Life in the age of autonomous machines

Original article can be found here (source): Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Many people are afraid that AI and machines will one day take over their jobs, ruin their lives and even reduce the role of humanity to an inferior species. To be honest, some of these scenarios are possible — but only if we will fail to realize that each era requires adaptation to existing circumstances.

Autonomous machines in the future may potentially deprive millions of people of their source of income. If we will continue to treat people as economic resources used for repetitive work and not intelligent beings with unlimited potential.

On the other hand, they can also be life-saving during events such as the present ones.

Coronavirus pandemic

Now, during the rising global health and economic crisis, it should be more clear than ever that advanced AI and autonomous machines can also bring much help and save lives. It all depends on how we use such technologies. Tools can always be used in various ways, so we can’t blame them.

Imagine that we would now have millions of advanced autonomous drones and robots that are not susceptible to viral infections: they can deliver goods everywhere, take care of all patients in need, help companies continue their normal operations. Coordinate manufacturing and distribution of resources over the whole world. Provide various services.

Simpler non-autonomous drones and robots are already helping in the coronavirus pandemic. In a way it has cleared the way for their larger presence in our lives.

Coronavirus is the first big test for futuristic tech that can prevent pandemics

Robots, drones and self-driving cars are already reaching people and places where we can’t. They disinfect rooms and equipment, remind to stay at home or mediate communication between doctors and infected people.

And let’s not stop there.

Road safety

Over a million people die on the road every year, and another few dozen more are injured or disabled.

Imagine truly intelligent machines capable of minimizing the effects of car accidents by performing maneuvers that are impossible for humans.

Time flows for them at a completely different pace. Their artificial neurons are excited millions of times faster than ours. What happens to us in the blink of an eye, gives them the potential for thorough analysis.

Performing tests of available equipment regularly. In a split second simulating multiple possible variants of the following events and synchronizing the activity of multiple mechanisms to maximally reduce the effects of unavoidable collision.

Collective learning allows them to maximize the positive effects of their efforts and reduce any potential harm to the absolute minimum. What takes us decades, they do it in months.

AI in the new age

  1. Imagine local food production done by robots in virtually any weather conditions, coordinated online distribution that reduces waste. Things are delivered where they are needed. In a fast, sustainable and effective way.
  2. Think of education systems that are tailored for individual needs by AI. Accessible anywhere in the world.
  3. An inclusive economy that treats people as a value, not a resource. Offering a universal basic income just for participation in the economic network (increasing total value and security of the system) and intellectual contribution to the development of humanity.
  4. Online governance systems allowing to be both heard when in need and helpful when it is possible. With transparent government institutions focused completely on serving society or being quickly replaced by those that are.

The most dangerous thing is to believe that you possess the absolute truth and there is no room for alternative viewpoints.

We are still in the stone age of Artificial Intelligence, but I believe that also far away from recognizing our true biological potential.

The world has never developed so quickly as now and this trend will only be more intense.

After the next decade it will be a very different place. What we will choose for ourselves and our families?

A utopia for realists filled with new thinking patterns or a technological dystopia based on short-term benefits?

Focus on life-giving global cooperation or the development of autonomous weapons?

Choose wisely. We will make that decision together.

As for me, I just hope that I will have the opportunity to take part in making this world a better place — forever.

Groundbreaking inventions are already in many minds. In some cases, it is only required to start thinking long-term on a wider scale, instead of just focusing on personal short-term gains.

After all, life is an infinite game. And we can all benefit from such paradigm shift.