The rise of the fourth way of super human productivity from Artificial Intelligence

Researchers have shown that a form of artificial intelligence can accurately analyze complex distortions in space-time, known as gravitational lenses, 10 million times faster than traditional methods.

This is a great example of super specialized intelligence that is beyond human faculties and represent the fourth productivity impact that is often mistaken for super general intelligence or taking jobs that could never do done by humans anyway.

By this, I refer to the other context of Artificial Intelligence that can replace human jobs in basic automation such as administration and search and selection to the robotic handling of some takes today. A second is the augmentation of human activities with supported intelligence that we use every day on our mobile cell phones for example when searching or selecting information and voice and text translation for example. Thirdly, the creation of brand new jobs from Artificial Intelligence such as algorithm data scientists, robotics engineers to new AI assisted creative design to new health and lifestyles services using assisted intelligence automation.

What is interesting is the fourth category of artificial intelligence that uses sensor data and speed of processing and manipulation that work in a way that is well beyond the capabilities and physical limitations of humans.   The Use of AI by Physics Researchers to analyze and assess complex space-time gravitation lensing is one such case that the level of precision and volume of data simply puts this outside the time and speed and rational capabilities of humans.  

I was first reminded of this phenomena when a specialized robot built by the company Infineon in November 2016,  managed to solve the famous Rubik cube game in 0.637 of a second (1). The fastest a human has done this is 5.25 seconds. There is simply no physical capabilities that a human has to work at sub one-second speeds. It is like asking Usain Bolt to run the 100 meters in 1 second. You just simply cannot put ten Usain Bolt’s together and run in one second, it simply does not work that way!

The Productivity Paradox future and beyond the human cognitive horizon

From the perspective of artificial intelligence and productivity, this touches on how we measure a productivity paradox that has often been described as increasing investment is information technology but falling human productivity. Whether this is due to restructuring of how work gets done and the diminishing role of humans in the creating and completion of tasks is still a subject of debate and research.  But this example of how Artificial Intelligence can generate insights beyond what a human is capable of doing is both exciting and potentially ethically challenging.

Exciting in that it points towards the future of Artificial Intelligence that can manifest powers that could potentially shape new realities of what and how we understand nature and the way we live in our environment. I can see many examples where human healthcare to advances in self-driving cars and management of climate change could be established at greater levels of precision and control that could create huge benefits for human lifespan and societies.

Conversely, the issues of ethics and use of such insights and foresight to see beyond the human cognitive horizon could be a legal minefield where control and jurisdiction of outcomes that may not have been intended. Worse, such systems using in military and cyber security attacks present huge ethical dilemmas of national and personal safety versus escalation of artificial intelligence warfare. This latter point is what I think is behind Musk, Hawking, and others commenting on this matter.

In the end, I was recently reminded that perhaps with all new advances we need to evolve both social, legal and ethical issues together as to get the benefits of such brave new world things created by or begat of our invention. I recently drove up to Oregon to see the Total Eclipse in a car that was full of sensors and information that while fairly unremarkable, was remarkable in that it provided virtually semi-automated insights on current traffic, road position and safety driving to air condition automation.  It was a small demonstration of a marvel of engineering that made a long trip effortless.   I like to think that with each new advance in technology we make these available and with equality to everyone in society. That our goal is to use artificial Intelligence to engineer a future we want and create something beyond what we can do today for a better world.  We are already seeing these emerging now but we have not seen anything yet for what’s coming in the next twenty years and beyond.

New Book Out in October “The 4th Industrial Revolution: responding to the impact of artificial Intelligence on business” Palgrave Macmillan, Co-authors, Prof Mark Skilton and Dr Felix Hovsepian (2)

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