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18 artificial intelligence researchers reveal the profound changes coming to our lives


robot hand

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been changing our lives for decades, but never has AI felt more ubiquitous than now.

It seems as though not a week passes without yet another AI system overcoming an unprecedented hurdle or outperforming humans.

But how the future of AI will pan out for humans remains to be seen. AI could either make all our dreams come true, or destroy society and the world as we know it.

To get an a realistic handle on what that future might look like, Tech Insider spoke to 18 artificial intelligence researchers, roboticists, and computer scientists about the single most profound change artificial intelligence could bring.

Scroll down to see their lightly edited responses.

Pieter Abbeel says robots will keep us safer, especially from disasters.

AI for robotics will allow us to address the challenges in taking care of an aging population and allow much longer independence.

It'll enable drastically reducing, maybe even bringing to zero, traffic accidents and deaths. And enable disaster response for dangerous situations, for example, the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima power plant.

Commentary from Pieter Abbeel, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley.

Shimon Whiteson says we will all become cyborgs.

I really think in the future we are all going to be cyborgs. I think this is something that people really underestimate about AI. They have a tendency to think, there's us and then there's computers. Maybe the computers will be our friends and maybe they'll be our enemies, but we'll be separate from them.

I think that's not true at all, I think the human and the computer are really, really quickly becoming one tightly-coupled cognitive unit.

Imagine how much more productive we would be if we could augment our brains with infallible memories and infallible calculators.

Society is already wrestling with difficult questions about privacy and security that have been raised by the internet. Imagine when the internet is in your brain, if the NSA can see into your brain, if hackers can hack into your brain.

Imagine if skills could just be downloaded — what's going to happen when we have this kind of AI but only the rich can afford to become cyborgs, what's that going to do to society?

Commentary from Shimon Whiteson, an associate professor at the Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam.

Yoky Matsuoka says these implants will make humans better at everything.

I think the way I have been promoting AI as well as the next big space aspect for AI is to become really an assistant for humans. So making humans better, making what humans want to do and what humans want to be, easier to achieve with the help from AI.

What if I lost a limb and I can't swim as fast, what if an AI can actually know how to control this robotic limb that's now attached to me to quickly and efficiently let me swim?

Those are the ways, my brain is doing control but to an extent, things that I can't do anymore or things I want to be, if that part can be intelligently handled that's really great. It's almost like a partnership.

Commentary from Yoky Matsuoka, former Vice President of Technology at Nest.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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