The future with a strong influence of artificial intelligence–or AI, is nigh, and for a group of experts and thinkers hosted by the Stanford University, it might enable advancements not only in the fields of transportation, public safety and security, health and education, but also in entertainment, employment and workspace, and low resource communities.
The panel consisting of academic and industrial thinkers has looked ahead to year 2030 to forecast how the AI might affect lives of millions of people, specifically in a typical North American city.
Titled ‘Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030,’ the year-long investigation is the first in the one-hundred year study on Artificial Intelligence, or AI100, a project hosted by the aforementioned research university. The goal is to raise awareness and provide guidance on ethical development of smart software, machines, and sensors.
Harvard computer scientist and chairwoman of the AI100 committee, Barbara Grosz, said that artificial intelligence technologies can be reliable and broadly beneficial to people. However, she underlined the importance of transparency about their design and deployment for building trust and to avoid the public’s suspicion and fear.
Here are some of the highlights of the first report from the committee:
First in transportation, the team believes that autonomous cars, including self-driving cars on roads, and drones, may change how people commute, shop and work. It might also create new patterns of life and leisure in cities. This is apparently a step closer to reality, and the best example for this is the Google self-driving car. In addition, Amazon, the largest online retailer in America, is testing an automated drone delivery system known as the Prime Air.
Second is in home and service robots. It may be similar to robotic vacuum cleaners, the team reports, but in the future, we might see specialized robots that can clean and provide security at home or work places, equipped with remote controls and sensors.
More importantly, third, is in healthcare. Devices that can monitor personal health and robot-assisted surgery are already here, and the team expects more developments. However, the team underscores the importance of transparency to gain the trust of doctors, nurses and patients themselves.
Fourth is for education. The panel says interactive tutoring systems are already here, and more developments are possible if techs like natural language processing platforms develop to augment instruction by humans.
Fifth is in entertainment. Not only in the field of movie making, but the AI might also lead to new ways of gathering, organize and deliver media for social networks.
Sixth is for low-resource communities. Predictive models for lead poisoning prevention, food distributions, and others, could spread to underserved, not only to people on the ‘top.’
Seventh is for public security and safety. CCTVs or cameras, drones and software that can analyze crime patterns ‘should’ use artificial intelligence technologies in ways that reduce human bias and enhance safety without loss of dignity or liberty, the report said.
And finally, AI in employment and workplace is also marching towards reality. Work should start now on how to help people adapt, the team writes, as the economy undergoes rapid changes as many existing jobs are lost (to computers and robots), and new ones are created.
The chair of the seventeen-member panel of international experts, Peter Stone, a computer scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, said that most of what we know about AI comes from science fiction movies and books, and their paper provides the ‘realistic foundation’ to discuss how artificial intelligence technologies are likely to affect the society.