Will artificial intelligence take over the world? AI is already part of our lives. Every time you ask Google Translate to turn English into German, that’s an AI. Every time that Amazon gives you a book recommendation, that’s AI. So it’s already becoming part of our lives. Machines have been helping us with our work for a while. Humans have moved from working in fields, to factories, to offices. Most machines we’ve built in the past are very good at doing narrowly-defined, predictable work. But intelligent machines can learn and think. Humans are actually terrible at making decisions. We’re full of behavioural biases. Behavioural psychology is full of lots of
examples about how humans are irrational in their decision-making and how potentially, with the evidence that the computers can process, how much better machines could be. If carefully managed, the benefits of AI to society can be immense. But adjustments will need to be made. We need to work out, as a society, how we support people, as people need to re-skill to keep ahead of machines. We’re going to be using technologies in 30 years time that were invented in 20 years time. So it’s a case that we’re going to have to do lifelong learning. We’re going to have to pick up those skills as we go along. So, does that mean we shouldn’t be afraid of AI taking over the world? One of the problems with artificial intelligence is that most people understand it from Hollywood and it’s not that the machines are going to take over. In fact, I’m far more worried about stupid AI, that we’ll be giving responsibility to machines that aren’t capable enough. And the robots aren’t going to take over any time soon. In fact, we should celebrate when robots take over jobs because those were dull, repetitive jobs that humans probably should never have been doing.