You should be skeptical when it comes to hyped-up AI. Here’s why.

These questions can help us think more critically about new developments in artificial intelligence.

  • The media often exaggerate and overhype the latest discoveries in artificial intelligence.
  • It's important to add context to new findings by asking questions: Is there a demo available? How narrow was the task the computer performed?
  • A more robust approach to artificial intelligence involves solving problems in generalized situations rather than just laboratory demonstrations.
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AI: Our New Best Friend

The fourth wave of the Industrial Revolution is here. If change is led by the right people, we will have ethical machines, says Intel's Lama Nachman.

  • We're entering the fourth wave of the Industrial Revolution, says Genevieve Bell, cultural anthropologist and fellow at Intel. You can chart humanity's progress through four disruptive stages: Steam engine, electricity, computers, and now AI.
  • AI is already all around us, but what will it look like at scale? What will life be like when "suddenly all the objects around us are capable of action without us directing them?" asks Bell. Will fully scaled AI be a boon or an existential threat to humanity?
  • Speaking at The Nantucket Project, Lama Nachman, director of Intel's Anticipator Computing Lab, affirms her optimism. "My belief is that, really, ethical people and ethical researchers are the ones who are going to build ethical machines."
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McDonald's wants to automate its drive-thrus with A.I.

The fast-food company recently agreed to acquire a tech company whose "speech-to-meaning" technology might soon be interpreting customers' orders.

RJ Sangosti / Contributor
  • McDonald's has agreed to acquire Apprente, whose speech recognition technology can supposedly understand complex orders.
  • McDonald's has acquired two other tech companies this year: one that updates drive-thru menus, and another that uses mobile apps to boost customer engagement.
  • The company hasn't said whether the new A.I. is likely to replace human workers.
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Machines probably aren’t interested in global takeover. Here’s why.

What most people worry about when it comes to artificial intelligence likely comes from science-fiction fantasy.

  • When someone says they fear artificial intelligence, what are they imagining? Robots taking over the world is the stuff of science-fiction fantasy.
  • Despite decades of beating humans at the game of Go, AI has never developed the desire to take over actual territory. The reality is that machines are not resourceful and have no interest in us.
  • Although AI plays an increasingly important role in our lives, we have a ways to go before deep learning and machines are solving all of our problems.
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How less professionalism will get you ahead in the workplace of the future

When it comes to job security in the future, instead of acting "professional" you may want to act more human.

  • Dell and the Institute for the Future recently conducted a study that found 85 percent of the jobs in 2030 don't exist today.
  • Having the conversation with kids on what they want to be when they grow up is becoming increasingly irrelevant because of this. They will need to be more adaptable for what future jobs may arise.
  • We commonly describe a "professional" as someone who can do the same thing multiple times with the same result. However, where A.I. is most effective is in producing the same output via consistent, repeatable activity. Because of this, it's being as "unprofessional" as possible that may secure a job — that is, acting in a way that is not predictable. Acting on your humanity may enable you to thrive.