Artificial Intelligence is the New Black

Future of Life Institute

In 2018 it’s pretty clear that Artificial Intelligence has entered Black Mirror territory. From Facebook’s revelations of declining trust, to China’s superior facial recognition data based state; we’re thinking of AI and how it’s tethered to our future differently.

Gartner says that by 2022, business value rooted in AI will reach $3.9 trillion.

The way we think of the future of Big Tech is changing as the paradigm of computing reaches past mobile (where smartphone saturation has been reached) into the Cloud, the voice-AI interface and new value proposition for the future of enterprise and even AI-as-a-service businesses and business models.

CB Insights analyzed 10 years of earnings transcripts, and saw also Big Tech with a significant uptake in the use of the term.

CB Insights

This year dApps are maturing in scale and native AI business value up 70% in 2018. The way we as consumers think of our own data is changing as well with privacy, security and ethics at the forefront, and not only convenience.

AI Business Value To Reach Nearly $4 Trillion By 2022

It’s hard to fathom a number like 4 Trillion, however machine learning is being used in new ways, and we’re also entering a period of nascent robotics where even Amazon’s Vesta could change how we view the human-robotics interface. We think of drones as other, robots as clunky, and AI has some high-brow words in an era where algorithms (not true AI) pervade our digital experience.

However, this could all quickly change.

We know that autonomous driving electric cars will rule our future, and Alexa will get smarter faster. We know that distributed energy grids, blockchain applications that benefit the world are all on their way and will arrive soon.

Basically we know AI will drive profit margins for the 1% at astounding rates, and help solve some of the world’s challenges.

Gartner thinks AI startups will overtake Big Tech in their ability to drive value and disrupt business models with AI. If the Chinese facial recognition startups are any indication, that might be spot on. China’s Government has a long-term plan about how AI will be used to harness economic and socio-political potential of New China.

In America, it’s a bit like the wild-wild west of unregulated Big Tech. Google even is doing deals with the Pentagon to help the accuracy of autonomous killer weapons. Not exactly the leadership in AI we were hoping for guys. However, Google is also doing amazing things with the future of healthcare where machine learning becomes more and more implicated.

It could be argued for the smart cities of Earth, AI is at the very center of how things get done. From automated farming system to smart cars that talk to each other to solar power harnessed cheaply and efficiently on to a decentralized grid. AI is thus a great boon and an ultimate threat to the future of work.

We Can’t Regulate What we Don’t Understand

We can’t regulate, what we don’t understand. Many software engineers admit that Big Tech doesn’t understand how algorithms do what they do in many occurences. Nevermind those people at Congress and well-meaning senators who don’t even understand how the internet works.

We don’t really know how AI will scale exactly even just five years ahead. As it accelerates its impact on society, this will become even more apparent.

AI is the new black and it’s not going away any time soon, it’s just getting started.

The business value of artificial intelligence will surpass $3.9 trillion in the next five years. This year the value is expected to reach $1.2 trillion — marking 70 YOY percent growth in 2017. Winter isn’t coming, but reinforced learning is coming. And a lot of it.

Neural networks and how they evolve will mean the AI-human interface will allow many humans to work in other areas than customer service or where we might have been in the past. AI will be the new IT. Do you even know what that means? It means Millennials and GenZ will live in a totally different world, more radically different than the rift between Baby boomers and GenX.

Yves Mulkers, one of my favorite AI writers on Medium talks about this. The likes of Tencent and Baidu will catch up to the likes of Google and Microsoft. China’s tech dynasty in league and coordination with China’s government will begin to aim to catch up and overtake the U.S. in artificial intelligence. Accenture makes even more radical claims about AI:

Accenture research on the impact of AI in 12 developed economies reveals that AI could double annual economic growth rates in 2035 by changing the nature of work and creating a new relationship between man and machine.

We basically know that 2025 to 2035 might be the most radical decade of the 21st century in terms of reorganizing the future of work. This is because many jobs are expected to shift to automation away from humans, especially those involving repetitive tasks and where ballooning costs are getting out of control, such as healthcare. We know already that retail, transportation, finance, banking and customer service just to name a few will look radically different by then.

While Gartner talks about the economic value derived from AI, from a sociological perspective it will be a great as how the web has transformed how we relate to digital; AI is the new black because it will be so ubiquitous in how we live, learn, work and play.