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The Long Story Short - How will artificial intelligence impact your life?
Artificial intelligence will likely shape your future in more ways than you’d expect.
(Note: companies that could be impacted by the content of this article are listed at the base of the story (desktop version). This article uses third-party references to provide a bullish, bearish and balanced point of view; sources listed in the "Balanced" section)
On display at the HG Contemporary gallery, in the heart of New York’s
From healthcare to warfare, software that can learn seems to be invading every aspect of our lives replacing humans with machines at every turn. The impact that artificial intelligence will have on our lives will undoubtedly grow in size and scope.
Artificial intelligence in healthcare. AI software is already leading major advances in the medical field. Using pattern recognition algorithms, AI systems can digest massive amounts of healthcare data to produce insightful and reliable diagnoses. In fact, at the Massachusetts General Hospital doctors are already using an early-detection AI technology to aid in the diagnosis of breast cancer. The software uses a database of thousands of images of lesions from past mammograms for which the malignant or benign outcome was known. By utilizing this software, doctors are able to more accurately and safely diagnose patients saving many patients from unnecessary costly, painful, and scarring biopsies and surgeries. Doctors and computer scientists are also developing a voice analysis technology to analyze a patient’s pitch, tone, and cadence and diagnose them with a variety of health conditions including coronary artery disease, Alzheimer’s, and sleep apnea. With a lot of data and a sprinkle of AI, the end to sickness could be just around the corner.
AI sends retailers a lifeline. Retailers may receive a much needed boost from AI software as they struggle to compete with the online shopping platforms. Brick and mortar stores across the spectrum are finding innovative ways to enhance and improve on the traditional retail experience using artificial intelligence. Lowes for example, now has “LoweBots” that roam the store asking customers questions and providing directions and specialty knowledge for their products, while simultaneously monitoring inventory and determining what needs to be restocked. Employees at Sephora, a beauty and personal care store, carry a handheld AI device that scans a customer’s face, analyzes their skin type and tone, and picks the perfect shade of makeup from the stores vast shade library. Amazon Go stores offer a streamlined customer experience where cameras, sensors, and deep learning algorithms record what each customer takes off the shelves removing the need for cashiers.
Can an algorithm do your job? Advances in AI technology have caused workers in many occupations to fear for their job security. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Retail Salesperson” made up the most common occupation for Americans in 2017 at about 4.5 million workers. It seems plausible that this massive workforce could be replaced or at least severely reduced by machines like the “LoweBot” described in the Bulls section above. Self-checkout counters equipped with sensors and cameras threaten another 3.5 million cashiers, the third most common profession in America. You may think your job is safe, but it’s not just the mundane and repetitive tasks that are being replaced. AI threatens my job too as machine generated journalism is on the rise especially in financial reporting. In fact, according to a recent New York Times article roughly a third of the content published by Bloomberg News uses some form of automated technology. OpenAI, nonprofit company backed by Elon Musk, have created an AI system that can write news stories and works of fiction that are so convincing that the group did not release its research to the public as they usually do “for fear of misuse”.
Ethical concerns about weaponized AI. In the coming years, advances in artificial intelligence will be the biggest tailwind pushing drone technology into the next frontier of algorithmic warfare. Driven by growing military, commercial, and recreational applications, the technology for drones to collect and analyze data has made rapid progress. The machines are not far off from having the ability to independently learn and make decisions severing the need for direct human controllers. The Pentagon’s Project Maven, which recently sparked an employee revolt at Google over the company’s involvement, has already deployed this concept of algorithmic warfare. Maven is in an early phase, which replaces human analysts with machine learning AI software that scans drone video footage and identifies individuals, vehicles, and buildings as targets for bombing. The next phases in Maven’s evolution will likely be to upload the software directly onto the drones so that the drone can not only identify, but also attack the targets in real time. And Maven is only the beginning. In June of this year, the Pentagon established the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), a $1.7 billion project that will oversee over 600 AI projects. Furthermore, DARPA has announced that it intends to invest an estimated $2 billion in AI weapons research over the next 5 years. Click here to learn more about the future of drones in warfare.
Deep fake frauds could be the end of democracy. It is now fairly easy for any computer savvy nerd to create digitally altered videos that feature anyone saying or doing anything. In late 2017, a Reddit user going by the moniker “Deepfake” released FakeApp, a free and easy-to-use opensource software platform for making forged media. Deepfake was later banned from Reddit when the anonymous user used the software to superimpose celebrities’ faces on the bodies of women in illicit films, which is a violation of the site’s content policy against involuntary pornography. With the prolific use of “fake news” in our last presidential cycle fresh in our minds, it appears the upcoming presidential cycle will be particularly vulnerable to the influence of these deep fake videos. In a public safety announcement on YouTube, former President Barack Obama instructs the public to beware of AI-generated media that may be used to distort the truth in the upcoming election. The video itself is actually a very convincing deep fake created by BuzzFeed and comedian Jordan Peele.
Creating Frankenstein. At the end of the day, artificially intelligent machines are just a reflection of their creator. We can teach them to recognize patterns, predict, and react in the same way we teach our children. So, if you’re asking, “Is artificial intelligence good or bad?”, then what you’re really asking is “Are people good or bad?” And the answer is, of course, we are a bit of both.
The AI-Art Gold Rush Is Here, Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, March 6, 2019
How Artificial Intelligence Could Transform Medicine, Anahad O’Connor, The Ney York Times, March 11, 2019
Looking to Technology to Avoid Doctors’ Offices and Emergency Rooms, Janet Morrissey, The New York Times, February 21, 2019
Faceless Portraits Transcending Time, HG Contemporary New York, March 5, 2019
The 20 Best Examples Of Using Artificial Intelligence For Retail Experiences, Blake Morgan, March 4, 2019
Charts of the largest occupations in each area, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017
You Won’t Believe What Obama Says In This Video!, BuzzFeed via YouTube, April 17, 2018
AI and the future of drones Andrei Tiburca, The Next Web, December 1, 2017
Weaponised AI is coming. Are algorithmic forever wars our future?, Ben Tarnoff, The Guardian, October 11, 2018
New AI fake text generator may be too dangerous to release, say creators, Alex Hern, The Guardian, February 14, 2019
You thought fake news was bad? Deep fakes are where truth goes to die, Oscar Schwartz, November 12, 2018
AI may not be bad news for workers, The Economist, September 13, 2018
A new tool from Google and OpenAI lets us better see through the eyes of artificial intelligence, James Vincent, The Verge, March 6, 2019
How Will We Prevent AI-Based Forgery? Oren Etzioni, Harvard Business Review, March 1, 2019
India Fights Diabetic Blindness With Help From A.I., Cade Metz, The New York Times, March 10, 2019