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Op-Ed: How artificial intelligence will redesign the world

The big deal at the moment is who will lead in development of artificial intelligence. A very savvy and very well considered article by Daniel Araya (PhD) in Forbes magazine clearly explains the many players and issues in the current artificial intelligence race. Araya defines the Chinese/United States/corporate/”techno-nationalism” issues, and compares China’s hard-nosed command economy drivers in artificial intelligence to the downright vapid, fragmented American approach.
Araya points out that America’s politically driven socioeconomics are significantly out of step with the realities of the inevitable future artificial intelligence driven economies and physical realities. America’s heavily weighted military-industrial complex and other priorities, for example, create a planning diaspora which is almost the exact opposite of China’s efficient and relentless planning model.

Facebook s open-source  Big Sur  artificial intelligence/machine learning server

Facebook’s open-source ‘Big Sur’ artificial intelligence/machine learning server

Artificial intelligence is probably the single biggest new technology in history. It will make the digital revolution look like a kindergarten birthday party in many ways. Artificial intelligence will affect all technologies, from absolute basics through to the most advanced research, and more. Economically, artificial intelligence driven trading, commerce, and new technical capabilities alone will quite literally redesign human existence.
Artificial intelligence will ultimately make all current economic models redundant. There may be no need for “jobs” and the ridiculous hand to mouth existence of current economic models at all. This is the 21st century for god sake, and we are still lugging around these ridiculous sitcom wage slave lives people are expected to live, like old teddy bears.
At the moment, the average human being has to literally repeat the entire process of finding a way to live, having a family, and the rest of the primitive circus of the industrial revolution. Wealth has gravitated to the rich, and the usual generations of misery for everybody else have made capitalism its own worst enemy. Artificial intelligence will effectively destroy this economic model, and good riddance. The question is what is going to replace it, and the answer to that question is well and truly up in the air at the moment.
The race for artificial intelligence supremacy game
The current big players in artificial intelligence are China and the United States, in “techno-nationalistic” service. The problem with this perspective is that nations are no longer the only players in the game. Corporations, “outsiders”, in the form of experts and very competent researchers, and a host of vested interests are also involved.
In this game, the game has effectively outgrown its frame of reference. Even the starving, much-under rated sciences of my own country, Australia, are players in this game. If the digital revolution taught anyone anything, and that is highly debatable, it’s that unnamed players can suddenly emerge as giants. The next Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Ali Baba, etc, may well be based on artificial intelligence.

Both Musk and British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking have regularly warned of the dangers of artific...

Both Musk and British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking have regularly warned of the dangers of artificial intelligence.

There is another, almost karmic, force involved. Artificial intelligence itself is the other unknown, undefinable player. Even at this stage, the embryonic stage of artificial intelligence development, AI is showing that it can deliver extremely unexpected results in just about all forms of research. Tales of artificial intelligence inventing its own languages, machine learning, neural networks, robotics, and a virtual dictionary of other applications are proving beyond doubt that artificial intelligence is a player in this game in its own right.
Multigenerational data and technologies overview
The big issues at the moment for managing data and technologies are based on “handling” issues. Big data, for example, can mean anything from a large mass of undigested data and related bits and pieces of data, some analysed, some not, some interpreted, some misinterpreted, etc.
Excuse me for coining a phrase, but “data mass” seems to be the most appropriate expression. Like any kind of mass, big data masses create a virtual gravitational effect, with other date at orbiting around it, etc. Apply that to networks, and you have a large number of real physical masses at work. At any time, tens of trillions of data transactions, processes, are in play around the world. To say that this vast tonnage of data is handled efficiently would be a downright lie. It isn’t. The world has become very blasé about vast amounts of data, and “data slag”, heaps of unused or misused data pile up endlessly. It’s like cutting down the forest to make a match.

Amazon has promised to keep virtual assistant Alexa from spontaneously cackling  giving people eerie...

Amazon has promised to keep virtual assistant Alexa from spontaneously cackling, giving people eerie feelings about what the artificial intelligence might be plotting

Artificial intelligence will redesign these systems, probably beyond recognition. The result will be a much more efficient data supply chain, better data distribution, and above all, much less waste.
Even the nature of data will change. Artificial intelligence has shown itself to be efficient by default, and may well be able to invent whole new forms of mathematics, coding, (like finally doing something about the inherent clunkiness of binary coding) and more.
The other screaming certainty is that new technologies and new media for data usage will emerge. Even existing technologies are predicting: new classes of personal technology, smart systems, and more, based simply on new, much more efficient materials. The ever-evolving graphene, for example, and a host of other materials turn out to be much better for data processing and management than the old silicon chips and other processes could ever be.
Even Moore’s Law is likely to be overturned as those limitations are removed, and artificial intelligence is very likely to do that, sooner rather than later. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can deliver excellent research into these materials and technologies is much quicker than existing methodologies.
So, what about the world?
You remember the world. Big blue garbage dump full of idiots making life as difficult as possible for themselves and each other? That’s the one. The world, whether it likes it or not, is about to get a lot less problematic. This is not due to any particularly overachieving form of human intelligence. Artificial intelligence, which apparently doesn’t know how to be stupid, will simply provide all the answers to the problems.

Using computer vision and artificial intelligence  smart machines can detect  identify  and make man...

Using computer vision and artificial intelligence, smart machines can detect, identify, and make management decisions about every single plant in the field.
Blue River Technology

Given the usual human tendency to hide behind data and any other form of documented excuses at the slightest opportunity, there won’t be much resistance. Artificial intelligence has the ironic capacity to provide all the excuses anyone needs to do things properly. Instead of a collection of semi-educated buffoons making decisions based on information they don’t understand, artificial intelligence will be the instant cure.
The other, irrefutable and highly convenient, fact is that artificial intelligence will be more trustworthy than the eternal spin and hype usually associated with socio economic management. Artificial intelligence doesn’t need an ideology, doesn’t need rabble-rousers, and doesn’t need the genetic hypocrisy we’ve come to associate with society and economic management.
Just as well – It’s starting to look like existing societies simply do not know how to handle data mass at current levels, let alone future levels. Problem-solving is not one of the great strengths of this civilisation. Creating problems, usually totally unnecessary problems, on the other hand, seems to be routine. The world’s problems from organised crime, Internet crime, poverty, pollution, and the rest of the world’s problems are based entirely on human mismanagement.
“Techno-nationalism” will come and go. Geopolitical realities do nothing but come and go. Corporate realities, and the rest of the transient pantheon of pathos we now call the world economy will also go. (Always fascinates me that people who are so dedicated to bleating about “the real world” and “here and now” are so obviously incapable of dealing with either.) History does not stand still. People who do stand still, and never look ahead, are invariably buried by history.
Henry Ford never said “history is bunk”; he said that “to say people never learn from history is bunk”. Artificial intelligence is future history in the making; get it right, and the future will be a lot more fun for everybody.
The economics of the future will be designed by a type of economy which doesn’t even exist at the moment. The huge revolution of the last 30 years has generated efficiencies, generated wealth, and generated some great science, but it’s not enough. Even the most basic challenges of the next 50 years are way beyond the capacity of the museum in which we live to manage.
Give artificial intelligence a problem, and it will simply solve it. Give this idiotic global society a problem, and it will simply find a way of making the problem much worse. This is one of the most compelling reasons for rapid development of artificial intelligence. Humanity has not handled the digital revolution very well at all, and this level of total inefficiency cannot be allowed to continue.
Technology is a survival mechanism. Artificial intelligence is the latest, and arguably the greatest, of all technologies. There will be literally billions, probably trillions, of different artificial intelligences on Earth soon enough. If humanity intends to survive, this is the way to go. Forget the Luddites, forget the desperate attempts to return to the Stone Age by politicians, and focus on what is necessary. Techno-nationalism will inevitably be techno-globalism. All else will follow.

Postscript: One use I can think of for artificial intelligence right now is to do something about these damn voice to text typos. I fixed about 8 of them during editing, and if there are any others, my machete and I sincerely apologize.

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Written By

Editor-at-Large based in Sydney, Australia.

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