In 2018, we are closer and closer to becoming a society that accepts and uses artificial intelligence (AI).
At the moment we co-exist with AI. AI is progressively becoming more intelligent and productive, but so too are people, arguably. As we’ve evolved, so too has technology, automation, and the way we use them.
We’ve seen it in our very own supermarkets. Instead of waiting in line for a cashier, we have the option of self-checkout.
10 years ago, there weren’t too many Aussies doing online shopping. Now, our brick and mortar retail industry is struggling because of it.
Previously, you would have a sales assistant in a store come up and ask if you needed any help. Now, you have chatbots asking the same questions online.
Technology is everywhere nowadays. Basic coding is now taught at many primary schools.
All of these are examples of tech and automation. But not necessarily what we’d consider ‘AI’. Widespread commercial application of AI always seems to be just around the corner. But soon, we may see this all change with the formation of a ‘supermind’.
What is a ‘supermind’?
So what exactly is a supermind? And how will it come about?
It basically means it’ll surpass the intelligence of both a computer or a group of human minds put together. A ‘supermind’ will combine the two, creating a new kind of intelligence.
An article from the Slone School at MIT, as reported by Business Insider, states that the contribution from both humans and computers comes from ‘the general intelligence and other skills that machines don’t have, while machines supply the knowledge and capabilities that people don’t have. Together, these systems will act more intelligently than any person, group, or computer has done before.’
Furthermore, instead of just combining one human brain’s intelligence with a computer, the study notes that most discoveries and developments, especially in AI, comes from groups of people. Therefore, ‘rather than trying to replace the people, we should put computers into these groups to boost the thinking power.’
The development of superminds may allow for the fix of societal problems, as well as the development of new technologies and increasing infrastructure in housing, medicine and education.
Will the formation of a ‘supermind’ take away Australian jobs?
But this may have you thinking, what does this mean for my job?
Well, AI cannot proceed by itself. That’s exactly why a collaboration with human minds is needed. Without the constant tinkering and help from people, AI will cease to develop or function. Therefore, jobs may be cut in some sectors, but with the constant updating and developing of skills, people shouldn’t be too concerned with finding work.
But how can we humans work alongside ever-evolving AI technology? Well according to Tom Malone, founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence…
‘In a certain sense, I think that’s what we’ve always done. All uses of computers have involved people… people write the programs, decide which ones to run with, decide what to do when something goes wrong, and they do parts of the job that can’t be done by computers. We’ve used computers always that way and will continue to do so for quite some time. One word for groups of people and often computers doing things is “Superminds.”’
But will it take away our jobs? Most likely…not yet. As Malone states:
‘We should all relax about robots taking away jobs for at least two reasons. One, it’ll be a long time before robots can do everything humans can do. That’s likely to happen some day but not for many, many decades in the future. The second reason, even when you have a new technology capable of doing something in a lab, it can take years or decades before that technology spreads through the economy that would lead to loss of jobs.’
If you look back in history, people have constantly worried about job loss every time new technologies become available. But over time, new jobs are created. That’s not to say it’ll be in the same industry. But there’s a chance you could be the one running the tech in the future.
There may be reasons for concern about your and Australia’s future, but it’s not from robotics. Instead, US economist Harry Dent argues that a number of economic and demographic cycles are coming together in a kind of perfect storm over Australia’s economy. His book Zero Hour, could help you secure your and your family’s wealth. To find out more, go here.
Editor, Money Weekend
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