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The Future of AI: How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform the World

The Future of AI
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The Future of AI: How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform the World

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is continuously reshaping our world. Here are some ways AI will impact our lives.

Innovations in AI are shaping the future of humanity across almost every industry. AI is already the primary driver of emerging technologies such as big data, robotics, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Additionally, generative AI has further expanded the possibilities and popularity of AI.

According to a 2023 IBM survey, 42% of enterprise-level businesses have integrated AI into their operations, and 40% are considering it for their organizations. Furthermore, 38% of organizations have implemented generative AI in their workflows, while 42% are considering doing so.

With so many rapid changes, here is what AI-driven transformations could mean for various industries and society at large.

The Evolution of AI

AI has come a long way since 1951 when Christopher Strachey wrote the first documented AI computer program, a checkers program that played a complete game on the Ferranti Mark I computer at the University of Manchester. Thanks to advancements in machine learning and deep learning, IBM’s Deep Blue defeated chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997, and the company’s IBM Watson won Jeopardy! in 2011.

Since then, generative AI has led the latest chapter in AI’s evolution, with OpenAI releasing its first GPT model in 2018. This has led to the development of OpenAI’s GPT-4 model and ChatGPT, proliferating AI generators that can process queries and produce relevant text, audio, images, and other types of content.

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AI has also been used to assist in sequencing RNA for vaccines and modeling human speech. These technologies rely on model- and algorithm-based machine learning, increasingly focusing on perception, reasoning, and generalization.

How AI Will Impact the Future

Enhanced Business Automation Nearly 55% of organizations have adopted AI to varying degrees, suggesting that automation will increase for many businesses in the near future. With the rise of chatbots and digital assistants, companies can rely on AI to handle simple interactions with customers and answer basic employee queries.

AI’s ability to analyze vast amounts of data and convert its findings into accessible visual formats can also expedite decision-making processes. Company leaders no longer need to waste time analyzing data themselves but can use quick insights to make informed decisions.

“If [developers] understand what the technology is capable of and they understand the domain very well, they start making connections and saying, ‘Maybe this is an AI problem, maybe this is an AI problem,'” said Mike Mendelson, an experience designer for NVIDIA. “Often it’s, ‘I have a specific problem I want to solve.'”

Disruption in the Workplace

The rise of automation in business has naturally sparked fears of job losses. In fact, employees believe that about one-third of their tasks could potentially be done by AI. While AI has brought advantages to the workplace, its impact varies across different industries and professions. For instance, manual jobs like secretarial work are at risk of being automated, whereas the demand for roles such as machine learning specialists and information security analysts has increased.

Workers in more skilled or creative positions are more likely to see their jobs enhanced by AI rather than replaced. Whether it means learning new tools or adapting their roles, AI is poised to drive efforts to upskill both individuals and companies.

Clara Naherstedt, a professor and director at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Coordinated Science Laboratory, emphasized, “One of the most critical prerequisites for AI success across various fields is substantial investment in education to retrain people for new jobs.”

Data Privacy Issues

Companies need vast amounts of data to train the models powering generative AI tools, a process that has come under intense scrutiny. Concerns over companies collecting personal data from consumers have prompted the FTC to investigate whether OpenAI’s data collection methods have negatively impacted consumers, potentially violating European data protection laws.

In response, the Biden-Harris administration developed an AI Bill of Rights, which lists data privacy as one of its core principles. Although this bill does not carry significant legal weight, it underscores the growing pressure on AI companies to prioritize data privacy and be more transparent and cautious about how they compile training data.

Increased Regulation

AI could shift perspectives on some legal issues, depending on how generic AI lawsuits play out in 2024. For example, intellectual property concerns have come to the forefront with copyright lawsuits filed against OpenAI by writers, musicians, and companies like The New York Times. These lawsuits influence how the U.S. legal system interprets private and public property, and potential damages could be a significant setback for OpenAI and its competitors.

Ethical issues surrounding generative AI have increased pressure on the U.S. government to adopt a tougher stance. The Biden-Harris administration has maintained a proactive position with its latest executive order, setting strict guidelines on data privacy, civil liberties, responsible AI, and other aspects. However, the government may lean towards stricter regulations depending on the changing political climate.

Climate Change Concerns

On a large scale, AI is poised to significantly impact sustainability, climate change, and environmental issues. Optimists see AI as a way to make supply chains more efficient, perform predictive maintenance, and reduce carbon emissions.

Conversely, AI could be viewed as a major contributor to climate change. The energy and resources needed to create and maintain AI models can increase carbon emissions by up to 80%, potentially undermining any sustainability efforts within the technology sector. Even when applied to climate-conscious technologies, the cost of building and training models might leave society in a worse environmental state.

Industries Most Impacted by AI

Virtually every major industry has already been affected by modern AI. Here are some sectors undergoing the most significant changes due to AI:

AI in Manufacturing

Manufacturing has benefited from AI for years. With AI-enabled robotic arms and other manufacturing bots in the 1960s and 1970s, the industry has well adapted to AI’s capabilities. These industrial robots generally work alongside humans to perform limited tasks such as assembly and stacking, while predictive analytics keep sensor equipment running smoothly.

AI in Healthcare

It may seem unlikely, but AI is already transforming how humans interact with medical providers. Thanks to its large data analysis capabilities, AI helps diagnose diseases more quickly and accurately, accelerates and streamlines drug discovery, and even monitors patients through virtual nursing assistants.

AI in Finance

Banks, insurers, and financial institutions leverage AI for numerous applications such as fraud detection, auditing, and customer evaluations for loans. Traders use machine learning to assess millions of data points simultaneously, allowing them to quickly evaluate risks and make smart investment decisions.

AI in Education

AI is set to transform how humans learn at all ages. Using machine learning, natural language processing, and facial recognition, AI helps digitalize textbooks, detect plagiarism, and gauge student emotions to identify those who are struggling or bored. In both the present and future, AI personalizes learning experiences to meet students’ individual needs.

AI in Media

Journalism is increasingly utilizing AI, yielding significant benefits. A prime example is the Associated Press employing Automated Insights to generate thousands of earnings reports annually. However, the introduction of generic AI writing tools like ChatGPT raises important questions about their role in journalism.

AI in Customer Service

Many people dread robocalls, but AI can revolutionize customer service by providing data-driven tools that offer valuable insights for both customers and providers. AI tools in customer service come in the form of chatbots and virtual assistants, enhancing efficiency and user experience.

AI in Transportation

The transportation industry is poised for massive transformation through AI. Self-driving cars and AI travel planners are examples of how AI will influence our travel from point A to point B. While autonomous vehicles are not yet perfect, they are expected to become a reliable means of transport in the future.

Risks and Dangers of AI

Despite its potential to reshape many industries positively, AI also presents significant risks. Here are some potential dangers associated with AI:

Job Loss

Between 2023 and 2028, 44% of workers will experience skill disruption due to AI. Not all employees will be equally affected—women are more likely to encounter AI in their jobs than men. Combined with the significant gender gap in AI skills, women face a higher risk of job loss. Without steps to upskill the workforce, AI proliferation could result in higher unemployment and fewer opportunities for marginalized groups.

Human Bias

AI has earned a reputation for reflecting the biases of the people who train its algorithms. For instance, facial recognition technology is known to favor individuals with lighter skin while discriminating against those with darker skin. If researchers do not address these biases from the outset, AI tools can perpetuate and reinforce social inequalities.

Deepfakes and Misinformation

The spread of deepfakes threatens to blur the line between reality and fiction, causing the public to question what is real. Inability to identify deepfakes can lead to dangerous misinformation affecting individuals and entire nations. Deepfakes have been used for political propaganda, financial fraud, and compromising individuals, among other malicious activities.

Data Privacy

Training AI models on public data increases the risk of data breaches, exposing consumers’ personal information. Companies also contribute to these risks by integrating their data into AI tools. A 2024 Cisco survey found that 48% of businesses had entered non-public company information into generative AI tools, and 69% were concerned about potential damage to their intellectual property and legal rights. A single breach could expose millions of consumers’ data, leaving organizations vulnerable.

Autonomous Weapons

AI in automated weapons poses a significant threat to countries and their populations. While these systems are already lethal, they fail to distinguish between soldiers and civilians. If AI falls into the wrong hands, it could lead to irresponsible use and deployment of weapons endangering large groups of people.

Superior Intelligence

A nightmare scenario involves what is known as technological singularity, where superintelligent machines could permanently alter human existence through subjugation or elimination. Even if AI systems never reach this level, they could become so complex that it becomes difficult to understand their decision-making processes. This could lead to a lack of transparency in correcting mistakes or unintended behaviors.

Mark Gyongyosi, founder of OneTrack.AI, stated, “I don’t think the methods we’re currently using in these fields will lead to machines deciding to kill us. I might have to reevaluate that statement in five or ten years as new approaches and technologies emerge.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the future of AI look like?

AI is expected to enhance industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and customer service, leading to higher quality experiences for both workers and customers. However, it also faces challenges like increased regulation, data privacy concerns, and job displacement.

What will AI look like in 10 years?

AI is likely to become an integral part of everyday life, potentially assisting with elderly care at home and improving efficiency and safety in workplaces through human-AI collaboration.

Is AI a threat to humanity?

The threat AI poses depends on how those controlling the technology choose to use it. In the wrong hands, AI could expose personal information, spread misinformation, and reinforce social inequalities, among other harmful uses.

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