Technologies that will shape our future are already in play around us, and they will soon wreak havoc on our reality
Jobs are disappearing, incomes retreating, the precariat growing. Thousands of people risk their lives in stormy seas to flee wars, moribund economies and climate change on a daily basis. Traditional politicians continue to avoid publicly addressing the tsunami of unemployment, apparently baffled as to how to react to a historic transition: the automation of critical masses of labour once performed by humans.
Five acronyms – AI, AR, VR, BC and UBI – promise to shape the developed world’s future and solve the problems of the present. In the process, however, these innovations risk transforming the world around us, and upsetting humanity’s very definition of itself.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a series of algorithms designed to improve the performance of robots by making it possible for them to learn from their surroundings. As AI increasingly autonomises formerly human-managed objects like cars and factory assembly lines, it displaces not only millions of workers employed in repetitive jobs like driving and assembling products, but white-collar employees, too. With the Internet of Things expanding into the physical realm, you’ll find yourself encountering AI-enhanced objects more often, especially in service industries.
Replacing humans with robotic transactions delivered in unthreatening lilts, AI will further contribute to our de-socialisation, and feed the self-absorption and narcissism fuelled by Internet-powered consumerism.
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