The world around us is changing constantly, especially when it comes to technology. The presence and constant development of Artificial Intelligence will bring upon us numerous changes in the future, both good and bad.
One thing that’s always brought up when it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the fact that countless jobs are going to suffer. This, of course, is a perfectly valid point and it’s nothing but the truth: many, many, jobs will be lost forever. It’s not just that people will remain unemployed in various parts of the world because some robot will take their job, but the jobs themselves will be gone forever.
One example that’s often given when it comes to the early days of AI is the gas attendant. While this position still exists in numerous gas stations across the world, it has largely disappeared in the United States. The introduction of automated pumps has affected quite a few individuals but, in the end, made life easier for millions of drivers.
While this particular job may have suffered, others were created in its stead. Engineers were needed to develop the automated pumps, software specialists needed to make sure the systems worked, security specialists had to make sure there were proper protections against hackers, and so on.
Therefore, while it’s true that many jobs will disappear over the next few decades, others will be born in their place; jobs that we can’t even think about right now. After all, no one born 70 years ago would have thought optimizing search engines would be a job today, or that programming driverless cars in the smallest detail would be something needed in the future.
The fear of the unknown future of the job market is understandable, especially since our grandparents, and even our parents, were raised with the notion that once you learn a skill and get a job, that’s what you’ll likely to do for your entire life, preferably with the same company. Before technology came along to change the world around us, to interconnect us all and give us access to endless knowledge through a device we keep in our pockets, that was an understandable way of thinking.
Parents, children, and technology
Nowadays, we as parents need to make sure our children are prepared for the shifting world around us. We need to make sure that our kids understand from very early on that the key to success is the openness to learning new skills as we get older, the willingness to adapt to whatever technology will be launched next. The good news about today’s children is that they already have access to a lot more than we did as we were kids. If we didn’t know something for a class twenty years ago, we’d go to the library, go through a dozen books and get the information. If kids nowadays don’t know something, they pull up their smartphone or tablet, pull up Google and search the Internet, which saves them a lot of time they can spend engaged in other activities. Growing up with this type of opportunities will only encourage them to learn more about the world around them.
Raising our children in an old-fashioned mindset when it comes to technology will only be detrimental to their evolution as adults. Therefore, it’s not only the kids who need to be prepared for tomorrow’s world, but also parents who need to acknowledge the importance of broadening a child’s horizons so they can adapt to whatever the future brings.
Parents should also take into consideration the many technologies that pop up left and right. Just recently, for instance, Samsung has patented a new contact lens that carries a built-in camera, while Google holds a couple of similar patents of its own, including for a lens one that can monitor sugar levels for diabetics. This all seems like it could be a part of a science novel, but in the end, it could become a minor and common thing in the next decade. Plus, this is just the beginning, and the future may very well hold much more sophisticated lenses that more or less replace a smartphone. In fact, children and parents alike should probably be prepared to embrace such technology as it may give the younger generation a push towards the future, an edge over others. They may even need to have access to such lenses as we need our smartphones and laptops today just to go about their day.
Pair that up with the neurological gadgets that have already been created, which can more-or-less read your thoughts, and you have a handsfree device that can help with your daily communications. Google had a good idea with Google Glass, but a bad execution, and similarly, these brain-scanning toys look like something no one would wear out on the streets without losing a bet. Time and dedication would see these tools transformed into something desirable from a fashion point of view, which is what will make them easy to adopt by the masses. That, and an accessible price range.
Parents should, additionally, adjust to the idea that their kids may very well live in a world where humans and AIs work together. Artificial Intelligence, whether in actual robots or in other types of technologies, is not here to take our jobs per se, but they are here to help us improve the world, to make us more efficient. In the end, parents need to be open to everything the AI world has to offer, whether that’s helping their kids learn faster or helping the adults they’ll become do their job better.
AI is everywhere
Artificial Intelligence is used pretty much anywhere. It will process data from the planes that take you from point A to point B and help the pilot choose the best route, it will help you make money at the stock market better than a broker would, it will take care of your investment portfolio, analyze your medical results and design treatment plans, help create the music you enjoy, write basic articles you read about topics like yearly financial reports, offer tech support for your computer problems, and so on. We didn’t even mention the implementation ofAI in computers because we’d just be listing off everything about them.
Furthermore, perhaps we should also add that AIs are in most every tool you use when you’re online. Google has used AI to perfect their search engine, learning what exactly it is you are looking for when searching for some gibberish phrase. Email clients learn how to send the emails that interest you in special folders while keeping out the rest. Gmail, for instance, will triage your email by topic – promotions, updates, social and so on.
Facebook uses AI to know what types of articles you’d like to read in your feed based on links you’ve accessed before. It also uses that knowledge to display ads to you.
Many online services use facial recognition or even object recognition, and those are both features based on Artificial Intelligence.
There are more, additional uses of Artificial Intelligence. For instance, there’s this concept called “transhumanism” that represents the belief that the human race can evolve beyond its current state, go beyond the current physical and mental limitations with the help of science and technology. Some parts of this theory are already happening, with exoskeletons that are helping paralyzed people walk again, or that protect construction workers, or that are there to help people that have suffered strokes. Others are probably being developed in a lab somewhere – technologies that will help us learn faster, absorb more knowledge, and so on.
In short, Artificial Intelligence is around us and it’s not necessarily in humanoid-shaped robots we are used to seeing in Sci-Fi movies. Instead, it’s hidden deep inside all the gadgets and computers around us, helping make our life easier. Sure, some jobs will be rendered useless as time goes on, but many others will be created instead. The faster we accept the fast-paced changes happening to the world around us, the faster we adapt; we live in the era of technology, after all.