We associate many qualities such as love, emotions, creativity, imagination and values with human beings. These differentiate us from all other animals on our planet. One such quality is technology. Humans have the unique ability to understand the laws of nature and develop technologies that set us apart with additional advantages, comforts, productivities, and increase our ability to survive. We humans have developed a vast number of technologies in our history that have radically changed our lifestyles and future. It is these very changes that have allowed us to conquer fatal diseases, create new materials, program genes to create new biological products, tap into the powers of steam, electricity, atom, computing, and the Internet. These have helped in betterment of our lives and increased our life spans. However, like all good things in life, technology also has a flip side. It also creates many undesired side-effects. The new powers of technology have also eradicated huge numbers of animals from the planet, destroyed millions of acres of forest, impacted the climate and environment, killed millions of people in wars and crime, displaced people and their jobs. That is the dualistic nature of technology. AI is the next big technology with an enormous potential to transform our lifestyle for good. We cannot eliminate the negative side effects of mass job displacement, a renewed search for meaning, and the potential dangers to mankind. However, we can be more watchful and have regulatory systems in place to maximize the benefits and minimize the dangers.
We have seen how AI is a natural outcome of technologies for computing, storage, communication, and understanding the human brain, all developed in the last century. AI learning and decision making has many parallels to how the human brain operates. As a result, AI has the ability to take over a number of functions that a human brain normally performs. Decision making is our brain’s continual activity. We make decisions all the time ranging from the trivial, such as what to eat for breakfast, to the complex, such as where to invest our money. Now we can delegate a number of these decisions to AI and, in the process, simplify our lives. AI enables more seamless human interfacing to machines with almost perfect speech and gesture recognition and language recognition and translations. These alone will open up computing technology to a vast number of people who cannot use computing services today. AI can make all the decisions from driving our vehicles to operating the robots safely. And this is just the tip of the AI iceberg.
Throughout this book we have shown how it is possible for any business to harness AI to their advantage in creating new value for their customers with an AI differentiated business. We believe it is best to start right now with strategic planning on how AI can transform your business. To aid you in this journey, we have provided some tools such as the AI&U canvas and processes. Many AI platforms and services are available today to further help in the implementation of your AI based solutions.
One thing is certain. If you want to survive and thrive in the age of artificial intelligence, you must become engaged now and start building AI capabilities. We too are committed to continue our work on AI. We wish to empower individuals such as yourself and organizations like yours to seize this historic opportunity.
We have decided to open source our book and release a web version at www.ai-u.org. This online version is completely free and published under the creative commons code. We will continue to update this version with new insights and case studies as they appear.
We are here to help ignite your AI journey. We hold regular talks and workshops as well as publish many articles on the topic of AI. Sometimes, we engage in AI projects. We wish you all the best on your AI journey and would love to hear about your progress. Please share your thoughts by leaving comments on our website.
May the force be with you – and be aware of the dark side.
Sharad and Christian