Artificial Intelligence: Why Disruption is the Wrong Word

Thoughts on Artificial Intelligence after THINK

Last week I had the pleasure of attending IBM THINK in Las Vegas. The conference was packed with innovative discussions, cutting-edge technology, and some seriously advanced thinking. I was impressed by talking cars, drones that could predict and prevent structural damage, technology that could identify and help cure diseases like never before; all powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. We are at that inflection point where this technology is not just an idea anymore, it’s really happening.

Don’t be afraid of AI

In contrast to the excitement of THINK (which highlighted the benefits of AI,) I’m amazed by the amount of media hype encouraging fear. Fear can be paralyzing and I think the best way to overcome it, especially in regards to AI, is through education. Disruption isn’t new. We’ve made it through the industrial revolution, the invention of computers, the invention of assembly line robotics, and we continue to create new jobs, find new cures, and learn new skills.

Defining the fear of AI

Disruption is a funny word. It can be perceived as negative. If you’re on a path somewhere and something disrupts you in that path, there is an automatic fear that your livelihood is in danger. However, I see it as an opportunity. It provides us the space to think of a better way to do things.

AI is not being developed with the goal of taking your job, it’s being developed with the purpose of improving a particular function of your job, which serves a purpose greater than yourself, with more accuracy and insight. So, will it change your job? Yes. Will it make doctors more efficient? Yes. Will it make businesses more optimized? Yes. Will it be as dramatic as some claim? I don’t believe so.

Evolution is defined as “the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.” Dramatic implies sudden and striking. With any new technology, the change will be gradual. We are an adaptable species, let’s evolve.

Our job as humans in a world of Artificial Intelligence

It’s our jobs as human beings to be self-sufficient and to evolve as the ecosystem around us evolves. With any ecosystem if you don’t evolve, you eventually die. Computers are getting ever more sophisticated and that provides both the motivation and opportunity for humans to do the same.

AI is going to make people realize how much of a survival skill intelligence really is. I see this as a push for society to focus more attention on this neglected subject. AI can also improve the learning experience, with the ability to assess a student’s needs and create a learning path unique to them.

Proper AI governance will shape our future

In order to monitor practical development and ensure safety, our government will need to take a closer look at and create policy guidelines around social issues, like inherent bias and unequal opportunity.

You may call Artificial Intelligence disruption, but I call it evolution.

About Joe Caserta: 

joe caserta

Joe Caserta is an internationally recognized public speaker, entrepreneur, technologist, and founding President of Caserta. Joe co-authored The Data Warehouse ETL Toolkit, an industry bestselling book that has become the standard for preparing data for analytics. Joe is recognized as an authority on enterprise data analytics and continues to innovate and expand his role in the industry. Joe’s consulting firm, Caserta, remains at the forefront of the data analytics revolution, devising the most unique and advanced analytics environments in use today.