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Artificial Intelligence is Going to Replace the Workforce

Monday 15 August 2016

It has been almost two years since Google purchased artificial intelligence start up, DeepMind. Since then we’ve seen its system smash through Atari games and beat the impossible Chinese board game Go. Now the search engine has found a way to monetise Deep Mind by using it to organise data centres. This has led to many experts saying it is now only a matter of time until artificial intelligent begins to take jobs from human beings.

The first step towards a mechanical workforce was made in 1962 when a robot was added to General Motor’s Detroit assembly line. Don’t confuse this with artificial intelligence. Robot workers like this need humans to programme them, oversee them and complete tasks the robot workforce cannot. An artificially intelligent workforce will be a direct replacement for humans and it won’t just be manual jobs that suffer.

Google will use DeepMind to manage energy consumption and efficiency within its data centres. As the system watches over the data centre it will learn when to make changes to use power more efficiently and develop new ways of reducing emissions. Other jobs could also be at risk from artificial intelligence.

In October 2015 Jonathan Smithers, President of the Law Society delivered a speech in which he set out a radical vision for the legal profession. He may not believe that any algorithm exists to replace lawyers but he does believe that artificial intelligence has to play a part in the future of law. An AI workforce can look for relevant case files and over time, will learn more about what information is needed.

Physicists from Australia have used artificial intelligence to run a complex experiment. Mirroring an experiment that won the 2001 Nobel prize, the machine created an extremely cold gas trapped in a laser beam, known as a Bose-Einstein condensate. This allows for very accurate measurements. Experiments run by artificial intelligence allows detailed measurements to be taken without a physicist present, which could have major applications in areas such as navigation and mining.

The newest age of artificial intelligence is slowly coming around. Deep machine learning like DeepMind will speed up routine cognitive work and will replace human beings in these jobs. So long as the rules of the job do not change, there is nothing stopping a machine learning it and doing it. Before artificial intelligent takes every job though, further developments in robotics will be needed.

How do you think artificial intelligence will change your workplace? Share your thoughts on our social media pages and visit IP EXPO Europe 2016 to hear the renowned Nick Bostrom examine the future of Artificial Intelligence.


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