What is the Future of AI?

    It is obvious to me that a lot of use cases and business problems today are already resolved using ‘the machine.’ However, behind what we have already established, what is ahead of us?

    I believe that is not advancements in the technology, but that we will fill even more gaps and respond to even more problems to resolve. I then had a vision: I imagined a student today projected 10 years ahead and faced with finding their first job.

    By doing this, I got it. It is something askew that AI will influence in the future; it’s the ability to have students trained to understand the new work landscape. There have already seen the beginnings of a  huge transformation in this space with robotics and automation taking place of workers. However, are the existing school curricula in line with this profound transformation of the workforce of the future?

    I am unsure we are there yet, especially in Ireland. It seems we are more interested right now to benchmark ourselves and our universities to be competitive with international equivalents and in that, I see a challenge whereas abroad there seems to be a more cohesive and forward approach towards the workers of the future.  In Ireland, it seems the AI revolution is led by companies who are implementing solutions already to avail only people already in that business.

    If thinking is really this small – as far as benchmarking is concerned – it will impact our ability to be truly competitive and compelling to the students of the future. Initiatives like the upcoming AI awards, DatSci Awards or the repeat business of the Atlantec conference in Ireland will certainly contribute to raise awareness on the matter. It will also help speed up the alignment requirement to help the kids of today to be the workers of tomorrow, but I wonder if that is enough.

    Something else I believe will contribute to skyrocket AI and machine learning will be the advent of 5G and the research on quantum computing. One will be foundational to make sure speed in execution will improve even over mobile devices, the other can potentially change ‘the machine’ game radically.

    I appreciate that we are still green in that realm and that existing quantum computers work marvels or simply better only on a limited amount of mathematical problems right now. However, it is evident that big companies are investing in it and it is something that will disrupt the IT market as we know it. What is going to happen to all these data centres? Will they be replaced by a single box? Is there a niche job in there to repossess the old hardware to fuel the production of new?

    AI networking will also be a massive achievement soon in my opinion. Imagine algorithm outputs to be able to scale exponentially because the same can use networked data as input coming from other different outputs. A never-ending loop of cognitive capabilities and the possibility that AI might create its own means to interpret and network said outputs in a way that might exceed human understanding and expectations. Google Translate already achieved something similar in recent times.

    Nonetheless, the future is going to be so bright that more and more people will want to join the AI train and bring that competitive edge down to their companies. All that contributing to minimizing the risk that many are foreseeing that unemployment will go exponentially up because of humans being replaced by ‘the machine’. However, that being said, we still need to proactively look at the means and ways to make sure that will not happen, starting with our own kids and students. The rest will click in consequently. Whatever is ahead of us, I am excited. Are you?

    By Max Cottica
    Chief Information Officer, Staycity Aparthotels