No, AI will not wipe us out.

I simply cannot stand the bubble and hype media creates with “artificial intelligence” and the “4차산업혁명”(which translates to the “4th industrial revolution” and is the new favorite word everyone uses in S.Korea).

First of all, machine learning isn’t artificial intelligence, and artificial intelligence isn’t machine learning. What we’re witnessing isn’t the rise of the machines against the human race, but rather just clever algorithms developed by clever people running on powerful computational resources with abundant data. That’s it.

Algorithms will not replace anyone, it will just change the types of jobs needed, change the way we work and live. When we invented cars, it might have made people on horses look obsolete at that time. People were probably freaking out about no more horses, how fast these cars can go, how dangerous it is. (In England, when cars were first introduced, a person had to walk and hold flags a few meters ahead of a driving car to let others know there’s a car coming. True story.) But soon we realized, because of the new technology(cars), we needed to build roads, traffic lights, traffic laws, invent, make, build, sort out numerous other things, and it created “different” kind of jobs, and so many of them. And it opened up a better life for everyone in general.

In the world we live in (with cars, that is) most people in the developed world learns how to drive at some point. Even people who don’t have cars or plan to drive, they learn to drive anyways. It’s because we are well aware of the benefits that vehicles with wheels bring. Cars and its social derivatives are already part of our society.

So I suspect once this whole “AI” becomes pervasive in the developed world, more people will naturally pick up how to use some kind of AI technology in some way or another. (No, this does not mean everybody will learn to code, none of us drivers know how to build a car) It could be as simple as using SIRI, Google Assistant, chatbots, some statistical tools and etc.

Some parts of the world (surprisingly more than you’d think) do not have the privilege of paved roads, or public transportation systems, or abundance of passenger cars. And that part of the world is very likely to be in the same absence of the internet, computers and AI technologies.

So there’s the real challenge we’re faced with. It’s not AI making humans poker players useless. It’s not AI replacing taxis. It’s not AI replacing anything. How do we close this gap of privileges between countries, cultures and continents? Could we use some of those “algorithms” to do it? Once this debate heats up in the society, I’m in. Until then, I will close my eyes and ears.