Posted by Martin McGahan on May 31, 2020
Scott Houston...You might say Futurist.
Artificial Intelligence—The Rise of the Machines!
 
Scott is a technology entrepreneur and he gave us a challenging, thought provoking and very enjoyable address Monday evening on a subject many probably don’t wish to think about.
 
What is Artificial intelligence?
 
The are three main components
1. Computer Vision ie, facial recognition, recognising one animal from another, or inanimate objects.
2. Natural Language Processing—Meet “Ella”, electronic life-like assistant. You can find her at national police HQ, Wellington. This medium, with CV applied helps to develop        sentiment analysis by looking at emotional responses such as   happiness, anger etc.
Follow this link to see an example of the future interaction we can
expect.      
 
Scott is a technology entrepreneur and he gave us a challenging, thought provoking and very enjoyable address Monday evening on a subject many probably don’t wish to think about.
 
3.   Automated Machine Learning—
understanding words/figures etc, large data as applicable to say stock market data, financial data, retail analytics. Then training models to ultimately make predictions.
     
Scott talked of the AI Pipeline:   Train—Neural Networks - Learn Predict -Re-train
 
Scott went on to talk about the impact of AI pre and post Covid 19 on the future. The picture spells out the potential  effect.
 
 
He further highlighted the technology leap post the GFC—cloud computing, airBnB, online shopping…
And he predicts Covid 19 will be the tipping point for AI and its acceleration and impact on our lives.                  Scott talked of the jobs our parents said were safe as we headed to tertiary study and employment. While not predicting for example pilot-less aircraft, he did suggest there may be fewer pilots with the development of drone technology. He spoke of driver-less cars too.
 
He speculates that with the major disruption to our lives, jobs being taken over by AI, a move to a universal basic income should now be a conversation society has. A    manufacturing worker won’t necessarily be able to retrain as a computer programmer.
 
 
So, where is AI going? Scott talked of the evolution of AI. He referred to Siri, Alexa and Microsoft. These companies are pouring $billions into this area building vast neural networks, trying to understand sentiment-ality. From there developing sentience, or consciousness the goal. That is, the ability of AI to think as
humans do. When this occurs it is predicted AI will exponentially increase. And he refers to a book “Super Intelligence” by Martin Bostrum as a somewhat scary look into the future. But, the benefits are here now and expanding. AI has a role in space exploration, medicine and medical diagnosis, manufacturing, domestic duties, transport, companionship and wellbeing, .
 
 
 
What can we do now?
In 1950 Ivan Asimov, in his book I Robot, drafted three laws for AI. These are a fiction, but take on some     importance today. There are no formal rules or governance structures around the control of AI. Society needs to have these conversations.
 
Scott is currently writing a book in the area. A story of an algorithm that becomes sentient. He is on his 3rd draft and speculates that if he doesn’t finish it soon, it will become an historical fictional book rather than a science fiction book!
 
The editor predicts that this role, publication of Rapport, will be done by AI in the not to distant future!!
 
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