The era of intelligent hardware, combining artificial intelligence (AI) machine intelligence (MI) and machine learning (ML) along with Big Data, has a tremendous upside. But there are a number of spoilers for this arena that could stand in the way.
Fear, uncertainty, doubt, known as “FUD” is the one big spoiler with tons of mini-spoilers underneath that umbrella. Most of the concerns around AI vector back to this in one form or another and the fantasy that machines can take over the world. OK, so that is a bit melodramatic but I am willing to go on record as saying that has crossed nearly everyone’s mind at some point or another.
Another major concern and one of the biggest challenges is in the security sector – how to keep it away from the dark side. A huge impediment to progress is that the dark side can use AI for nefarious actions, equal to what AI can do for good. It is just as capable of hacking and exploiting as defending.
There is little doubt that AI will be prolific in the dark domain, so the emphasis is on countermeasures – not much different from current philosophies. But look for an increased level of activity in 2018 as the industry attempts to understand the negative aspects of AI in relationship to security.
There is also a lot of FUD around machines taking over jobs and displacing workers. There is little doubt that some of that will occur. In fact, it has been occurring for years already. But most of the displacement has been in simple repetitive, mundane, and automated tasks. This next generation has the potential to replace thinking, reasoning and deductive activities; chatbots are an early example of that.
Ultimately, experts say it would be impossible to develop a machine that can mimic everything about a human being. There are just too many variables, including vocal imperfections and intonation, and what is often called the “gut” feeling, that are too complex for even the most advanced AI to analyze. That will not even be a blip on the radar screen for the next few years, but I am not betting against nearly perfect AI bots one day.
Finally, there is trust and the human factor. That is the final frontier. If humans, ultimately, refuse to accept and trust interacting with AI, well, that is one variable that cannot be controlled (without LSD, at least). There is a lot of interesting discussion around this particular metric but it is not one that fits into the 2018 discussion quite yet.
In the end, the areas of AI, ML, MI, and big data are just on the cusp of their next major advancements. It is looking like 2018 will be a jump starter for this.