Opinion

Will artificial intelligence (AI) destroy us all?

Probably not.

Although if you follow some of the recent press coverage around AI you might believe there’s an outside possibility that it could.

Great minds and tech leaders appear to be lining up to warn us about AI and the danger it poses to our very existence. This might sound dramatic and alarmist, but Stephen Hawking said, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” while Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX fame warned, “With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon.”

While the apocalypse or potential thereof isn’t the topic of this article, it does serve as an example of how high-profile artificial intelligence has become both in the tech industry and mainstream media.

It’s almost impossible to go a single day without reading a story on AI in the news or on social media. At the time of writing this, Sony has just unveiled its updated Aibo robot dog with AI and machine learning. Earlier this week Sophia became the first robot to be given citizenship in Saudi Arabia.

"I'm sorry Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."

Artificial intelligence has always been a favourite topic of science fiction (stand out examples in recent years include Her and Ex Machina) but now it’s arguably THE ‘hotness’ in business and consumer electronics. Not a technical term but I’ll run with it.

Today you’ll find AI in everything from our phones, to smart assistants in our homes, chat bots and even bins. Yes, bins. In fact due to its ‘hotness’, companies are falling over themselves to claim their product or service is AI powered. The term has become so prevalent and overused that a backlash against companies ‘AI-washing’ their products has begun.

In the realm of business, one of the key promises of AI is to deliver technology that is indistinguishable from humans. If you can do this, why would you need people? A monthly cloud service will be much cheaper and more reliable than humans, right?

There’s only one catch, if you’ve used Siri, an AI chat bot or even a smart bin, you’ll know the reality of ‘consumer ready’ AI falls somewhat short of the fiction. However there is one resource that many companies already have in abundance…

Actual Intelligence

The human brain is a miracle. More complex, more creative than anything we can build today. Sure, it might not be able to beat AI at Chess or Go, but given the right tools, it can still transform your business. One thing we’re all short of however, is time.

Consider your best and brightest (you can include yourself) and picture what you could achieve if you only had more time and a clear head for ideas. This is one of the ways technology and software can help us today.

When we approach a bespoke software project, the intention isn't to replace people. No technology can replicate human interaction, and the decision making and problem solving skills of ‘actual’ intelligence far exceeds anything on the market today.

We aim to buy you time, and good, well thought out software can do this. It enhances, empowers and excites.

Plus it's much less likely to destroy humanity.

Chris Burton - 01/11/2017

We build mobile and web apps to improve and streamline businesses.

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