After many years of promise and hype, AI seems to be finally reaching a tipping point of market acceptance. “Artificial intelligence is suddenly everywhere… it is proliferating like mad.” So starts a Vanity Fair article published around two years ago by author and radio host Kurt Andersen. And, this past June, a panel of global experts convened by the World Economic Forum (WEF) named Artificial Intelligence, - Open AI Ecosystems in particular - as one of its Top Ten Emerging Technologies for 2016 because of its potential to fundamentally change the way markets, business and governments work.
AI is now being applied to activities that not long ago were viewed as the exclusive domain of humans. “We’re now accustomed to having conversations with computers: to refill a prescription, make a cable-TV-service appointment, cancel an airline reservation - or, when driving, to silently obey the instructions of the voice from the G.P.S,” wrote Andersen. The WEF report noted that “over the past several years, several pieces of emerging technology have linked together in ways that make it easier to build far more powerful, human-like digital assistants.”
What will life be like in such an AI-based society? What impact is it likely to have on jobs, companies and industries? How might it change our everyday lives?
These questions were addressed in Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030, a report that was recently published by Stanford University’s One Hundred Year Study of AI (AI100). AI100 was launched in December, 2014 “to study and anticipate how the effects of artificial intelligence will ripple through every aspect of how people work, live and play.” The core activity of AI100 is to convene a Study Panel every five years to assess the then current state of the field, review AI’s progress in the years preceding the report, and explore the potential advances that lie ahead as well the technical and societal challenges and opportunities these advances might raise.