From printers to computers, automobiles to aeroplanes and everywhere in between. The fundamentals of artifical intelligence is applied more and more into our every day lives, without us even noticing it. Siri and Alexa, both common examples of AI, have always had spooky and worrying rumours todo with their ability to listen in on what you are saying even when they are turned off. Google recommending baby food and items, even before you yourself realise that you are pregnant; this is due to the ability for search engines to understand the patterns and mood algorithms of early expecting mothers, target specific adverts and offer them what they will soon require.
The constant growing innovation, particularly in the automobile industry, has lead to the advancement of technology so far into the future that potential ‘self-driving’ cars are becoming more of a realistic option. As revolutionary as the printing press, an Industry Disrupter may be an understatement. There are approximately 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the United States alone, being the MOST common job in the U.S. this will lead to the complete extinction of driving jobs if no governmental law is put into action.
However, there is an even more jarring possibility with the advancement of technology. We always have worried about blue collar jobs, tasks that are practically designed for robotic integration, however the robot innovators have turned their attention to high-value white collar jobs as well. Intelligence which can correctly run through, understand, and process legal and administrational material… the lawyers are next!
Law firms are already using AI to conduct fast paced research, identify key pieces of information, and bill hours; but the future is boundless. Imagine one day, the ability for AI to process and efficiently adjudicate themselves as judge, jury, and executioner. Based on millions of previous cases and situations that have been compiled in a huge database that unequivocally sentences accurately and precisely. Why shouldn’t a robot be able to sentence a human. Corruption and human nature is eliminated. Justice and finepoint accuracy is always key with the law, or do we require a more human touch when judging the life of the guilty, or potentially the innocent.
Brian Cox alluded to this interesting point in which the chances of us discovering complex alien life in this Galaxy is even less likely based on the fact we don’t see AI miners flying around the place, mining for resources in asteroids, and piloting cruise or colony ships. This, he suggests, means either there is no complex alien life beyond our own capabilities, or perhaps, the ability for us to recreate a form of artifical self-consciousness is prohibited in ways we don’t yet understand.
AI has also been an interesting discussion point in modern culture. The famous show Black Mirror touches upon the worrying future of robots who can control themselves, and even historic cultural classics that shaped generations such as Terminator and even WALL-E (targeted for young children) gives us robots with human-like characteristics, with an underlying message of the risk of technology if we aren’t too careful!
The future of robotics isn’t certain, but with the world’s top minds coming up with new ways of designing the likeness of our human-nature, maybe it’s the beginning of the end for mankind, or the end of the beginning for something more artificial.