Artificial Intelligence, Technology Of Next Decade
Transversal technology par excellence, artificial intelligence has all the assets to play the leading roles in the next decade. With consequences on our relationship to digital technologies, the economy, and even geopolitics.
Everything suggests that artificial intelligence will be the key technology of the next decade. The field has grown enormously and gained visibility in recent years at the rate of machine wins against champions of failure, GB and quantity of video games. Artificial intelligence is therefore a buzz and, often misunderstood, arouses excessive hopes and fears in society and in organizations.
Business interest in machine learning technologies has exploded in recent years. In the survey that ICT journal conducts every year among French IT managers, three quarters of them declared that they had no interest in AI in 2015. Three years later, two-thirds of respondents are interested and 29% have even started pilot projects or deployments. This evolution is explained by the transverse nature of artificial intelligence. A combination of automation and value creation, it finds applications in all industries and in all business functions, from marketing to the production line to HR. According to McKinsey, AI technologies have the potential to bring 1.2% more growth each year to the global economy.
A new computing paradigm:
Often misused, the term paradigm shift is perfectly justified for the current AI. Unlike computer applications that execute explicit developer-coded tasks, neural networks somehow develop their own mode of resolution from the examples they are nurtured. They are thus particularly effective for cognitive activities whose logic, such as language comprehension or driving, would be difficult to explain.
This paradigm shift has many consequences. With AI, holders of large volumes of sample data will have a great advantage over their competitors. And talent mastering the art of driving algorithms will be the focus of attention. It is also on them that will be responsible for the choice and labeling of training data, and any biases or errors that may result.
The promised adoption of artificial intelligence systems is causing anxiety or at least questions in society. The opacity of their operation is problematic, especially when these solutions are made to make moral decisions, as in the case of autonomous vehicles, armed robots or medical diagnostics. It will be necessary to show pedagogy and develop the capacity to open the black box. It will also be necessary to get used to the strange behaviors of the machines and their unpublished errors. It’s one thing to accept the stupidity of a chatbot, it’s another to tolerate an autonomous vehicle suddenly stop because it has confused a passer-by with a stop sign .
In addition to these challenges, there is of course the issue of employment, the source of all fears. Not a month goes by without a new study warning of the disappearance of millions of jobs because of the AI or affirming on the contrary that after a period of transition the AI will be mainly job creator. And if it is clear that many trades – from lawyers to truckers – will be affected, very clever one who can say today what will be the extent of the phenomenon in this or that profession.
China in ambush:
The rise of artificial intelligence could also change the balance between technological powers. China seems particularly well positioned to take advantage of it. The size of its population and its intensive use of mobile technologies promises to water the country’s technology companies with exploitable data. Not to mention that smart systems are promoted by the government and that citizens seem less worried about their excesses than in Europe or the United States. In addition, the country has a large number of talents in artificial intelligence, enough to convince Google to establish a research center. And SenseTime, the most valued AI start-up in the world at $ 4.5 billion, is Chinese.
Added to this is the ambition and strategy of the Chinese state to become the leader in the field of artificial intelligence by 2030. A plan that is based explicitly on the flagships of the country – Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent – designated “national champions” for specific application areas. Such planned collaboration between the government and private companies is hard to imagine in the West. This does not fail to worry some US observers, given the advance that China could develop through AI at the level not only commercial but also military.