AI opener: Should we cheer or fear machine learning?

AI opener: Should we cheer or fear machine learning?

Artelligence - the Artificial Intelligence Forum presented by Khaleej Times and MIT Sloan Management Review GCC discussed this issue.



By Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's Desk)

Published: Thu 5 Sep 2019, 9:41 PM

Jack Ma, the co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, calls it Alibaba Intelligence and doesn't consider AI or artificial intelligence to be a threat. Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, thinks that that comment may just be Ma's legacy - his famous last words. Musk maintains that AI won't just be as smart as humans, but will be much smarter than smartest humans. Now these two gentlemen are the leaders of some of the world's most innovative companies and have a plethora of tools at their disposal to give them a glimpse into what the future might hold. If they can't seem to agree on how AI will impact our futures, imagine the plight of millions of mortals. Musk and Ma's difference of opinion, in a nutshell, sums up the paradox that AI has come to be.
Will AI be responsible for a bright and cheerful future for us or will super-intelligent bots leave average humans jobless? Will AI take away the jobs of journalists, for instance, by writing template-based news reports or would readers still prefer the creativity of the human brain? Should we cheer or fear the rapid progress being made in machine learning? Is AI a double-edged sword that will further accentuate the gap between the haves and the have-nots? These were some of the issues discussed yesterday on the first day of the second edition of the two-day Artelligence - the Artificial Intelligence Forum presented by Khaleej Times and MIT Sloan Management Review GCC.
Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE's Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, made a very pertinent remark when he said that, when electricity was discovered, the formula for success was Electricity + X, with X being anything that you wished to do. It could be medicine, education, retail.whatever. Now, he says, the same formula reads Intelligence + X = Success. As the minister pointed out, job losses as a result of AI's rapid development are imminent, but the trick is to be ready for that future and for those jobs that do not exist today. And while AI will need to be embraced across every facet of business and society, doing it without understanding the pros and cons will be dangerous, he warned. AI AI, minister!


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