When asked to think about the effect of Artificial Intelligence on the future, and vice versa, it is nearly impossible for the mind to not instantly travel to Science Fiction works like “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, “iRobot”, or, “2001: A Space Odyssey”. These works depict Artificial Intelligence in a frightening light and explore topics of autonomy and humanity. These topics and ideas may come to fruition, given enough time of course, but where is the industry of Artificial Intelligence at today? While it is extremely improbable that Google or Apple might make a killer AI that doesn’t adhere to Asimov’s Laws, they have created astonishingly advanced AI. With the rise of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana Artificial Intelligence is becoming a part of our daily lives, we use it to make calls hands-free, we use them to play our music with just a few words from across the room. If one thinks back just a decade this could have been just a pipe-dream that few of us could imagine coming to fruition and if one considers the insane speed that this industry has grown and how quickly we are becoming reliant on it those far future, science fiction stories don’t seem so distant, or fictional.
Five years will only help further the advancement of Artificial Intelligence, especially with Machine Learning and Google’s DeepMind, at this point we hardly have to teach the AI things, it learns on its own, either through multiple trials or through “reading” other code and taking inspiration from it to better itself, strikingly similar to how humans learn, through experience or though books and other resources. The reasonable conclusion one can draw from this is how much more similar to humanity Artificial Intelligence will grow, perhaps the next iteration will have the ability to teach, first other AI and then humans, maybe it will teach itself more abstract ideas like philosophy, multi-tasking, or anything beyond data comprehension and math, blurring the line of Artificial Intelligence and organic life.
Perhaps the next step for Artificial Intelligence isn’t to become more human-like but to advance in another direction and to be used purely as a tool for humanity to use. In five years, it is not outrageous to think that this is entirely feasible. In five years, computers could very well become another living thing on our planet, it just so happens that they have copper and plastic instead of flesh and bone.
Artificial Intelligence will be humanity’s next great achievement, the creation of a new form of life, the innate Frankenstein-like drive to become the creator of fate will drive our next five years. AI will advance far enough to influence a resurgence of human creativity and intelligence, similar to the effect of the computer, or the smartphone, or even the printing press. AI will lead to any manner of technologies and will assist and all pre-existing ones, AI is the next natural, unnatural step.