It is estimated that by 2025, the AI- Artificial Intelligence- industry will be worth 190 billion US dollars.
This is not a new industry. A.I tech has already been utilised for more than a decade in our day-to-day lives.
In the movies, A.I was all about friendly robots serving us dinner, or becoming police officers with a secret desire to be seen as human and beat us at chess.
As yet these things have not appeared, so where is the money coming from?
If you lead a fairly ordinary life, you may not feel that Artificial Intelligence impacts you all that much…you are mistaken. Without wishing to sound like Sting, every click you make, every pause you take on the internet is gathered as data, that data is then used by AI for everything from knowing where you are right now to where you will likely go next, as well as what you want to do when you get there, how much money you will spend, what time you will likely leave, and with whom.
Worrying about Big Brother is old skool.
Between land-based cameras, satellite tracking, your phone, your car, your credit card chip and your nosy neighbour who writes a blog, there are very few things you do or say that aren’t already on record.
If you do lead an unremarkable existence (which is not meant as a slur, but merely a comparison from, say, a serial killer) Artificial Intelligence will do little to affect you other than suggest a local dentist in your Facebook feed after you casually mention to a friend that you may have your amalgam fillings looked at.
Has that happened to you? You have wondered aloud about buying a new sofa and suddenly had targeted marketing of local furniture shops appear in your social media feed? Bam!
Big brother isn’t just watching, she’s listening, thinking and ‘helping you out’.
You are also helping her out.
(I am aware that I am using a female pronoun for a male identified family member, I am not being obtuse, I just thing George Orwell was short sighted on that one. Hello Siri and Alexa).
When you interact in any way with technology as we know it, you are feeding the machine.
Data mining and data collection is a HUGE business.
A newly graduated Artificial Intelligence Engineer can expect a starting salary of 145,000 USD per year.
Add a couple of years’ experience and the average salary for a 30-year-old A.I.E is 215,000 USD per year.
Most of the information they gather on you is used for the sole purpose of selling you stuff.
Yes, you may be worried about your freedoms and your rights, and that is a reasonable concern.
Privacy is becoming quaint.
That is uncool.
But in all honesty, the rebranded ‘Meta’ company and others see you more in terms of your ability to hand over cash than they do in terms of your core beliefs.
No question that this is disgusting, and governments around the World are throwing their hands in the air shouting “moral obligation” and “think of the children” while employing their own AI Research scientists to carve into voting trends and run roughshod with issues that affect real human beings, without having to meet any.
Easy-peasy gerrymandering, anyone?
Humans are habitual creatures, we like patterns. Computers collate patterns in a fraction of a second. For the past 10 or more years, they have been taught how to investigate and play around with those patterns.
The manipulation of our habits, our patterns, our predictability is where the money is.
New trends like Quantum and Edge computing – terrifyingly fast A.I- will bring us closer to a world where our reality and what we perceive as our reality may start to blur.
But with 56 a billion USD profit margin worldwide for 2021/2022, no one in the A.I industry is about to give up their cash cow so that you can live like the Jetsons rather than in the Matrix.
It is simply too late to put this Genie back in the bottle.