Meta Description: Artificial Intelligence is increasing in sophistication year on year. It will help to define the future of how humans live. Here we explore this future.

The onward progression of technology is unstoppable. There are so many applications of Artificial Intelligence, in online gaming to building management and into the workplace. While we may be concerned by the apocalyptic application of AI shown in the movies, the experts suggest that the rise of artificial intelligence will make most of us more money over the next ten years. Is money everything when we may lose our career and, more vitally, our free will?

Much of the AI is code-driven. Algorithms are used to mimic the intelligence of humans and offer previously unimagined opportunities and potential threats. Experts suggest that this networked AI will make us all more effective but it will also threaten our levels of autonomy. There is a real possibility that computers will match and maybe even surpass that of humans. The smart systems we use in our everyday lives are meant to save us time and money and improve our lives, helping to customize our experience into the future.

The positives

Most optimism about artificial intelligence was research for health care. There are many applications of this technology in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. It might even help older people live fuller and healthier lives. While we should be concerned that this technology driven world would require a massive amount of our data to make it work, the benefits might outweigh the threats.

Education is another area where the changes might be revolutionary. It could transform the way we learn, moving us away from formal models to informal education systems. AI should be able to predict what you need to develop next and remove the need to know or memorize details.

While there is a lot of optimism and excitement about the technology there were also many notes of worry and concern. Some of these concerns include:

Maintaining control of our lives
We maintain our agency because we can make our own decisions. While we are flawed, it is this possibility that we make errors that makes us humans. Some failures, the non-optimal option that people have the capacity to take, might actually turn out to be a happy accident. Therefore, with AI will be the loss of this right to make a mistake and instead we will be interdependent on the tech – and the power systems that control them.

Open to abuse
Most companies seeking to use AI want to make a profit or are organizations that hope to gain power. Therefore, the use of data can be to surveil the population and make choices to manipulate based on what has been found out. While we would hope for the best qualities in our business and political leaders, it is not often that ethics are built into digital systems. As the world is fully networked, it is also not easy to regulate.

Loss of our jobs
So, while most people predict that AI will make a lot of people more affluent, for a lot of people it will mean the loss of jobs. The advantage of machines is that they can complete repetitive jobs efficiently and accurately every time. Machines can perform in situations that are too dangerous for humans.

The real consequence is that the gap between the haves and the have nots will widen and there will be increasing social unrest at inequalities.

We are dependent
While we believe that this technology is augmenting human capabilities, we are more likely to allow skills and understanding to lapse, devolving this to the machine. An optimistic view of this is that we can then turn our attention to deeper learning. However, the likelihood is that we become more and more dependent on the machine and will not be able to function without them. Also, the chance to usurp our lives with the interruption of power supplies could prove a significant threat to societies.

Our power supplies and reliance on networks opens us to cybercrime and the weaponization of information. If you want to increase your levels of anxiety a little more, consider the number of autonomous weapons systems around the world that are controlled by AI. If you are starting to think Terminator here, we are a long way from these computers having a consciousness and acting independent of humans.

In short
The possibilities for AI and our human future are endless. There is much potential for using it for a common good. If we can just develop an aspiration and ambition to uphold values, then AI could enhance our future.

However, we have to be realistic. Such technology offers opportunity for abuse and we must move forward with caution, using all our human intelligence to put safeguards in place that will protect ourselves.