There is no shortage of angst when it comes to the impact of AI on jobs. For example, a survey by Pew Research Internet finds Americans are roughly twice as likely to express worry (72%) than enthusiasm (33%) about a future in which robots and computers are capable of doing many jobs that are currently done by humans.
Full article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joemckendrick/2018/08/14/artificial-intelligence-will-replace-tasks-not-jobs
IBM, a venerable tech company on a mission to stay relevant, has staked much of its future on IBM Watson. The company has touted Watson, its flagship artificial intelligence, as the premier product for turning our data-rich but disorganized world into a smart and tidy planet.
But according to engineers swept up in a major round of layoffs within IBM’s Watson division last month, the company’s promotions of its “cognitive computing” platform mask its own real difficulties in turning its AI into a profitable business.
Intel Corp on Wednesday said it sold $1 billion of artificial intelligence processor chips in 2017, the first time the world’s second-largest chipmaker disclosed revenue from the fast-growing computing segment that has fuelled sales expansions at rivals such as Nvidia Corp. As PC sales have stagnated, Intel has increasingly been depending on its sales to data centres, which provide behind-the-scenes computing power for mobile and web-based apps. Those apps, in turn, rely on artificial intelligence for features like photo and speech recognition.
In the past 14 months, overall engagement for restaurant chain TGI Fridays has grown more than 500 percent, says Sherif Mityas, the company’s chief experience officer. And with personalized outreach, they’ve doubled online business in the last year, to the tune of millions of dollars.
“AI has created a tremendous impact in driving our off-premise business in the last year,” Mityas says. “Everything we do that collects, captures, analyzes, and utilizes data for the benefit of our guests is a critical component of our marketing strategy, while using artificial intelligence to help us personalize engagement is critical to our success.”
In the AI arena the stakes are extremely high and it is quickly becoming a free-for-all from data acquisition to the stealing of corporate and state secrets. The “rules of the road” are either being addressed along the way or not at all, since the legal regime governing who can do what to whom, and how, is either wholly inadequate or simply does not exist. As is the case in the cyber world, the law is well behind the curve.
Ethical questions abound with AI systems, raising questions about how machines recognise and process values and ethical paradigms. AI is certainly not unique among emerging technologies in creating ethical quandaries, but ethical questions in AI research and development present unique challenges in that they ask us to consider whether, when, and how machines should make decisions about human lives – and whose values should guide those decisions.
The bots are mainly observing, following simple rules and making yes-or-no decisions, not making higher-level choices that require judgment and experience. “This is the least intelligent form of A.I.,” said Thomas Davenport, a professor of information technology and management at Babson College.
But all the signs point to much more to come. Big tech companies like IBM, Oracle and Microsoft are starting to enter the business, often in partnership with robotic automation start-ups. Two of the leading start-ups, UiPath and Automation Anywhere, are already valued at more than $1 billion. The market for the robotlike software will nearly triple by 2021, by one forecast.
“This is the beginning of a wave of A.I. technologies that will proliferate across the economy in the next decade,” said Rich Wong, a general partner at Accel, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and an investor in UiPath.
The emerging field has a klutzy name, “robotic process automation.” The programs — often called bots — fit into the broad definition of artificial intelligence because they use ingredients of A.I. technology, like computer vision, to do simple chores.
For many businesses, that is plenty. Nearly 60 percent of the companies with more than $1 billion in revenue have at least pilot programs underway using robotic automation, according to research from McKinsey & Company, the consulting firm.
Full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/05/technology/