industry and is affecting change in every global sector, from the world of financials to manufacturing industries. AI has the power to free us from monotonous work and allow us free time for distinctly human tasks. The many positive aspects of AI are often touted by scientists, but Mr. Musk is the currently one of the most well known global figures acting as a harbinger of the darker possibilities at hand. See a video interview of his here \/\/\/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tBZA2rygcM

Musk’s rhetoric is in line with the authors like Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick’s novels and subsequent Hollywood adaption movies, many of whom address the many dystopian possibilities of, in many cases, AI. These movies show dark visions of the future where AI takes such control over our lives as to become hostile to our existence, and possibly become our undoing. Musk’s solution is to “join forces” with AI and integrate with it to safeguard against more negative outcomes.

The impact on daily life will be large. People will have much more time for recreation and socialization on average. Poverty levels worldwide are likely to decrease. Assuming our existence as a species is not put under threat, lower income jobs will, for the most part, disappear completely. Many people, Musk included, believe that such job market changes will require a rethinking of the nature of capitalism and creation of a guaranteed minimum income. The AI driven future looks bright if we reorganize social structures wisely, and are not annihilated as a species by its all controlling self-aware power.

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