Artificial Intelligence – The Rise of the Machines

Artificial Intelligence (AI), or the creation of computers and computer software that are capable of intelligent thought is gathering pace.

When I was at university, AI was pretty much at its infancy – to me it just seemed like more computer programming – so I avoided it at all costs!

Over the last 20 years or so we are all aware how computers and machines have replaced the roles of people mainly in the manufacturing industries and fairly recently within the administration and clerical areas.

But technology is growing so fast and so quickly that within the space of 2 weeks I have read 2 completely different articles about the rise of AI to the Board Room and beyond.

It seems, according to an article on Springwise, that in Japan an AI has been appointed a Creative Director at an ad-agency!

Another article in a financial magazine cited Medical Diagnosis as an area where AI could actually be more accurate than the human physician when diagnosing serious illness.

Indeed in a test run, the company claims that the chances of the computer giving a false positive (i.e., an incorrect diagnosis of cancer) was significantly reduced and it would give no false negatives (i.e., giving the all-clear to a patient with cancer). In contrast, the human doctor missed 7% of cases – that’s quite a big percentage when you’re talking about a life-threatening illness.

I think in this case AI could be a fairly useful companion to the human doctor – especially as it is also capable of prescribing the right treatment – when sometimes lives are lost due to incorrect diagnosis and the wrong treatment.

This article also went on to state that soon managers and executives in the Board Room would be susceptible to automation!

The Hong Kong Metro has already transferred power for deciding maintenance schedules and engineering tasks to AI – with the loss of managers the result seems to be reduced bureaucracy and costs and improved response times. Because of the success of this, the company that owns the HK Metro is going to roll this out to other cities, including the London Overground.

Can you see all jobs going this way?

Do you think this heralds the descent of the human workforce and indeed the rise of the machines, or does it just mean that the human workforce needs to change its way of working to work with AI rather than trying to fight again the seemingly inevitable change?

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