Since the advent of technology, the age-old battle of man versus machine has been an issue.
Whether it’s televisions entering homes in the mid-20th-century or personal computers coming onto the scene in the late 1980s, technology has no doubt had an effect on everyday life. By integrating tech into various aspects of everyday life, many processes have become streamlined. And in the case of the last decade, many processes have become automated.
This brings into question the work of humans and the work of machines. In terms of staying in the black, some companies opt for turning to machines for efficiency. In addition to machine learning and natural language processing, artificial intelligence (AI) has seen significant growth in the last decade in terms of what can be accomplished with zero human interactions.
Merriam Webster defines artificial intelligence as:
An area of computer science that deals with giving machines the ability to seem like they have human intelligence; The power of a machine to copy intelligent human behavior
Given this, it should come as no surprise that people are starting to question whether or not machines with embedded AI will replace human work. According to a recent research study from the University of Oxford and Yale University titled, “When Will AI Exceed Human Performance? Evidence from AI Experts,” there’s a 50 percent chance AI will outperform humans within the next 45 years.
According to some, the 40-year prediction isn’t necessarily an accurate measure as it’s the average length of a person’s working career life. Whether or not artificial intelligence advances occur within the predicted timeframe will probably depend upon policies and regulations. The study shares:
“Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) will transform modern life by reshaping transportation, health, science, finance, and the military. To adapt public policy, we need to better anticipate these advances.”
Tech titan Elon Musk of Tesla is predicting the AI takeover to occur much sooner, by 2030. In a tweet responding to this study, Musk said, “Probably closer to 2030 to 2040 IMO. 2060 would be a linear extrapolation, but progress is exponential.”
In February, Musk went as far as suggesting the merging of humans and computers. He said, “Over time, I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence. It’s mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output.”
One of the major AI changes that’s seen growth over the past year has been Facebook’s Messenger offering announced last year. Through this new chatbot platform, which has 1.2 billion monthly users, businesses from all industries have joined the chatbot platform by developing their own versions. To date, there have been more than 30,000 chatbots developed on the Facebook Messenger platform, offering up customer service and, more recently, payment options.
Tech giants like Facebook are pushing the envelope for what’s possible in the smart technology arena, but analyst firm Gartner predicted 85 percent of all customer interactions with the enterprise will involve zero human interaction. In the same vein, Gartner predicts there will be nearly 21 billion connected devices by 2020.
As only time will tell if AI will overtake human work, time is inevitably the overall determining factor. It’s likely that we’ll continue to see further advances in terms of streamlining everyday consumer and enterprise activities.