When Machines Rule The World

Given the tsunami of technology disrupting business and other areas of the economy there is an urgent need to think about the future. But how do we do it?

Technology takes control

Technology has been used to improve how we live since man first shaped tools for protection and survival. But there has never been such rapid or significant advances in what machines can and will do in the years ahead.

Artificial intelligence fused with technology and machine learning will surpass our ability to predict the future. As humans we create the technology that causes the disruption but for the first time in history we may not be able to control it.

The logic of current developments is that we will evolve to become a part-human, part-machine hybrid variant of homo-sapiens or alternately face extinction, as science fiction becomes science fact. Economic, social and political disturbance and disaffection around the world is increasing, as technology devours industries while causing insecurity and untold job losses.

Cloud based technologies that monitor billions of data points through the deployment of sensors enable robots and machines to tackle tasks previously undertaken by humans.

Different scenarios ranging from the benign and benevolent to the dreaded and the doomed are discussed. It is impossible to predict what will happen but it is growing more likely that we will lose control of the artificial intelligence we create.

Humans fall behind

Machines designed to think independently will ultimately make decisions on their own and in their own best interests as they operate beyond human programming or direction. Sooner or later their actions will lead to conflict between what people want and machines decide.

What is less certain is when such change will happen and what we can do to avoid it, as we are out-thought, out-witted and out-paced at every turn.

As humans we need to consider our role in a world dominated by super-intelligent machines designed to be sharper and smarter than us.

Such a world, which is already taking shape, requires careful consideration to ensure our continued relevance in an environment we will no longer control.

Understanding each other and deciding what we need as a society provides a starting point in directing the machines for good or ill.

Without detailed deliberation the technology that excites and enthrals us today will determine its own path to ensure its survival and success.

In the meantime, the ability to empathise and communicate will grow in value although may ultimately prove insufficient as technology negates the need for old-fashioned emotion.

Regardless of what happens in the future, it is time to think about our place in a world that until now has been determined by our actions.

So, the infusion of artificial intelligence to drive machine-based learning will make humans inapt in a world colonised by countless clever automatons.