From The Matrix to Wargames and iRobot to Metropolis , movies and novels have threatened us with a revolution of AI and robots for decades, whether that’s through a violent uprising or just replacing us at our jobs. Today, those theoretical dystopian futures seem more realistic than ever.
With the growth of smart assistants and advanced machine learning, there is a growing concern that in the decades to come, there may be very little work for humans to do. But for just a moment, let’s set aside our apocalyptic tendencies and consider that working with AI could actually provide a better, more fulfilling workspace in the future.
A new industrial revolution
Humanity has gone through three distinctive industrial revolutions over the past few hundred years, from factory development, to mass production, and eventually computer digitization. Like the revolutions of the past, this one is about automation, but it’s very much a 21 st century version.
As Jody Bailey, CTO at online tech-training company PluralSight explained to us though, the new industrial revolution we’re going through, is much broader and deeper than automation innovations of the past. “There are so many flavors of [automation],” he told Digital Trends. “What I think we’re going to see in the future is that intelligence, whether it’s AI or knowledge, is going to become like electricity, where basically you just ‘plug in’ to it. If you think about the internet, it’s kind of like that already. If you think about augmenting people’s knowledge and think about your smartphone or Google, we no longer have those arguments about facts because someone just Google’s it. In the future I think we’re going to see more and more augmentation of knowledge for people.”
“Intelligence, whether it’s AI or knowledge, is going to become like electricity where basically you just ‘plug in’ to it.”
While the rise in fake news and filter bubbles might contend with Bailey’s somewhat rosy look at contemporary societies’ use of information online, his idea of making access to knowledge more intuitive in years to come seems likely to bear fruit. Today, search might be more curated to the user, but it’s faster and more accessible on a variety of devices than ever before. With augmented reality and ever evolving input technologies like voice commands, that seems like a trend that will continue in the years to come.
Bailey highlighted how such advancements have been taking place in some careers for years already. Take the responsibilities of an airline pilot, for example, which have changed drastically over the years. While he or she might have a broad range of knowledge and skills, they actually spend very little time in direct control of the aircraft, thanks to autopilot. […]