BBC – Stephen Hawking Warns Artificial Intelligence Could End Mankind

BBC News LogoBBC – Stephen Hawking Warns Artificial Intelligence Could End Mankind

Companies invested in Big Data and Predictive Analytics are well aware of the durable competitive advantages that can be earned from artificial intelligence.  The smartest companies are increasingly using algorithms to predict one’s behavior, execute perfect 1-to-1 marketing, take marketshare and expand their industry boundaries.

Renown scientist, Stephen Hawking, is warning that “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race” by matching and surpassing human intelligence.  Interestingly, Hawking is not alone in his prognostication that algorithms derived from Big Data will significantly harm jobs and disrupt global economies.

Race Against the Machine

Race Agains the MachineIn 2012, Erik Brynjolfsson and Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT’s Center for Digital Business wrote “Race Against the Machine”, their mind-opening book that rapidly advancing technology will significantly displace workers in many industries (e.g. driverless trucks and cars).  A third voice comes from one of technology’s most renown entrepreneurs, Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX) calling artificial intelligence “our biggest existential threat”.

Google Funds Machine Learning – Artificial Intelligence for Data Science

Now consider this:  ‘Google is Funding an Artificial Intelligence for Data Science‘, as reported by Gigaom.  Gigaom’s Derrick Harris highlights – “Google is funding a project called Automatic Statistician that bills itself as “an artificial intelligence for data science,” it announced Tuesday. The project, which comes out of the University of Cambridge and is still in its early stages, aims to automate the selection, building and explanation of machine learning models”.

The Gigaom article quotes Google research scientist, Kevin, Murphy:  “The first problem is that current Machine Learning (ML) methods still require considerable human expertise in devising appropriate features and models. The second problem is that the output of current methods, while accurate, is often hard to understand, which makes it hard to trust. The “automatic statistician” project from Cambridge aims to address both problems, by using Bayesian model selection strategies to automatically choose good models / features, and to interpret the resulting fit in easy-to-understand ways, in terms of human readable, automatically generated reports”.

Picture of Uber LogoUber’s $41 Billon Valuation & a Future of Driverless Cars

So what might the future look like in one industry once driverless trucks and cars arrive?  The Wall Street Journal reported on December 4 2014, that ‘Uber Now Valued at More Than $41 Billion’.  To some, this valuation may seem extravagant until you consider that Uber intends to be at the forefront of driverless cars (and trucks?).  As you are aware, Uber is renown for its prowess in collecting vast amount of data on its customers.  In May 2014, Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick “revealed he plans to one day replace all of them with self-driving cars to minimize costs. “The reason Uber could be expensive is because you’re not just paying for the car — you’re paying for the other dude in the car,” Kalanick said in the interview. “When there’s no other dude in the car, the cost of taking an Uber anywhere becomes cheaper than owning a vehicle.”  (Wall Street Journal – ‘Is Uber’s Biggest Rival Itself? A Collection of Controversy‘.  Uber is clearly expanding industry boundaries and will soon be encroaching on the turf of large logistics companies, auto & truck manufacturers …to name a few.

So, What Do You Do About the Next Wave of IT-Driven Competition?

Harvard Business Review - How Smart Connected Products are Transforming CompetitionSo, where do you go from here?  Gather your senior management team to rethink your company’s entire business strategy.  Take the time to read Porter & Heppelmann’s excellent Harvard Business Review – How Smart Connected Products are Transforming Competition, gather your Board and Senior Management to recast your strategic plan, and reimagine your entire company & industry based on the potential of Big Data and predictive analytics.

To read ‘Stephen Hawking Warns Artificial Intelligence Could End Mankind’ on on the BBC web site, click here.

To read, Google is Funding an Artificial Intelligence for Data Science on the Gigaom web site, click here.

To read ‘Uber Now Valued at More Than $41 Billion’ on the Wall Street Journal web site, click here.

By Nick Mavrick

You can find Nick Mavrick on Google+

Intelligent Response specializes in operationalizing Predictive Analytics, Market Research, Quantitative Marketing and Digital Advocacy in Washington DC.

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