Are You Completely Underestimating AI?

““If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” — Henry Ford

Put yourselves in the shoes of an early 17th century human. The industry then was extremely slow — workers had to craft items from hand, and mass production didn’t exist.

To workers of that age, today’s world would seem magical. For them, a 23 storey building like the one I’m currently sitting in would be “impossible” to make.

What changed between the 17th century and today is machines. The industrial revolution allowed us to build products at faster rates we had ever seen, and allowed us to scale up our creations to sizes never possible before.

Sky-scrapers, massive ships of steel, cars, and the furniture in your home, and the systems derived from them such as the shipping industry, transport across hundreds of kilometres in a day in cars, and the buildings you have grown accustomed to seeing daily are all possible because of the industrial revolution.

The industrial revolution enabled us to break past our physical constraints and build things that we couldn’t have otherwise.
What the industrial revolution did was remove the physical labour from human hands.

Not bound by our bodily constraints, we now had machines like cranes and cars that could lift weights hundreds of times heavier than us. They help us achieve things we now understand as ubiquitous only because of their immense physical strength.

Artificial Intelligence has been hailed as the “next Industrial Revolution”. People think they will change the world by providing smart solutions — everything solved by AI; customer service? Replace that with a bot. Data analysts? Replace it with unsupervised Learning Algorithm. Cashier? Replace it with Amazon Go.

All people can think of is how AI can solve existing problems. What they don’t understand, is that it will solve problems that we didn’t even realise existed.

We must stop thinking of AI as only solving current problems or slight variants of them. An average 17th century man did not know that he wanted a 23 storey building, or a machine that would allow him to travel 100 kilometres per hour.

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” — Henry Ford

Instead of thinking of improvements to current systems and industries, think of completely new industries AI has the potential of creating, for it is the products that create new industries that do the best.

Just like AI took away the physical constraints of humans, AI will be able to take away our mental constraints. Just like machines whose strength is hundreds, if not thousands of times stronger than us, AI’s intelligence will be hundreds, if not thousands of times smarter than us.

Artificial intelligence has the capacity of understanding so much more than we do. The barriers of seemingly incomprehensible theories of science will be broken easily by the machines of the future. Physical problems like will be solved thousands of times faster than humans could.

Machines removed the physical constraints of humans and freed us to pursue more intellectual paths like the information industry, and AI will remove our mental constraints.

But after being liberated of both hard physical Labour and mental work, what will humans have left to do?



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What do you think are the most fantastical things yet to be solved by Artificial Intelligence? Be sure to write me a response!