The Future of Artificial Intelligence – Views from history

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On the evening of 29th November 2018, the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) hosted an expert panel on ‘The Future of Artificial Intelligence: Views from History’ featuring:

Prof. Simon Schaffer (University of Cambridge)
Prof. Murray Shanahan (DeepMind, Imperial)
Prof. Margaret A. Boden OBE ScD FBA, (University of Sussex)
Prof. Nathan Ensmenger (Indiana University)
Pamela McCorduck (author of Machines Who Think, an authoritative history of AI)
and chaired by Dr Sarah Dillon (Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence).

Speakers interrogated the past, present, and future of intelligent systems for a general audience, with an interest towards the nuanced power dynamics that have operated around such systems throughout the ages.

This event commemorated the 60th anniversary of the landmark 1958 ‘Mechanisation of Thought Conference’ held in Teddington, England; an event that served to establish artificial intelligence as a standalone field in the UK.

This public lecture led into a private symposium on 30th November 2018 involving world class historians of technology from around the globe.

Comments

vallab says:

I do believe that the Future Artificial experts mostly avoid or underestimate the implications of the progrese of AI on human jobs. Whether it will result in mass technological unemployment in the next 10 to 20 years and most importantly what is their solution for the humanity to overcome it. Most of them predict that the advancement in AI technology will create ENOUGH or more "creative" jobs that will pay better than the old ones so the common people need only to re-educate and re skill to fit into those new future jobs. Unfortunately they don't put forward any concrete plan or solution if their predictions goes wrong resulting in dramatic rise in the unemployment/underemployment in society.

Think out of the box. What we need today is, a broad minded HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE, and Scientific vision of the progress of technology to comprehend this issue. THE EXPONENTIAL GROWTH IN THE A.I. TECHNOLOGY WILL RENDER MOST HUMAN LABOR OBSOLETE, SOONER THAN LATER. THE EMERGING A.I. ROBOT MACHINES WILL BECOME THE NEW WORLD WORKING CLASS OF THE FUTURE.
Think out of the box;

In my opinion, the rapid progress in the AI ROBOT automation resulting in massive job loss in fact; provides the great historical opportunity that the humankind has been waiting since its beginning. To emancipate from the drudgery of human labor. The SERVITUDE, enslavement, humiliation that the majority of the population compelled to undergo by the minority in order to earn their living i.e. wages, salaries or income. Now, with the progress in the AI technology, we can gradually get rid and finally abolish the human labor for wage system and replace it with an equitable income sharing system. It can begin with the Unconditional or Guaranteed Income popularly known as the Universal Basic Income or the UBI.

My book titled “An Alternative to Marxian Scientific Socialism: The Theory Reduction in Working Hours (RWH); ….” Published in the year 1981. Today I rename it as Zero Work Theory (ZWT) More of its details in the links https://bit.ly/2Id6eL0, http://bit.ly/2eARyEx http://bit.ly/2nR4MAP

The gist of the theory is; “Labor” or work is the compulsion on humans (originally imposed by nature) to obtain their means of subsistence. The "human labor relation" is the ROOT-CAUSE OF EXPLOITATION on man by man. It results it all kinds of subjugation, injustice, inequality and corruption in the hitherto human society.

According to the RWH Theory, the AI ROBOTS are the EMBODIMENT of the mankind’s million years of historical struggle, technological endeavor, and dream to overcome their labor/work for SURVIVAL. Now it had culminated into complete replacement of the human labor, jobs or employment.

Its first stage began with the early humans primitive tools used as the replacement of their body, limbs in their day to day work for survival. It reached many levels of mechanical development and sophistication continued for hundreds and thousands years of ancient to medieval history. The second stage began at around 18th century with the advent of steam engines electrical motors merging with the machine tools popularly known as the Industrial Revolution . It most importantly replaced the human muscle power in the human labor equation with the unimaginable inanimate work force energy unparalleled in the history. These machine tool although able to do the hard labor of hundreds of thousands of workers nevertheless always needed the humans intelligent brain cognitive power to perform, conduct the given work or duty.

The third and final stage began with the advent of Semiconductors or the microchip revolution. The Exponential growth of the microprocessors started the era known as the Artificial Intelligence. The 21st century AI robots automation started rapidly replacing humans (biological) intelligence with its human brain like neurological machine deep learning algorithms. AI today is getting far more superior to the humans biological brain in the performance of all human work. Its cognitive learning ability can supersede any intelligent human brain enabling the robots to render every “paid” human labor completely redundant or obsolete.

Now, the only way to progress towards the mankind’s destiny is; A Gradual Reduction in Working Hours aiming towards the complete abolition of the Wage labor i.e. jobs. However, considering the failure or stagnation of the reduction of working hour movement in the last decades and the present worlds rapid AI exponential technological progress and disruption, I realize that a guaranteed Basic Income or the Equitable Universal Basic Income fulfills the final objectives of the RWHT. Nevertheless, my views on the UBI not the same as many of the UBI proponent, who see it as mainly as an incentive to the poor workers to work more productively with the additional income and to supplement to their wages. I argue UBI needs to act as a complete replacement to the wage-labor. “UBI SHOULD ALLOW THE PEOPLE TO BECOME ECONOMICALLY INDEPENDENT, TOTALLY FREE FROM THE DRUDGERY OF WORK, OUT OF THE SERVITUDE, HUMILIATION OF WAGE-LABOR IF THEY WANT. This will also encourage a substantial portion of the laboring population to quit their jobs, which will positively result in the increase in the employment, wages thereby further rapid AI automation in the entire industry. The recommendation of an adequate amount of UBI without having the compulsion of wage-labor, mean ZERO WORK for the individuals which can achieve the overall Reduction in Working Hours in the society, the final GOAL of the RWH Theory. So today, I prefer the name “Zero Work Theory” (ZWT).

The principle behind the ZWT is that the fruits of the progress in the science and technological in the human society should not be appropriated or concentrated in the hands of only a few but it is their historical responsibility and every people concerned, to see to it that the benefit should be equally shared among all members of the society IN ABUNDANCE. This is inevitable future, the elite class should understand what is coming, whether they like it or not.

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