Technological – Business – Societal  – Impact Development Timeline

The era of AMs – Autonomous Machines

2020 – 2025 We will see a rising number of products mainly chat bots, entering our day to day world. At the same time the work on “General AI” will be intensified and we are getting better and better results – yet no real products – despite the rapid development. The business impact will be substantial because access to knowledge will span all industries and will be substantially easier as conventional text search. Search engines will be either UI-less (meaning no keyboard, mouse, looking through lists but you speak to mic anywhere). The societal impact will begin to bring a dark cloud. The start of significant unemployment in all kinds of call centers, info centers, support center… Science Fiction movies may become rarer. Our development is faster than a movie maker can write a script, produce the movie and bring it to market. Ex-Machina II may possibly still not come out ;)

2025 – 2030 Technology development towards general AI will be in full swing but not yet really mainstream. Millions of engineers from around the globe will work on AI solutions. That includes Universal AI, multi purpose AI, single purpose AI. AIPU s (artificial intelligent processing units) will become more widely available. New Memory systems may arise. With that I mean silicon embedded intelligence to address memory content. There was a technology developed called “Content Addressed Memory” that may come to new life – now there may be a need for it. The number of AMs (Autonomous Machines) such as AI Based self driving cars, AI based autonomous robots, AI based autonomous devices, AI based autonomous computers will rise significantly. By then everybody will sell their products with AI-Based XYZ. AI is like Internet in 1998. Widely used but still not fully developed. But everything will include AI one way or the other. The unemployment rate will rise to very uncomfortable 100+ Million across the globe. Countries will start to TAX AMs in order to finance unemployment aid. Unemployed will most likely not be able to find a new job. It’s when the wider public understands that AI is different to any other new technology: AI is used to make machines autonomous – rather then needing new skills to use the new technology by humans. AI is not even a technology, software, microprocessors, robots, cars everything existed, but a completely new way to use technology. As a result, a significant shift in our society will begin. The makers movement will explode, social workers, nature-observers and protectors, artists, musicians, coaches and so forth will rise. We will move from “employed humans” to “autonomous humans”. We will grow more self determined across all levels of education and with a higher value to our society, environment and future evolution of humankind. A major societal inflection point may surface. Those who still need to “work” will push the AI development forward, knowing that if their jobs will be replaced, they can – like all the others – do what they really like to do and receive a UBI (Unconditional base income).

2030–2040 The AMs are substantially advanced. AI development languages and AI operating systems will become a standard in the tech space. Under the development systems the graphical application design tools may dominate as they can be used by pretty much any generally educated business manager. Just pointing and selecting data set sources, algorithms that analyze those data sets, selecting processors (neural networks) to pump it through and so forth. It will be the beginning of broadly available general AI. The number of AI based applications will grow faster and bigger than all conventional software together. The old software world is fading away. The number of applications and functionalities leveraging IOT, sensor techniques, and robots will enter into all kinds of industries replacing ever more people. It will now be apparent – also for the last human on earth – that industrial work will be completely eradicated. Industrial unemployment will be raising to over a billion people in the next 10 to 15 years. Whether its office workers or manufacturing workers, AMs will take over the jobs. Everybody who is working on repetitive products or services can be replaced by an AM. Artists, will still keep creating Art any creative work that creates a unique ‘thing’ will obviously not be replaced because it would simply make no sense and cost too much. Those AMs work 3 times as long (8 versus 24 hours), no social cost, no vacation. Unemployment aid will at the very latest now become an unconditional base income for everybody, funded by the earlier implemented Value added AM tax. Autonomous Humans will now become the majority. We also reached another interesting inflection point. Product costs are no longer determined by the amount of labor cost – back to raw material cost based pricing. But the raw material may actually sooner or later come from other planets. Science Fiction? No – this is now becoming reality. Not only because we understand that renewable ENERGY is limited but also recyclable MATERIAL is not infinitely available on earth. A billion cars with Lithium Batteries would require more Lithium after the first few replacement than we have on earth.

2040 – 2050 The AMs will evolve further, write complex algorithms themselves, beyond our own capabilities, create structures and construct products beyond our intellectual capacity. Humans, however, will also evolve further and deeper than we can imagine today, in 2018. Our brain will have more capacity for creativity because we will no longer need to remember when King Ramses built his empire, who his father was and so fort. We have that knowledge in our extended, collective, connected technical brain. Internet connection is omnipresent and guaranteed on every square inch on land or water on earth. Mass products in any way or shape can be constructed, prepared and produced by AMs. Only the decision, what we actually want to create, will still be coming from the human mind. And latest by then we will bring forward real self aware AMs (if not much earlier). There are many people including me working on self conscious AI concepts already. Yet even self aware AMs are far away from the human brain capabilities. The AI research will help us better understand what we are actually capable of. We will learn more about ourselves in these 10 years than in all the 300,000 years before. The human mind’s creativity is so complex that AI is still very far away from coming even close to it. We will have a far deeper understanding of the human mind than just our intelligence. We will understand that intelligence is just one power of our mind, similar to our power to move, the power of our muscles and the power of our orientation – which we have all augmented already some hundreds of years ago. We will understand artificial intelligence is no more than our artificial muscles, which we call tools.

2050 – 2075 Leveraging our added skills, collective knowledge our amazing machines, scientists will be replaced by those machines as well. Testing something new and prove a repetitive behavior to make it a scientifically proven fact, is much better done by an AI system than by a Ph.D. ‘system’. Science will be done by AMs across all factions. At the same time, innovative and creative ideas will explode, AM’s will analyze and verify those ideas in no time. AM owners will compete for those crazy but verified ideas and build it. AMs will help revitalize space exploration in a new and rather meaningful way. We will need other places than earth to harvest raw material and we need other planets for recycling or wast disposal. AMs, powered by solar energy are the best “people” to send to other planets or our moon to extract, produce, recycle, deposit. We don’t even need to terraform Mars for that. But we may safe Mars for exploring Terraforming together with AMs. Autonomous Machines and Autonomous Humans will build the most powerful synergy ever built. We will be depending on AI, more than on any other technology built so far. Most technology can be replaced by something else. But an AI system that can iterate through millions of ideas for any given solution in a few hours is something not only beyond what we built but beyond ourselves.

More details on how and why thousands of different jobs in 300+ industries, from around the world will be replaced in the next 30 years and how we manage the inflection point from the disaster of being “unemployed” to the luxury of becoming an autonomous human will be available on: World With No Work

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In my work with artificial intelligence, thinking about the borderline between a perfect algorithm to perform a perfect action and the superiority over the human brain, I reached an area that made me think about the concept of perfection.

Hyper smart applets

In 1996 we were trying to design hyper-smart applets (applets was concept in Jave programming language). The idea was that applets travel through the internet autonomously, find receptors in routers or computers and have dialog systems in connected machines. It was a similar idea like smart contracts in a blockchain, but far more advanced in its autonomy. We were philosophizing: how far could we bring this? Would these applets become one day self aware? Would they be able to execute tasks not only based on our direction but also be influenced by incidents that occur while traveling in the net? For instance could they find their best path virtually on their own? Today’s AI discussion are a real dejavue for me. One thing we discovered at that stage: We have to allow the autonomous applets to make mistakes. We cannot predict every move and every situation. We have to add some sort of error correction mechanism and being aware that mistakes will come from probability of success calculations. This was the first time I realized that failure is not something we humans have because we are dumb – we have the behavior to make mistakes by purpose.

AlphaGO Example

20 years fast forward. The AlphaGo project 2016 showed very well that the AI system that learned to play GO, was incapable predicting every possible move in order to make a perfect moves. The variety of moves are so vast, that all computing power on earth could not perform this task in the next 10,000 years. So what AlphaGo did is taking a shortcut and calculates probabilities to win in percent from several possible and more logical moves. Obviously the way it does it was superior to how we humans can do it – but it is far away from being perfect (perfect as we humans use that term).

Permutation

I was reminded that permutation is a strategic concept of nature. We humans see permutation as a “mistake”, because we don’t know much about mistakes. We “instinctively” try to avoid mistakes at almost all cost. On the other hand we are triggered by rewards and any success is rewarded by our brain with “rewards points” also understood as joy.

Perfection

Humans are definitely imperfect. Our imperfection is mainly noticed by the mistakes we make and the joy we have when we succeed. However, the more we think about the reasons why we ‘must make mistakes’ eventually we come to a point where we understand that imperfection is the perfect scheme of development. The fear, that with the rise of AI ‘we are all gonna die’ because we are soooo imperfect, is definitely simply another mistake.

Imperfection Oxymoron

A “perfect system” that still develops makes the ‘perfect’ system being previously ‘imperfect’ or the development is a decay. Development or evolution including permutation can only be considered evolving if it is not perfect. The state of ‘perfection’ is the end of evolution or development.
Imperfection is the only thing that is perfect!

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I see this question popping up over and over again. At present it may look like Autonomous Machines will carry on the technological development and we sit and watch. Well – here is my thinking:

In 1980 the end of technology was predicted
I remember a day where my boss said “I think with the invention of the 8 bit microprocessor we are at the end of technology development – we will never see a 16 bit microprocessor in commercial use.” I was laughing but he was dead serious. Little did he know that we were not at the end but barely at the beginning of the micro computer revolution.

In 2020 the end of humanity will be seriously predicted
We are very much in the infant stage of AI. If we developed a fully autonomous and self aware AI system we are really at the beginning of a new technology era. Those machines will help us reach frontiers that even SciFi authors don’t see today but will fuel a whole new era of SciFi stories soon.

By 2030 We will see early tangible results
Imagine that we will be able to calculate the least possible effort to develop purified water for all humans on earth – and just do it. Be able to produce food for every single person even at 15 Billion population. We will quickly move away from plastic robots to fully biological material based robots.

By 2050 replacing general ‘work’ with AI Tax based income
By now we may need to / are in the luxurious position to replace 50 – 100 million jobs. By taxing Autonomous Machines we can fuel a pool of UBI (Unconditional Base Income) so those people will be covered and the ones how operate such machines can still do it profitably. Going forward most people in developed countries won’t have to find a job but can do what they are most excited about and evolve to “autonomous humans” in its own right.

By 2075 Smart material development may be in full swing
The very next big thing that already started is smart material and biological material. A Doctor in Germany developed the first artificial aortic ventricle of a heart made fully from biological material. This will keep going for at least 100 years. Smart material is changing its shape and even molecular structure based on electromagnetic impulses. Countless new applications.  The synthesis of smart material constructed and manipulated using – again – AI brings us to all new technological realms.

By 2100 We may reach a state of nearly abundant energy
We know that our sun is boosting unimaginable amount of energy every millisecond. Even our mother planet earth does that in its core. Today we still neither harvest that energy properly – let alone being able to emulate the phenomenon and create Terra Watts generated in a little box behind our homes.

By 2150 Body augmentation may get us to an age of 500 to 1,000 years
Then think about human body augmentation, Artificial yet biological “replacement parts” for virtually everything. Maybe not the brain by then but maybe even that.

By 2200 Terra-Forming
Again all new technologies, powerful energy generators, knowledge about space travel and planet construction. At that stage we actually need technology like AI to do a few billion iterations of possible ways to do what we want to do – a human being would never be able to do that. An AI system on the other side would never “create” the idea and suggesting:  “Hey human what do you think about the idea of making Mars an inhabitable planet”.

Between 2200 and 2500 longer distance space travel
We are not giving up on that one. And we cannot. Earth will be hit by a major asteroid in the next some 100,000 years and our human brain has further developed that we actually care. We will need to find ways to leave our paradise – one day.

Between 2,500 and 3,000 crossing parts of our galaxy
No, forget space ships and forget low speed travel of 100,000 miles per hour. It will be something entirely different – we still need to develop the very foundation of the necessary physics. By that time maybe we are able to develop our own chemical elements and the new Periodic Table is more like a book.

By 5,000 we may…
wonder what next and build a fully biological being, which only needs electric power to survive. We put it into a space ship and send it to Alpha Centaur, where it should start a life on its own – never letting it know where it came from, so we don’t get unexpected visits :) We just watch it develop from a safe distance. We may visit a bit closer – just hoping they don’t discover us and think we are a UFO with extra alpha centaurical live :)

So – NO, AI is not the last innovation it is actually the first of an all new technological, economical and societal era. We won’t hit a point with no more advancement any time soon. And IF, we will advance in a very different way and laugh about our neanderthal like toys including space ships, AI, terra forming and the other primitive gimmick.

Happy innovation

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