Meet the Minds – Let’s say Artificial Intelligence will dictate our future, then what? – By Michelle van Weverwijk

12CU – Meet the Minds nr 4

Every technology we use is already changing our lives in profound ways. I guess for us at 12CU AI is a practical tool for the present and not just a fun article about the future.

Artificial Intelligence, let’s see what the experts have to say!

AI, short for Artificial intelligence, has been changing all of our lives for decades. Still, never has AI felt more ubiquitous than it does today.

Let’s be honest, it seems as though not a single week passes without yet another AI system appearing that overcomes any unprecedented hurdle or just outperforms human beings.

To us, this sparked the question: What will happen next? But exactly how the future of AI will pan out for our society remains to be seen. We do not like to receive a “no” for an answer and so we decided to dig deeper.

We lined up five AI experts including researchers, roboticists, and computer scientists to shed some light on the future. Their testimonies include a couple of the most profound change artificial intelligence could bring.

By the end, we’ll tell you more about what our perspective is on the future of AI within humankind.

Pieter Abbeel, Simply Robotics

Let’s start off with Pieter Abbeel, a computer scientist at the University of California. Pieter believes that robots will keep us safe, especially when disaster strikes.

AI for robotics will enable us to address the challenges that come with taking care of an ageing world population. They will allow much longer independence.

Insights given my smart city analysis will enable us to drastically reduce, or maybe even eliminate, traffic accidents and deaths.

Shimon Whiteson, we are all cyborgs

Next up: Shimon Whiteson, an associate professor at the Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam, he says everyone will become a cyborg.

“I believe in a future filled with cyborgs, where all of our bodies are at least partly automated. I am sure this is a part of AI that people really underestimate.’ According to Shimon, People prefer to think, there’s “us” humans and then there is “them” the computers. A scenario where either the computers will be our friends or where they’ll be our enemies. At least, we’ll exist separate from one another.

That’s simply not true, he thinks the human and the computer will quickly become just one tightly-coupled cognitive unit. Just Imagine how much productivity would increase once we could augment our human brains with infallible memory and infallible calculators.

Society is already challenged by hard questions about privacy limits and cyber-security raised by the internet. AI will just continue to push these boundaries.  Imagine the internet as part of your brain and hackers who can just hack into your “being”. A fun concept to think about, but it sure will be happening.

Yoky Matsuoka, we’ll be better!

Yoky Matsuoka Commentary from Yoky Matsuoka, former Vice President of Technology at Nest, says AI implants will make humans better at everything.

AI will come to function as an assistant for humans. IT will serve to make us better, making what humans aspire to do and what humans dream to become, way easier to achieve.

Just imagine the following scenario: what if you would lose one of your limbs and as a result, you can’t swim as fast as you used to, and you could just get AI to control this robotic limb that’s attached to your body and efficiently allow you to swim once again?

Those are the ways, our brain is in control today. However, to an extent, there are things that our bodies can’t fix, if those spare parts could be intelligently handled, the future would be perfect, if you ask Yoky. It’s almost like a partnership between man and machine.

Joanna Bryson, Change starts today

Joanna Bryson,  computer scientist and a visiting fellow at the Princeton University, says some of these amazing applications are already here, and it’s making people easier to predict.

Basically, what learning is about, for us as well as for machine learning, is using the past to understand and then predict the future.

You might be able to predict who will start dating next year or who will get a divorce. You can understand exactly when people are going to have kids by having AI analyze the stuff people buy and what neighbourhoods they move into. You can figure out more and more intimate details and be able to predict what each person will do. This is already happening today.

Peter Stone, We won’t notice what’s happening

But these changes will happen so slowly we won’t really be able to notice it at first, Peter Stone, a computer scientist at the University of Texas, Austin, says.

There’s not one most significant change AI will make within society. AI is really embedded in many devices we use on a daily basis, from cars to or smartphones to search engines, everything. Peter thinks all of these, every technology we use, are already changing our lives in profound ways.

The change caused by AI is a cumulative effect of everything in our lives, AI inherent to many of the technologies that have been changing our world over the last several decades and will continue to do so.

So what about the here and the now??

Okay, we’ve had our fun. Now, it is time to shed some light on the industry we find ourselves in. Our entire service is based on AI. Hence, we are more than familiar with the multifaceted side of AI. The above-described speculations are an interesting read, but we prefer to focus on the here and now while baring the future possibilities in mind.

The 12CU perspective

Our team focuses on creating Smart Buildings. Gathering data to transform your building into a partner. Like Yoky said, the ideal future is one of a “partnership between man and machine’. We see your building as a partner who will tell you when and where to work, what time to take the elevator, and when to meet colleagues for lunch. That is only the beginning.

Funny enough we recognize ourselves in all five of the previous perspectives. We experience every day how our clients are challenged by hard questions about privacy limits and cyber-security. Yet we believe in protecting privacy while still seeing the potential in using Wi-Fi data. By retrieving data through Wi-Fi we can increase employee productivity and understand the needs of building users. Our solution is based on a self-learning algorithm, and just like us, our algorithm uses the past to understand and then predict the future. This will help you to adapt your building layout to the needs of the building user. Our buildings have the amazing potential to serve us and improve our lives. I guess for us at 12CU AI is a practical tool for the present and not just a fun article about the future. This is why we live by the mission of making office analytics simple and showing our clients that progress can start today. Other than that, of course, we’d like to be the first to have a fully functioning robot on the team. But even though that might be talking about the future, we’ll never be scared to look ahead. For now, our office analyzer comes pretty close.

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