In Surviving AI, Five Things are Certain


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not new.

From the early thinking captured in Alan Turing’s 1950 paper ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’ to IBM’s Deep Blue defeating world chess champion Gary Kasparov in 1997 and Google’s Alpha Go besting Chinese Go champion Kie Je in 2017, there have been exponential shifts in both the adoption and benefits of AI.

Rapid advancements in Big Data capture and analysis combined with massive growth in storage capability has meant that today, AI applications are already a part of everyday life. This extends from GPS to chat bots, voice and facial recognition, real-time language translation, Industry 4.0 & IoT and will soon include the (imminent) mass-adoption of driverless cars. All of these examples of human interaction with various forms of AI provide assistance to and start to change the underlying nature of work, life and play.

Having said this, as yet there are no programs that can match a fully functioning human being across wider domains or in tasks that require a combination of experience (tacit knowledge) and subject-matter (codified knowledge) powered by the cognitive abilities of the human brain.

As the pace of change, our imagination about what is possible, the adoption of AI, and what the machines create accelerates over the next 50 years, who knows what will be achieved. But, FOUR things are certain:

  1. To be a part of this revolution you need to enhance your awareness of AI, how it will impact your organisation and more particularly, how it will impact you.

  2. The array of AI applications is and will continue to grow exponentially, and keeping up will require a deeper understanding of AI technology and its implications.

  3. AI itself doesn’t exist in a vacuum. When packaged with the likes of Advanced Manufacturing, IoT, Blockchain, Automation and Big Data it jumps to a whole new order of capability that will more than likely directly impact your skill-set and those close to you.

  4. There will be ethical considerations. Many AI applications will (if they haven’t already) displace humans from workforces and also be deemed to infringe on our privacy and well-being.

  5. Finally, in the background of the current AI evolution, R and D into the human genome and bio-tech are developing at a similar pace. As such, we can also expect new technologies that have the further potential to enhance human cognitive ability. So, the quest to outpace human cognition is not a one-AI-horse race.

Having said this, if you want to get in front of AI and its impacts, I wouldn’t be waiting around for a ‘silver bio-bullet’ to make you smarter. In reality, there is no time like the present to begin to adopt a mindset that better informs the skill-set that you will need – all much sooner than you think!

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