I keep seeing articles that say either 1) AI and robots will put us all out of work, and 2) Humans and robots will co-exist and humans will simply escalate to a new level human-machine interface in mid-21st century jobs. So which is it?
What concerns me is that so many of the jobs humans do nowadays are ripe for replacement by AIs that will either be disembodied or placed in robots. That’s because companies see immediate cost-saving benefits. This raises questions for me.
- Can our education systems and our socio-economics react fast enough to truly elevate human interactions with machines to an unprecedented level?
- Can societal structure be revised to provide basic human needs at lower cost so that we can live a Star Trek-like future?
- Will the values of companies like Apple dictate this evolution, or will basic human greed overrule ethical concerns?
It could well be that AI assistants in their current infancy can be leveraged by smart humans to achieve new levels of achievement and productivity. That meme might propel the designers of AIs, like Apple, to develop them along specific lines that are favorable to human partnership and intellectual evolution.
The second article I’ve linked to below ponders that notion:
This could result in societal changes of greater freedom of location and a basic income. In a way, the Automation Age may be an enhanced return to the hunter/gatherer period of humanity where basic needs were provided, originally by nature, in the future by machines. Except in the Automation Age, our purpose will be to explore what it means to be human instead of simply survive.
On the other hand, if there are overwhelming incentives to squeeze the human out of the loop, then our own evolution will be stunted. It all depends on the economics, in the short term, of designing AIs to partner with humans instead of going it alone.
Anyway, as I mentioned above, here are two articles that explore the issues.
- Robots and humans can coexist. There is no ‘jobless future’ after all
- Machines Taking Jobs: Why This Time Is Different
Along those lines, we can get a early picture of how AI will interact with us in the future by looking at the current state-of-the-art. That is, Siri, Alexa and Cortana. Here again, the ethics of privacy vs. corporate intrusion (and control) will play out. Fast Company ponders: “To Win The AI Assistant Wars, Apple Is Melding Siri With Its Other Services.”
In summary, if the values that Apple instills in Siri make it non-competitive or slow down its development, how will Apple react? Can Apple turn Siri into such a compelling AI that it can shrug off potentially less ethical competitors? How will Apple market that strategy? Is Apple even thinking about these implications? My guess is yes.
Next Page: The News Debris For The Week Of August 14th. Another Apple blockbuster movie deal.