Study looks into the effect of AI on the future of humans

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, experts are of the view that artificial intelligence (AI) ‘will make most people better off over the next decade’, but they are also concerned about how technological advancements will affect ‘what it means to be human, to be productive and to exercise free will’. The ‘Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humans’ study builds on input collected from over 900 technology pioneers, innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers, and activists. According to these experts, AI is expected to amplify human effectiveness. For example, smart systems in communities, vehicles, buildings, utilities, and business processes will save time, money, and lives; giving individuals more opportunities to enjoy a customised future. AI applications in health and formal and informal education systems are also looked at with optimism. However, most experts also expressed concerns about the long-term impact of AI on what it means to be human. These concerns are related to human agency, data abuse, job loss, dependence lock-in, (reduction of individuals’ cognitive, social, and survival skills) and possible further erosion of traditional socio-political structures (due to accelerated growth of autonomous weapons, cybercrime, and weaponised information). Suggestions on how to address such concerns were also made. For example, ‘digital cooperation to serve humanity’s best interests’ was seen as the top priority: human collaboration across borders and stakeholder groups must be improved, so they come to common understandings and agreements.