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20 Advances in A.I. We'll See over the Next 50 Years


Artificial intelligence (A. I.) has captivated humans with both fear and hope over its future potential .The reality is that A. I. is in use everywhere today, from dating websites to government cybersecurity. What the world will look like in 50 years is anybody’s guess, the but the prevailing attitude is that the use of A. I. will help guide a more reliable course. Here are 50 advances in A. I. we can expect to see over the next 5 decades.

1. A move towards a Dateless Society

We’re talking about relationship-type dating here, which has the potential to lead to a society where humans can either: a. get training in dating before going on an actual date, or b. eliminate the need for dating altogether. Not all people can easily adjust to a dating scene, whether it is at a club or a cocktail party. There already exists a number of training A I. programs, so why not training in dating? No more awkward first date moments, and having experience chatting it up with someone could almost be scripted (provided the other person has been in training as well). An A. I. chat-bot called Cleverbot has been used on the dating website OKCupid to interact with a number of women with a reasonable amount of success.

2. Dateless Society – Part Two

The problem with the A. I. date training is the other person has to fall within the range of predicted responses of the chat-bot. Even if the bot can give you a 99.99% chance of moving it to the next level, you still have to deal with the human component. Many people already know of the sex-bots being marketed by Japanese companies, but how about a sex-bot that combines human relationship responses with the sex? Instead of getting a mechanical sex toy, you will interact with the device just as you would any other person prior to moving on to business. The chances of you getting turned down is zero (unless you have programmed your bot for training mode, so it will only have sex after giving the correct responses).

3. Improving on the Second Oldest Profession?

Cooling down from the potential of hot chat-bots and sex toys, we can pause to consider the changes in what many people do on a regular basis – gamble. It’s one thing to do it in a casino, another doing it online. Sports betting has become a huge and profitable online market – and perfectly legal in many states. Where A. I. plays a role is in being able to calculate all the possibilities of a specific bet; say the chances of a running back scoring the first touchdown in the Super Bowl. Since the bookies would know the realistic chances based on the A. I. predictive algorithms, bookies would almost never lose and force more people to gamble on games of random chance such as slot machines. That would either mean a lot of bored people or the collapse of the sports betting market – or both.

4. Significantly improved chances in the online dating arena

We just got off the dating-sexbot possibilities, but if you preferred the more human route and wanted to take your chances, your chances will be significantly improved with the inclusion of A. I. Forget those user profiles. A. I. will be continually evaluating yours – and everyone else’s – online interactions to generate a real world profile. Rather than you swiping through 100 photos and profiles trying to get a hit, the A. I. technology will send you recommendations based on your profile and who you are most likely to be looking for. Tinder (naturally) is already working on this possibility.

5. Developing relationships of a different kind

Since we’ve already covered the human interactions, what about replacing a fur-leaking, poopy pet with an A. I. robot pet? It would never die on you (unless you forget to charge it up) and current advances in A. I. technology are getting closer to being able to mimic a pet’s actual intelligence level. This opens the possibility of having a meaningful conversation with your pet without the quizzical looks.

6. An improved brick-and-mortar shopping experience

Online shopping is becoming more and more common, and continues to challenge the traditional brick-and-mortar stores such as Walmart and Target. Amazon dominates the online shopping world, mainly because of its low prices and high quality customer service. But there are certain things you want to see in-person before going through the hassle of having to return them, a practice that many online retailers are cracking down on. A. I. is being used online to suggest items you might be interested in but the current direction is towards using that same technology to make the recommendation to you online, direct you to a store that carries the item, and make sure what you want is available at the store. It is the perfect combination of online and physical store shopping.

7. Those iffy self-driving cars

The recent tests of self-driving cars have shown there to be a few snags but in general they show much promise. But this is not necessarily where A. I. is headed. The predictive abilities of A. I. will let you plan those short shopping trips, those long road trips, or just get back and forth to work with a minimum of stress whether you are in the driver’s seat or not.  There are those who are saying that this technology will allow us to be more productive, but who wants to work on their way to work? Personally, it might be seen as a new type of technology trap.

8. Making more money without working more

This, of course, enters the field of financial services A. I. technology, one where many people believe they are not on a level playing field either technologically or financially with those who have far greater wealth. The future of A. I. holds the key to create a more level playing field for people with less money but the same or higher levels of ambition. If knowledge is power, than being able to massage that data into financial predictions of a stock or the market in general will make a significant difference.

9. Having an indefatigable lawyer to help you manage things

There is always the need for a lawyer in everyday life, and when things go south you need quality representation to get the best outcome. An A. I. lawyer is your best bet since they never get tired and will work in your best interests regardless of who you are. This is particularly critical in criminal matters, and the reality is that most low income people charged with crimes accept plea bargains rather than take their chances in court with a court appointed attorney. Your A. I. will give you the best legal representation possible, regardless of the legal issue. Even the IRS.

10. Improved and lower cost medical services

We will end the first half by mentioning one of the more obvious yet likely ways A. I. will change your life. Many of the current medical tests given to patients are done by computer, and the number of technological advances in medicine continue to give hope to ailing patients and increase a person’s life expectancy. Improving A. I. systems to deliver critical information and also arrive at a correct diagnosis will eliminate errors and be able to identify medical conditions before they become life-threatening.

11. Eliminating the middleman a.k.a. your boss

This would not necessarily mean the elimination of all management positions, but many middle management positions are based on the need to properly evaluate current and future talent to fill positions and promote people within the organization. A. I. is becoming quite capable of doing this, and the future of evaluating a person based on facial expressions or tone-inflections during the interview or promotion process is not too far away. It does seem kind of creepy, but as they say, it is a brave new world out there.

12. A. I. created music

We continue the Creep Patrol by considering the potential, not for just any kind of A. I. created music but for the kind of music that will be able to connect with humans on a personal and meaningful level. You will be able to be lulled to sleep by an original A. I. creation every night. Likewise, you can be awakened by an original A. I. creation to get your morning started right. Somehow, the whole thing just seems unnatural but there probably will be an A. I. piece of created music that will dissuade you from such thoughts. Just a possibility.

13. We will be not asking what will happen but what should we do

You can thank the Pew Research Center and Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy for this one. Because A. I. will eliminate the predicted bad outcomes of a situation, allowing humans to choose from the good ones, it seems that it will be pretty hard to have an actual bad outcome. There will no need to ask the “what if?” question. As optimistic as this sounds, why do we get the feeling that this falls into the category of “if it sounds too good to be true…”

14. We will be able to directly argue with the technology

This is intended to be understood in an interactive sense, where the machines present legal and moral arguments to people in the society. Since the prevailing notion is that A. I. will be “smarter” than any human, resistance is futile – in some ways. But there will also be a group of people who will reject the invasion of A. I. and will rebel against the status quo around the world. In this sense, the A. I. advances will result in a retreat from the technology which the A. I. may or may not be able to cope with.

15. Humans will travel to other planets to live

This is another obvious result from A. I. technology as not only will A. I. space explorers precede humans, but they will also create the basic facilities for human inhabitants before humans ever set foot on the planet. Since A. I. has been judged to be smarter than humans, it will be able to avoid mistakes that would almost certainly cost human lives. More importantly, it will be able to discover new minerals and elements currently unknown to earth that will provide the ability to create new materials and make life for humans better.

16. Algorithms that will result in the total loss of privacy

When you consider the issue of privacy in general and then combine it with the previous items on the list, it is not hard to see how A. I. not only can, but will, leave you with no privacy left. More and more people have already succumbed to their loss of privacy with the existing technology. 50 year from now A. I. will be all-intrusive from your personal interactions with others down to your DNA. This may be good or bad, depending on your point of view.

17. Interactive politics – Part 1

Today we have fact checkers, which depending on which political party you belong to, will confirm or deny what a politician is saying – or hiding. A. I. will level this playing field as well, providing everyone with objective, no-nonsense analysis of every statement and every historical reference spoken. The electorate will be educated on the spot, helping them to make better and more-informed decisions.

18. Interactive politics – Part 2

The political use of A. I. will extend into the actual government of nation-states. Instead of having countries like Somalia running amuck a fleet of drones will be sent to monitor the activities of the government, and make recommendations to local government officials on how to best deal with the problems. This does not necessarily have to interfere with a nation’s sovereignty, but will provide a mechanism by which to deal with rogue and terrorist nations.

19. Advances in cyberdefense

No article on artificial intelligence would be complete without at least a mention of the issue of cybersecurity. While cyberwars tend to take a position of an active offense is essential for a practical defense, A. I. will continue to find active solutions to computer network attacks from across the country or across international boundaries. This will indeed be a battle of the machines, but unlike the Terminator type.

20. The creations of new jobs that have yet to be imagined

Another voice from the Pew Research center, Amy Webb, founder of the Future Today Institute and professor of strategic foresight at New York University maintains that the development of a group of “new hybrid-skilled knowledge workers who can operate in jobs that have never needed to exist before” is just over the horizon. A. I. will force the creation of these jobs as people will need to interact with the results of data and information generated by A. I. more than the data itself.

Bill Vix

Written by Bill Vix

Bill Vix writes blogs, articles, and website content for clients who want the facts presented in a way that is digestible to their target audience. He graduated from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2009 as an English major with a concentration in Professional Writing. After graduation, he pursued graduate degrees in both Library Science and Communication. With over 10 years of professional writing experience, his ultimate goal is to simply and effectively communicate useful information using the most technologically relevant methods.

Read more posts by Bill Vix

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