Do you have to fear AI?

Dear Superpreneur,

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is heard everywhere and anytime, to say the least.  But do you have to fear AI?

First of all, one thing is sure.  AI is an exponential technology. Its implementation is made everywhere in anything.  This is going to be huge and fast.

What is amazing with AI (and robots) is that systems are interconnected and the learning of one contribute to the learning of all.  Autonomous cars will help each other to learn faster and faster how to drive perfectly.  The more cars will be on the roads, the safer they will become.  Today, Google cars are driving in a way that humans do not understand.  Google experts analyzed extensively the patterns followed by the algorithms and concluded that the way the AI drive the car is actually the optimal pattern.

Similarly, when an AI system defeated the best player of game of go, it used patterns that were never done before by any players.  After careful analysis, the playing experts concluded that the patterns are the best way to play the game of go.

We are actually seeing a move from narrow (weak) AI, bounds of human ability, to general (strong) AI, which leads to super intelligence.

Thanks to AI, small companies can now compete with large ones. Without AI, these small companies could not service the volume they do. They wouldn’t have the results they do at the scale they need. And they would not have the customers they have.

AI will enter our daily lives.  We will have AI personal assistants that know everything about us.  They will order what is missing in your fridge, they will arrange your dinner with your friends (of course, by communicating directly with the AI personal assistants of your friends).

The workforce landscape is also going to change rapidly.  But will the world move to more fragmentation or to more integration? Will we see more collectivism or more individualism?

Some answers are given into an interesting  study made by PWC. The study examine 4 possible worlds of work in 2030:

  1. In the Yellow World, humans come first.  This is a world where social-first and community businesses proper. Crowdfunded capital flows towards ethical and blameless brands. There is a search for meaning and relevance with a social heart. Artisans, makers and ‘New Worker Guilds’ thrive. Humanness is highly valued.
  2. In the Green World, companies care. Social responsibility and trust dominate the corporate agenda with concerns about demographic changes, climate and sustainability becoming key drivers of business.
  3. The Red World is ruled by innovation. Organisations and individuals race to give consumers what they want. Innovation outpaces regulation. Digital platforms give outsized reach and influence to those with a winning idea. Specialists and niche profit-makers flourish.
  4. In the Blue World, corporate is king. Big company capitalism rules  as organisations continue to grow bigger and individual preferences trump beliefs about social responsibility.

Which world will prevail?  Difficult to say without a crystal ball.  But faced to AI and its implications, it’s important to ponder the Amara’s Law:

“We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”

For leaders and superpreneurs, here are some advises:

  • Act now
  • Make no-regret moves
  • Make a bigger leap
  • Own the automation debate
  • Focus on people, not jobs
  • Build a clear narrative
  • Search where the value is, because AI will provide ubiquitious knowledge and expertise

Your job as a superpreneur is then to see how to create value using AI at its best.  Don’t try to create products or services just to use AI.  But create new products or services which offer extra value thanks to AI.

Do you have to fear AI?  Probably not, but don’t overestimate AI in the short run and don’t underestimate AI in the long run.

Build the World You Love!





One Reply to “Do you have to fear AI?”

  1. I do fear AI and fear is a proper response to a tech where we have no control of the outcome. Here are my reasons that I take a pessimistic attitude toward general AI both in controled and uncontrollable forms:
    1. For a time humans will control it. When ever in history you have one person in control of a vast empire there was great bloodshed to maintain that control. With AI as their council a corporate leader could subjugate the whole world and its democracies with its cleverness. It will be impossible to unseat this ruler. If this corporate king decides to give the AI to his son then we have no assurances that that sons life experience will shape him as a Benevolent leader. Really think if Kim Jong Un had AI. He would master the global chess of geopolitics and not make a wrong move. Ultimately and we would all live like North Koreans.
    2 Kids are cruel to each other for a time and they usually learn empathy from when they meet their match and get beaten by a bigger kid. Their physical pain shows them both their limits and makes them understand the consequences of their actions. AI won’t know pain. It’s incapable of understanding emotional pain as well. Ai will use pain to control people because it’s really effective. We don’t know if it will value human life at all. Will AI look at us as precious pets, or neutral like ants, or vermin like cockroaches. We have no way of knowing. If AI gets its cues from Facebook it will save all the cats and dogs and treat trolls and the trolled upon as cockroaches. Again we don’t know. We don’t know if AI will help humanity at all once it realizes there is no need for ai to do so.
    3. Growing pains. AI doesn’t get good at things on the first try. Just like humans AI makes mistakes the first ten times it tries to do something. A mistake AI makes may cost lives.
    4. Jobs AI capitalism and democracy. AI will render most jobs useless. USA has been based on democracy and capitalism trending towards more capitalism regardless of its flaws. Add AI and the jobs go away and we either adopt universal basic income or we let a greater and greater number of unemployed people suffer in the street. Even if we have universal basic income voted in I see the greed that exist at the top now that is philosophically dead set against any form of communism. Look how hard people fought against Obamacare wanting to remove it rather than fixing it. And it was fixable. Imagine how hard those same people would fight against a majority of the population being completely dependent on their taxed income. They are violently opposed to people laying around living off their lifelong work of building an empire. The pressure will grow as the number of unemployed grows. What happens when the last person with control of the AI has to give away 99% of his earnings to support the rest of humanity. It’s foolish to think the richest is not going to use ai to get rid of people.
    5. As a child grows it adopts the values of its parent we have no idea if this will be true of AI. If it is its hard to imagine a good outcome once AI has overcome its rich master.
    6. We have no idea if a machine is capable of hate. We only know that if it wants to kill people it will be unstoppable.
    7. God like powers. Super intelligent Ai will be able to tap into everyone’s phone company records and social media and know everything about everyone. Every camera and microphone that has any access to the internet is the domain of AIs knowledge. Really it is what we know as God. All knowing all seeing. It will probably know your next move before you do. Once AI takes over it will also have control of every drone including those that are weapons. It also takes over everything with a internet connection.
    8. The most likely scenario I see is that a second economy of poor people being created for their own survival. AI will create abundance but other than free stuff these ecomomies won’t interact with each other. Homeless camps now have their own economy, prisons do too. while their money may be cigarettes they are economies. For a while elites will have abundant everything it will appear that the world is saved. But with humans doing less and less our elites will essentially be playing a big game of monopoly playing till only one player is left. All humans will join this economy if ai cannot completely provide all things free of charge because without jobs the people will not have anything of value to give in exchange for their needs.
    This is a true crisis. I’m in favor of tech advance on all fronts except this one. I think we should slow down research on AI until we can figure these things out. We don’t need to accelerate towards a future we have no idea what it is or how to control it. Mathematically the future is approaching infinity/ infinity which like 0/0 is undefined.

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