Artificial Intelligence: A White Paper
Jonathan Kirk, Co-Founder & Director of AI Strategy at systemsGo, shares his thoughts.
The last thirty years have seen great changes in the world, from the emergence of a globally connected internet, to the pervasive influence of social media. Looking at the advances of the last 10 years, 100 years, and 1000 years, the pace of change is clearly accelerating. But the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to dwarf the scale of all human progress so far. At the very least, it is likely to bring changes to human society as big or even bigger than mankind’s other great transitions, from feudalism to agrarian society, or from a farming culture to industrialized city-dwelling society.
In the last few years, the conversation about AI has reached fever pitch, with some (such as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking) predicting it will lead to the end of the human race, and others (such as Ray Kurzweil and Mark Zuckerberg) believing that AI could lead to advances in healthcare and other fields that could effectively make humans immortal. Such a wide spectrum of beliefs amongst experts can have the effect of making it difficult to take any wild claims seriously, and it certainly demonstrates the uncertainty over the impact of AI – are we on the edge of a ‘fourth industrial revolution’, as some claim? Or a precipice that could end mankind? Unquestionably AI has come to dominate the technology discussion, and it is driving huge levels of investment and commitment by investors, companies, and even countries. The news is full of reports that AI will automate more jobs than society can create, or a runaway superintelligence will eliminate humans in favor of a universe of paperclips.
Whatever the ultimate implications of AI, it will bring dramatic changes to the business and social landscape within the next few years. New fields are emerging, new winners are being created, and new rules for success are being written. In this paper, we will try to set out what has changed to breathe life into AI recently, what AI really means, and what the consequences might be. We will show that AI can bring benefits today, and we’ll dig into what exactly businesses should be doing today to position themselves to be AI winners.
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