I. Rise of Smart Machine
Smart machines pose a threat to society. Smart machines are simply algorithms that are self-taught. They learn by processing mountains of data as input, learn patterns over time, and respond accordingly. The notion of “Artificial General Intelligence” or AGI for short, is the goal for smart machines. Many organizations see the potential to create AGI for a variety of reasons. These organizations are well funded and have access to the latest technology, variety of information and industry leaders.
II. Easy Access to Technology
Computers can crunch numbers much faster than humans. Computers interpret inputs in a variety of formats, the code executes a series of instructions and complies accordingly. Computer algorithms continue to advance, hardware and software prices continue to decrease and increase in availability to larger data set the stage for anyone to dabble in smart computing.
III. Surpass Human Intellect
Computer programs can process huge amounts of data, learn patterns over time, and respond accordingly. Over time, smart machines can and will outperform humans exponentially in a variety of tasks. Likewise, smart machines with specific domain knowledge could be integrated with other smart machines with specific knowledge in other domains. This could create a network of smart machines with tremendous information. That network could gather information and respond according in real time.
IV. Accumulation of Data
o Larger data sets are proliferating
o Both Proprietary and Public Domain
V. Labeling the data
o “Supervised” Machine Learning algorithms require manual data classification
o “Unsupervised” Machine Learning algorithms do not require labeled data
VI. Algorithms Aren’t “Teal Time”
o Takes time to move, prepare and ingest data
o Training the data models takes time
VII. Data Models
o Models are statistical probabilities and not designed to be 100% accurate
o Domains are typically isolation and don’t “communicate” with other domains yet
VIII. Shortage of Data Scientist / AI Engineers
o Although Universities are sending qualified technologist into the workforce, a shortage of Resources with AGI experience still exists
o The basic process to create smart machines is complex and limited to some of the more advanced thinkers
IX. Black Boxes
o Unfortunately, the underlying mechanics that allow computers to interpret raw data into useful information is a “Black Box”
o The power “under the hood” of current algorithms is not completely understood
X. Ethics and Bias
Another area of concern are the underlying ethics behind the algorithms. There is potential to add “human bias” into the smart machine software, by design or inherent in the human process. Those bias may be minor, yet they could be amplified with serious downstream consequences.
· Who gets to decide which rules are acceptable and which aren’t?
· Can rules be modified over time?
· Is there a governing board that ensures the smart machines behave within acceptable behavior and what are the ramifications if they deviate from the stated objective?
· If smart machines do something outside the bounds of acceptable norms, can the owner of the software or robotics be held accountable?
· If AGI is created outside traditional incubation organizations, how can we guarantee rules are followed?
· How can we ensure the smart system has an “off” button as precaution?
· Who will monitor the network of smart machines and how will that be funded?
· Will “laws” be created or modified to account for smart machines and robotics?
· What “rights” will smart machines have?
· Who “owns” the smart machines?
· Do “Smart Machines” have rights?
· Can “Smart Machines” and their designers be held liable?
Since the advent of computers in the middle of last century, bugs have appeared in nearly every software program. Bugs are features of the system that were not accounted for or do not behave the way the developer intended. For example, if you attempt to divide by zero in a calculation, that will result in a bug. If you don’t account for that “bug” ahead of time, the program may behave in unintended ways. It’s nearly impossible to remove all bugs from every program as many bugs can’t be predicted ahead of time. Also, smart machines could eventually write their own programs which are more efficient at solving problems. How can we ensure they write code that doesn’t contain bugs with unintended consequences?
XII. Quantum Computing
Quantum Computers are starting to make an impact in technology by leveraging some cutting-edge technology. Although mostly large software companies, joint ventures, academia and space programs have availability of funds and technology, a newer version of computing has been developed. Basically, it leverages the traditional “binary” mode of computers that use a combination of 1’s and 0’s and adds a third element of Zero, One or Both. This allows computation of gigantic data sets and once insurmountable problems to be solved with increased speed. The major downside is having the ability to solve problems of encrypt ability. If a Quantum Computer can break the code of our most sophisticated algorithms, how will society encrypt things going forward and what alternative methodology will be used to ensure secrecy and accountability.
XIII. Elimination of Jobs
We are witnessing some reduction of specific jobs in the workforce due to automation. Some processes can be better performed by smart machines or robotics. They contain fewer number of errors, more efficient, do not require much time off and can be recorded as assets on the financial statements that get depreciated over time. This phenomenon will continue to increase into other niche jobs. It could also expand into many segments of society which were “automation proof”.
XIV. Unemployable Workers
As more jobs become obsolete through automation and smart machines, the number of unemployed individuals that never return to the workforce could increase. How will these individuals sustain basic needs of food and housing? From a financial perspective, will loan defaults increase? Will crime increase? How will the economy continue its upward growth trend if fewer people have access to goods and service and lower discretionary income. Are there measures in place to ensure civic order?
XV. Basic Living Wage
There has been discussion of the Basic Living Wage to provide capital so every person can sustain life. Although this concept makes sense, there are many holes in the model to support widespread unemployment. Who will finance the money to support a good chunk of society. How will people occupy themselves 24 hours 7 days a week? Will the number of offspring be curbed to alleviate the burden on society? How will the education system be altered if the graduates have limited chance to find gainful employment?
As organizations strive to increase profits and reduce costs, Smart Machines have the potential to automate many tasks currently supported by humans. As more people get displaced from the workforce, few purchases of goods and services could result. This translates to less monies flowing through the system. This has potential to lower the tax base collected by institutions. It could also amplify a need for further automation to maintain profit levels, resulting in further job loss.
The Rise of Smart Machines creates many opportunities across a segment of society. Yet it also poses some obstacles to overcome downstream. Increases to technology have the potential to alter a good chunk of society and great minds need to come together to discuss some of the ramifications and plans for a soft landing.
I. Gartner Says Smart Machines Will Have Widespread and Deep Business Impact Through 2020
IV. Responsible Conduct in Data Management
V. Training / Learning Methods
a. Supervised Learning
b. Unsupervised Learning
VI. Real Time Computing
VII. What No One Tells you about Real Time Machine Learning
VIII. McKinsey Report Highlights the Impending Data Scientist Shortage
IX. Black Box
X. Ethics of artificial intelligence
XI. AI expert Nick Bostrom: Machine super intelligence will have no off switch
XII. Quantum Computing
XIII. Automation and Anxiety
XIV. AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs
XV. Living Wage