Expect an enhanced workforce dedicated to AI safety, big steps in reaching what’s known as “general” intelligence, and more of the same (i.e. “good” and “bad” applications of AI).
First, a small note on a massive idea
Unlike other emerging technologies, AI never seems to go away. It’s perpetually talked about, studied, revered, and feared.
It’s going to give robots sentience! And they’re going to take over the human race! And enslave us! And fold our laundry !
We’ve been obsessed with AI since the mid 20th century, philosophizing about how it will alter society by replacing jobs, girlfriends, and — dare I say it — human intelligence. Will we be better off? Or just WALL-E chair people?
As you can see by this ultra-scientific Google Trends chart, AI interest is growing. Maybe it’s amplified by sensational stories of backflipping robots or Stephen Hawking quotes or Jeopardy champions, but unlike other emerging tech trends (looking at you Bitcoin), there are few peaks and valleys. We’re consistently interested.
So why is it rising now? Is 2019 the year when technology reaches a critical mass and ushers in a new era of machine autonomy? After all, 2018 saw a 73 percent increase in enterprising companies producing papers on AI, and nearly half of all organizations (large and small) implemented some form of AI into their operation.
In short: no. Duh. You all saw this coming.
In 2019, we’re going to make some serious progress toward achieving general intelligence (think machines communicating, learning and even acting like humans), and creating more and more widely used applications of narrow intelligence (bots that are as good if not better than humans at one thing — think playing chess, or operating a car). More on general and narrow intelligence shortly.
Regardless of this uncertain future — one where bots help, hurt, and/or surpass humans — advances in AI will happen in your lifetime.
So, what do you need to know for 2019? I’m so glad you asked!
2019 as the first step toward 2030
Before you scoff at this amount of time as “forever away”, consider where you’ll be in 11 years. Are you married? How many kids do you have? Where are you working?
Sufficiently freaked out? Excellent. Onward!
The Pew Research Center did something amazing recently. They interviewed nearly 1,000 tech pioneers, innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists about AI and what it means for humanity over the next decade.
Note: many of these experts are assuming that by 2030, we’ve achieved artificial general intelligence, or something very close to it. There’s the chance that we’re not even close, and all of this is sensationalized speculation.[…]