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For decades, science fiction has referred to a future in which intelligent robots are commonplace, but until the last decade or so, it’s been difficult what this might actually mean because the technologies needed to make that happen were far off in the future.
Now, however, science fact has not only caught up to science fiction; artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies have introduced possibilities the old stories of the past didn’t even conceive. Below is a short list of what experts are saying might be the future of AI.
New Products and Services
At its most basic, AI is the expansion of our capacity to solve challenges and to produce new solutions. It’s possible that in just 10 years, AI will have been completely assimilated into business operations, having a major effect on efficiency and triggering the development of completely new AI-based products and services. We will see whole new markets and industries opening up as a result.
More Big Solutions
AI could solve some of the biggest problems facing society today, such as climate change and global poverty. If there was a computer system that could read all of the available research on a topic and synthesize that information to arrive at a useful solution, it could answer many of the hard questions facing society today.
Everything we do as a civilization is the result of our collective intelligence. AI could essentially be a powerful tool that amplifies society’s intelligence, enabling us to move forward in many different ways.
The Takeover of Dangerous Jobs
Machines have already taken over some of the most dangerous jobs, such as bomb defusing. Other hazardous jobs are also being considered for takeover by robots. Associated with toxic substances, intense heat, and deafening noise, welding could be completely handed over to robots, for instance.
While automated robotic welding cells are already in use, AI will make these welding systems much more versatile.
AI will also bring new challenges, perhaps increasing inequality and unemployment, as routine kinds of work are set to be automated. There will also be major challenges in areas like privacy, identity, security, and military uses of AI. A robust debate about these issues will likely come to the center of our political and social debates. Finding a solution to confront these issues will be one of the defining challenges for society in the coming decades.
The number of patients a doctor can treat effectively during the typical career is quite limited. Also, many doctors face burn-out and are overworked. Very few have the time to stay up-to-date on the latest clinical studies, medical care methods and medical developments.
AI can access large groups of patient information, including how various patients were treated and what the outcomes were. This is the "busy work" involved in diagnosis and automating it will allow human doctors to interact more with their patients and focus on treatment.
AI will also work to keep you healthy. Sensors in wearables and your home will continuously test your breath for early indications of cancer and nanobots will navigate your bloodstream, dissolving plaques and blood clots before they can trigger a stroke. An AI-enabled personal medical assistant will continuously monitor your immune reactions and biomarkers for disease, setting up both short-term treatments and a long-range view of your health.
Biology Merging with Technology
When we normally think of a robot, we see it as a machine; controlled by a human or a computer program.
But what if a robot could have a biological brain comprised of human cells? Laboratory-grown neurons could lead to a new kind of robot. In the future, we may see thinking robots with brains similar to our own. That advancement will raise numerous social and ethical issues. For instance, if the robot brain has about the same number of human neurons as a standard human brain, then should it have rights like to those of a human being? Furthermore, if such robots have more human neurons than a human, would they be tasked with making future decisions for society?