What Threat? AI Is All around Us

We know that people crave meaningful work, and technology has incredible potential to expand the proverbial pie and promote real economic productivity. As the technology landscape continues to change at lightning speed, AI has the most potential to make a game-changing impact on the world. In fact, artificial intelligence has quietly been integrating into our daily lives for years.

On the Ground

Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft are on most city streets in America, efficiently delivering people to their destinations every day. These platforms rely heavily on AI in order to determine the rate of surge pricing, minimize passenger wait times and avoid detours.

In the Air

One of the earliest examples of AI technology is autopilot, used in commercial flights since 1914. In fact, autopilot is responsible for the majority of each flight — pilots typically fly for approximately seven minutes, mostly in takeoff and landing. We trust AI to safely fly us to our family vacations, work meetings and more.

At Home

Many households in America today contain smart speakers, digital assistants as well as the legendary Roomba vacuum. In addition to being useful, Roomba uses AI to scan rooms for objects and obstructions then “remembers” the best routes to maximize efficiency.

What We Really Should Be Worried About

The greatest threat posed by AI is the lack of ethics and regulation. Amazon’s Rekognition software has been used to scan faces in public spaces in order to cross-reference them with police databases. We’re familiar with this happening in many dystopian sci-fi movies but it’s happening every day across the country. Just this year it was revealed IBM has been, without notifying users, training facial recognition software using Flickr images.

Also, law enforcement has been busted feeding facial recognition systems with sketches and celebrity-suspect look-alike photos. So one could safely ascertain that facial recognition feeds law enforcement’s worst impulses regarding civil rights implications. And too many politicians are seduced by the Orwellian 1984 surveillance opportunities facial recognition presents and discount the very threat it poses to democracy.

There are ways we can ensure private and social returns are balanced and appropriate through ethical and legal considerations in advance. AI has the potential to allow us, humans, to truly realize our humanity as long as we ensure the proper guardrails are in place ahead of time.

On Thursday, February 27, 2020, at 11:00 am PT please join me and Chris Dyer for a webinar where we ask the question: Is AI a threat to jobs or the holy grail of work? Register here: https://www.chrispdyer.com/webinar-registration-ai-a-threat-to-jobs-or-the-holy-grail-of-work/