This was a cool small panel of speakers talking about their take on the possible future of the field of Artificial Intelligence. The main points revolve around the topic of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), what paths it might take, the ethical issues about AGI being possibly harmful for human beings. The panel is composed of accomplished entrepreneurs and qualified developers of the scientific and technological fields of study closely connected with AI. For instance the speaker from Quantum AI Lab (from NASA) is also a researcher in quantum physics/quantum computing, interestingly revealing that his job has been more about operational and field implementation/optimization of technology within the NASA complex. Maluuba is a Microsoft company, so part of an already hugely competitive enterprise. And Riva-Melissa Tez, Co-Founder, Permutation Ventures, that talked about the cognitive neuroscience shortcomings of current AI software frameworks.
What was missing from the discussion concerned the impact AI, specially AGI, might have within specific economic sectors. The issue was only slightly approached by Amit Pradhan, CEO of Zero Labs AI, and only about the impact with low skilled jobs in poorer countries. The question may be of much wider scope, with middle and even high-income countries being also impacted by developments in AI. There are some thinkers concerned about the possible situation of advanced manufacturing industries shedding large quantities of jobs, with the socio-economic ecosystems a«unable to relocate or absorb widespread unemployment. On the optimistic side of things, the massive increase in productivity would in the end enable unprecedented wealth. This is only speculative at this point in time, though. After a probable confirmation of that scenario, we would be confronting redistributive issues with tricky political/strategic consequences.