Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are terms often used synonymously.
In basic terms, it’s the intelligence that’s built in machines i.e. computers, and when machines self-observe, self-learn, and evolve, they are more advanced than anything else we know of and can perform tasks on their own while they continue to evolve.
Its humans whose brainchild is the computer and also, the languages it understands and the actions it executes.
However, there is always a fear, we humans have lived in that once these computers self learn and evolve, they are no longer in our control and may one day be the most advanced machines out there overpowering us and our intelligence.
How many fiction films have shared this story time and again with us?
In the movie world, it’s always good that reigns over evil, and in the case of machines, their lack of empathy or perhaps, the empathy of one particular machine is what saves the day.
Stories are such entertainment, aren’t they?
There is another notion out there that AI augments what humans do than set out to replace them.
The question is which notion will be real?
If AI augments human activity, it is based on the belief that we, humans are still in control and can direct machines as to what to do. Where we once had machines doing the hard jobs during the industrial era, we now have machines doing our soft jobs, of course under our direction.
The goal has always been to make human lives easier.
You could argue that making our lives easy as an objective renders us redundant over a time period where basic intelligence can also take a hit in the long run.
But, with advanced intelligence, machines can and do show as more advanced with better computation and processing skills than humans.
What the human eye and mind cannot comprehend, the computer’s eye and intelligence can. While machines can reason through logic mechanisms, humans have additional emotional elements that add a layer over logic, which can either be seen as a weakness or strength depending on the situation.
Yet, machines have advanced by leaps and bounds in building upon and unraveling their intelligence over time. Man, on the other hand, can perhaps work in unison with technology at its nascent stages to add value but as machine intelligence advances, human intelligence is left far behind.
In such a scenario, will AI augment human intelligence and the work we do or will they take over?
While the political answer sides with machines augmenting humans and to a certain degree, it’s the right answer for technologists too, if they seek to continue to explore and advance technology to the levels it can go.
A realist’s answer may be that advanced machines will render human needs and intervention obsolete.
Machines are built to do things faster, cheaper, and better, more accurately than humans. And, when that happens, it’s economically more viable to use machines than humans for such jobs.
Take the self-driving technology that is being talked about so much nowadays. The day it works as highly accurate and dependable, does anyone need to drive or need drivers? It’s only in the nascent stages of technology development that human intervention and cooperation are effective and work. Once the machines outpace human caliber, they are on their own and do not need humans. It’s the economically viable thing to do.
Take tele-health, for example. A couple of years ago, tele-health was not very welcome and it was deduced that seeing a physician in person was the only effective way of seeking medical help. With advanced technology and thanks to the current pandemic, tele-health has rapidly been embraced and everyone is happy to seek a physician’s guidance over a video call. Next are evolving technologies that will replace specific physician skills like reviewing medical images or conducting and reading lab tests. Soon, ever-improving technologies will not just read results but also diagnose symptoms and conditions, prescribe cures based on real data of millions of patients, slowly but surely changing the role of a physician to minimize, if not replace in totality.
The day humans will be replaced by machines is inevitable based on the speed and direction we are going.
Jobs, as we know them, will need to change and evolve. Skills need to be acquired to fit these new jobs.
Now, what are these jobs of the future, we still need to discover?
One thing is for sure, they will revolve around things that make us human; our emotions, empathy, social interaction, and the softer attributes of who we are as a species. These are the things no machine has replicated and perhaps may not for some time in the future.
Another key aspect of us humans is our creativity, novelty of thinking and doing. This hasn’t been replaced by machines yet. A machine can do what it’s told to, and evolve it to greater heights, better than any human can do. But, to come up with ingenious ideas, that’s still a human faculty.
The jobs of the future will continue to be based on human intelligence, emotions, social relationships, interactions, creativity and innovation, and most importantly on aspects that make us human, the ability to relate to each other.
With the advancement of AI, you should also know that pursuit of material wealth will no longer be a motivator.
Basic needs and more will be easily met since today’s activities that humans perform for value creation, will be better done by machines for a minuscule cost, as a result, rendered not so valuable anymore.
The value of the future will be different. What motivates us and makes our lives meaningful will also be very different and of course, very much not based on materiality.
Then, what will our future values be?
What will we do and gain satisfaction?
Are we headed in the right direction?
Think about it and share your thoughts!