From elder care to flying cars and virtual reality, society will be forever changed by robots.
The One Hundred Year Study by Standford University is a longterm, in-depth investigation of advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI). The panel will release a report every five years detailing the current state and potential of AI technology, and its subsequent effects on society. This article summarizes the first installment of the study, focusing on the eight primary categories in which human life will be forever changed by robots within the next 15 years.
“Society is now at a crucial juncture in determining how to deploy AI-based technologies in ways that promote rather than hinder democratic values such as freedom, equality, and transparency.” – The One Hundred Year Study
“The general public will be asked to trust the reliability and safety of an AI system for a critical task.”
Self-driving or autonomous cars will be commonplace— cars will become better drivers than people. Cars will become more intelligent, for example, self-parking and able to be summoned. Automated perception will detect sound and objects in the environment. Flying vehicles will change urban infrastructure and policies.
2. Home/Service Robots
“Special purpose robots will deliver packages, clean offices, and enhance security, but technical constraints and high costs will continue to limit commercial opportunities for the foreseeable future.”
Speech recognition and home item knowledge will make robots a great help around the house, but this technology will be expensive and therefore uncommon, initially. Robot vacuums will be increasingly affordable and intelligent.
“AI-based applications could improve health outcomes and quality of life for millions of people in the coming years”
Robots will be extremely useful in healthcare, however, their advantages are contingent on gaining the trust of doctors and patients, as well as progressive policy changes to accommodate their role in the health industry. They will assist in procedures and caregiving for the disabled and elderly. Robots will also improve personalized diagnostics and efficient access to medical records.
“Though quality education will always require active engagement by human teachers, AI promises to enhance education at all levels, especially by providing personalization at scale.”
“Interactive machine tutors” will use algorithms and personalize learning through virtual reality. Robots will facilitate multiplying class sizes, employee training and be utilized in online education. Insufficient funding is a primary obstacle for implementing AI technology in schools.
5. Low-resource Communities
“With targeted incentives and funding priorities, AI technologies could help address the needs of low-resource communities.”
AI will improve low-resource communities by making education more accessible. Predictive models will identify problems like resource distribution and environmental disadvantages, such as lead poisoning. AI will help spread information about safe sex and disease prevention.
6. Public Safety and Security
“Gaining public trust is crucial. While there are legitimate concerns that policing that incorporates AI may become overbearing or pervasive in some contexts, the opposite is also possible.”
Cameras and drones will be used for surveillance. Algorithms will detect white-collar crime like credit card fraud and cyber attacks. They may help in dangerous rescue scenarios or in assessing crime scenes. Additionally, the use of robots for policing promises to “help remove some of the bias inherent in human decision-making.”
7. Employment and Workplace
“AI innovations will need to overcome understandable human fears of being marginalized.”
The idea is for AI to replace tasks, rather than jobs, and to help create new jobs. Robots will likely take over jobs like taxi driving, delivery and many aspects of factory work. Since the use of robots will be more cost-effective than human labor, everyone will benefit by lowered cost of goods and services.
“AI will increasingly enable entertainment that is more interactive, personalized, and engaging.”
Many people will have personalized companion robots. It will become easier to produce high-quality content, such as music composition, dance choreography or photography. It will become more challenging for both adults and children to balance interpersonal interaction with screen participation.