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How I stopped being afraid of AI

Using mechanical devices such as the wheel, the lever, the sail, the steam engine to reduce the burden of human labor is not a new idea. And, in most cases, these devices helped societies to vastly improve their quality of life and increase opportunities for its citizenry. However, using intelligent, independently thinking machines to help, enhance or substitute human labor and more importantly human thought, is a new phenomenon.

The 2014 short documentary film by C.G.P. Grey called Humans Need Not Apply thoughtfully discusses this impact of automation on humans and paints a rather bleak future of work. There is an inherent unease about the kind of tasks intelligent machines are now performing while replacing human workers. This view is also shared by some rather influential figures in technology and science such as Ray Kurzweil and Elon Musk.

But, then, a glass half-empty glass is also half-full.

There is a different, more optimistic perspective on artificial intelligence – that there are vast, untapped, positive impact it can have on humans and on the nature of work. That AI is another tool, albeit more powerful and more impactful tool, but a tool nevertheless whose power is waiting to be harnessed by businesses. In fact, at Luminoso, we leverage AI to perform significant amount of tasks that help create a better product and a more robust product.

There are also other perspectives on AI. Geoff Colvin of Fortune, recently argued in his book, Humans Are Underrated, that people fearful that their jobs are at risk may be asking the wrong question as to what kind of work a computer will never be able to do.

Instead, Mr. Colvin proposes that we ask what are the activities that we humans, driven by our deepest nature or by the realities of daily life, will simply insist be performed by other humans, even if computers could do them?

We think the subject of AI and its application areas are so exciting that we have even proposed a panel at the upcoming 2016 SXSW Interactive titled - How I Stopped Being Afraid of AI. We think this will bring a fresh perspective to this raging debate. Please click here to know more and vote for us.

We are more likely to fear what we do not understand. Get to know AI and what it can do for your business.


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