Mankind has always risen to the challenges along our developmental path.
Many of these challenges have been created by mankind themselves. Climate change, global terrorism, and economic inequality are just a few of the issues on the current “to do” list. They are all by-products of past decisions, but at the moment, there is one particular sphere of our lives where our current decisions will have a massive effect on our future lives.
Artificial Intelligence. I wonder when we will stop calling it artificial…
We are programmed (forgive the pun) to view anything technological as a vehicle for solving logical and practical problems, but the current debate is centred around how far it could (or should) develop to facilitate the future of our planet and how its acquired creativity might impact us. When we consider the future of AI and its effect on our industries, it is often the more technical and predictable jobs which will be affected first – hotel receptionists, truck drivers, manufacturing workers. We don’t see A.I. writing the next hit record, penning a blockbuster children’s novel or creating the next film franchise.
For us, A.I. will never be able to compete with our innate creativity, our way of finding a solution 'out of nothing.'
This may be true for an initial period, and a recent report from the UK-based innovation charity Nesta would tend to agree, but in the longer term, there is no real reason why A.I. cannot be let loose with a blank canvas and an open mind. The Lovelace 2.0 test assesses whether a computer can create a work of art (poem, story or painting) that expert and unbiased observers would conclude was produced by a human, and with businesses around the globe increasingly turning to the power of technology, that day is coming closer.
I bet that you have all heard of the global marketing agency McCann. Well, in Japan, they have developed an artificial intelligence robot “AI-CD β” to help them analyse the constituent successes of past advertising campaigns and therefore aid in the development of fresh campaigns. It is able to look at a vast number of images and commercials, and it could be seen to be adding an additional scientific element to the dark and mysterious arts of creativity.
For me personally, maybe this is the point. It might not be the case that A.I. can replicate the creative genius of a Steve Jobs or an Elon Musk, but if it can help the middle managers of the world understand a little more science behind their creative decisions, maybe it could offer some real-world benefits? Peeling back the layers of creativity gives people that crucial extra insight into their own minds, and I might suggest that we could become even more creative as a result.
I, therefore, sit strongly in the 'enhance' camp, but it will only happen if we let it. We shouldn’t be scared of AI – if we are too wary of the Terminator-style denouement, we will never realize the full benefits.