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University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute researcher Katja Grace and her team assessed 1,634 leading AI researchers worldwide. The survey was all about the probability of artificial intelligence surpassing human intelligence. 352 AI experts answered the survey.
Their prediction for the next decade include AI outperforming people in various tasks like language translations (by 2024), writing and researching HS essays (by 2026), truck driving (by 2027). Other tasks like writing bestsellers might be possible by 2049 and performing surgeries by 2053. These experts answered the survey in 2015 and they were incorrect in their prediction that AI could not outperform people at Go (a computer programming language) when this has already happened.
What this means is that these researchers might have underestimated AI. With the outcome of the survey, they have pegged the probability of AI surpassing human intelligence in 45 years by a staggering 50%. North American based researchers think that this is possible in the next 74 years while experts based in Asia predicted that this will happen in the next three decades.
Preparing for AI
Whether this estimate is far off the mark or not, this means that AI is in danger of taking over everything that human beings are capable of doing. The only logical thing to do is to prepare for this eventuality. Like many countries, Canada has already taken steps in preparing their nation for the automation age. Many people in Canada and USA have already clamored for the investment in affordable training and education.
Countries like Canada and private companies like German start-up Mein Grundeinkommen have already started testing their universal basic income (UBI) programs. Industry leaders like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg support this program while Bill Gates and Mark Cuban are sceptical about it. While countries are still debating on how to go about this development it is undeniable that the perfect time to plan and take action regarding AI is now.
Science for Social Good is the newly launched program from IBM just this June. It is the solution made by IBM to solve some of the biggest problems of the world using data and technology. It is a team project composed of researchers, postdoctoral fellows and nonprofit individuals and organizations. They are focusing on 12 projects for the rest of 2017 alone. The problems are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (UNSDG). The Sustainable Development Goals illustrate the most important threats and inequalities happening in the world today. The UN sort and organize them as problems that should be addressed and solved by 2030.
The Science for Social Good projects uses analytics, data science and artificial intelligence (AI) in meeting their goals. One of its projects for 2017 is the Emergency Food Best Practice. They hope that food distribution practices will be improved when crisis comes. Another project is the Overcoming Illiteracy which aims to help the low-literate and illiterate adults using Artificial Intelligence (AI). IBM has ‘Watson’ the supercomputer that will also work on the project, Combating the Opioid Crisis.
DEEP DIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
Every project in the new program was meticulously designed to use big data, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. They made certain that each project has the capability of changing the lives of a million people. By using these methods, the people working on the projects could lessen the time that it will take to solve the problems of society. An example is the proven knowledge that most opioid addiction and abuse begins with a prescription. IBM’s Watson has unparalleled abilities that could recognize addiction patterns. It could learn rules based on evidence for more reliable prescription writing. It could also create early warning systems that could be useful to public health officials and healthcare professionals.
The Social Good program covers a wide range of important topics such as promoting innovation, alleviating hunger and illiteracy, solving the poverty and predicting new diseases. The program hopes that with the use of advance technology, new data, experiences and tools, it could provide new answers to today’s problems.
What an incredible mission!