What it can’t do is deduce the existence, or even the possibility, of information it isn’t already aware of. As theoretical physicist Michio Kaku says, a robot doesn’t know that water is wet or that strings can pull but not push.It can’t imagine radical new products and business models. Or envision unimagined opportunities and achievements. Nor can robots engage in what Kaku calls “intellectual capitalism” – activities that involve creativity, imagination, leadership, analysis, humor, and original thought.In the end, anything an AI does has to fit into a human-centered value system that takes our unique human abilities into account.Why would we want to give up our humanity in favor of letting machines determine whether or not an action or idea is valuable?
From the first stone ax to the printing press to the latest ERP solution, technology that reduces or even eliminates physical and mental effort is as old as the human race itself.
However, that doesn’t make each step forward any less uncomfortable for the people whose work is directly affected – and the rise of AI is qualitatively different from past developments.
Until now, we developed technology to handle specific routine tasks.
A human needed to break down complex processes into their component tasks, determine how to automate each of those tasks, and finally create and refine the automation process. Because AI can evaluate, select, act, and learn from its actions, it can be independent and self-sustaining.
Some people, like investor/inventor Elon Musk and Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma, are focusing intently on how AI will impact the labor market.