Fearing AI will disrupt nations' development, says expert

Fearing AI will disrupt nations development, says expert
Sebastien Thrun speaks at the World Government Summit in Dubai 2018. - KT photo by Dhes Handumon

Dubai - Sebastien Thrun said no matter how advanced technology became, nothing will replace the creativity of the human brain


Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Tue 13 Feb 2018, 12:49 PM

Last updated: Tue 13 Feb 2018, 2:53 PM

Technology development is inevitable and governments must start learning and implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) rather than fearing it, technology experts said.
In a session during the World Government Summit (WGS), innovator entrepreneur Sebastien Thrun, CEO and co-founder of Udacity, stressed that AI will undoubtedly impact jobs, but will create new career opportunities that never existed before.
"Some jobs disappeared after the first industrial revolution. Man previously depended on muscle strength in everything like agriculture and transportation. It should also happen after the start of the new industrial revolution, which is associated with AI, as new ones will come up."
Thrun added: "If we look back, many jobs like news news anchoring and graphic designing didn't exist 300 years ago because we didn't have capabilities for it. Technology will free humanity of the slavery of repetitive work and give us more room for creativity," said Thrun, during a session moderated by UAE Minister of AI, Omar Sultan Al Olama.
He said no matter how advanced technology became, nothing will replace the endless creativity of the human brain.
Meanwhile, Al Olama said governments may become more specialised in different ways and certain areas related to AI, depending on their policies and directions, but should have a role in investing in this field or risk being left behind. He stressed that the UAE will develop an integrated strategy to implement AI in the government.
Thrun added that transforming society from stationary to dynamic is the first step towards transforming the future. "Only 1 per cent of interesting things have been invented and the remaining 99 per cent are still underway. Things will be so different 10 years from now."
Technology, Thrun said, is an unstoppable force that has impacted our past and is shaping our future. However, people have to think responsibly about technology and implement it to the benefit of humanity. "First, second and third priority is education. You have to educate children and bring their skills to the table through customised learning that fits different needs, instead of a unified curriculum for all," said Thrun.
He noted that exaggeration of the consequences of AI use will disrupt governments from keeping pace with modern development, noting that history has proved how much technology contributed positively to human life, by creating new jobs and bringing down poverty.
Thrun expected that there will come a day where communication between machines and humans will be direct, without needing codes.
He noted that at the present time, governments must focus on teaching the science of codes and other sectors that will improve the quality of life and work on transforming communities from consumerism to creative participation in future industry.
On whether some countries have more opportunities over others, Thrun said it depends largely on the openness of leaders towards new technologies, as seen in the UAE, which looks forward to reaching an advanced stage in technology.

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