There have been several discussions lately around machine intelligence that are started to converge in how they may change competition and regulation in all markets but is likely to become a bigger issue in 2017. This is a bubble waiting to burst. The recent letter for Apple to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding policy changes to help promote automated self-driving vehicles stressed not just a level playing field to promote new technology and data sharing but also the impact of automated vehicles on the public good, including their consequences for employment and public spaces. Other issues around consumer product automation in the home with Amazon Echo Alexa and Google Home have raised the bar in interactive systems and questions over the type of privacy and data use issues these may bring. Other issues have been raised over the use by Facebook of algorithms for "editing" the social media sites for certain political issues or in the case of their entry to the Chinese market and creating a censoring app to comply with regulations. Yet more serious issues have also been raised with UK Government concern over under age use of social media networks and the rise of what is described as sex-texting and its violations. A response has been the use of machine learning again in this case by authorities to track down miss use through image recognition.
How is this impact different ?
Behind this is the creeping rise of machine learning and intelligence to automate your experience , your regulation and markets. This will have profound impact in the years ahead on productivity, job creation and more over job destruction. While the simple economics of Machine Intelligence written by Agrawal and his coauthors in November Harvard Business Review talks about the use of prediction in machines to improve performance but it still needs human judgment to manage these outcomes. But this belies the bigger issues of governing the impact of Machine Intelligent in the very near future and the ethics of this. It needs to be considered now.
How will business response to AI ?
Start-up businesses who specialize in Machine Learning are gold to Venture capitalists and have been swept up in recent years, the UK in particular has been and remains a big hunting ground in this area. But what is at stake is what some call "Deep Technology" such as AI, VR/AR and chip design that are the new world of competitive IT where data intelligence captured from the Internet of Things will be the big story for created value and new markets.
Conversely however, if machine intelligence can automate ordering, displacing, photo editing, travel bookings, advisory and search support, does this also mean less jobs and less humans needed for SMEs who may offer local services or compete in niche markets? Machine Learning seems to be the customize software of the larger companies today from drug therapy design to social media analytics but the next stage in 2017 I think will make this become increasingly on the agenda beyond big companies and governments to all businesses that are seeking an edge from automation or are realizing that the customer and interaction has gone digital and the mass of data and services needs to be supported by new machine learning tools as people are just not fast enough or can't handle all the data. There is much to change , to win and lose in this new intelligent systems era approaching