It is ushering in a new age, redefining what’s possible, bringing machines to life. What should organizations do? What about government policy? How do we plan in the midst of the changes?
In Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence, three esteemed economists tackle these questions and more. The authors discuss AI in the context of prediction. One of the authors, Joshua Gans, recently shared his view of AI from this research.
“Some people worry that artificial intelligence will make us feel inferior, but then, anybody in his right mind should have an inferiority complex every time he looks at a flower.” -Alan Kay
Many people are only now beginning to see AI in the form of Alexa or Google Home. What do you expect over the next few years in terms of growth and how it will be prevalent in our lives?
While it is hard to forecast these things, I suspect AI will be largely invisible to most consumers. Businesses will use it to plan inventory and make logistics more efficient. That may show up in high quality products for a lower price, but it is unlikely anyone will say ‘ah ha! AI.’ In other words, I don’t expect to see Jetsons-like robots walking around any time soon.
Misconceptions about AI
What are some of the most common misconceptions about the technology?
The big misconception is that technologists are often too optimistic about progress in the near term and too blinded by the speed of progress later on. We are still in the near term on AI, so there is lots of optimism. But there is much to be worked out in terms of how to make the technology work for us. Once we do that, the optimism will be justified. It is just likely to be a few years later than people expect.
What is prediction? And, as its cost drops, what should we expect?
Put simply, prediction is when you take the data you have to generate information you do not have — e.g., past weather observations tell you about the weather tomorrow. When the cost of prediction drops, that means (a) our data is more valuable as it can create more useful information and (b) that we have more useful information and so can make better decisions.
“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” -Stephen Hawking