To begin, AI is not merely a science fiction entertainment concept to be used as a plot device in movies and books. It is a field being researched extensively daily. For those aware of AI’s potential, the question is not “why should I care?” but rather “how much would not caring cost me?” In a nutshell, here is why you should care about AI:
1. Job Opportunity:
The ongoing AI race already demonstrates what nations think of AI. A $16 trillion market is unfolding. New arms races and intense technological innovation competition are some of the emerging issues that the rise of AI will birth among countries. To help their cause, governments would be requiring individuals and businesses with relevant skills. On an individual note, this represents a massive opportunity. The impact of AI on jobs is also not one to be considered lightly as major job changes will happen as an estimated 800 million jobs will be automated by AI over the next decade with a projected 133 million new ones created. Caring about AI is no longer a matter of simple interest. It is one that will have a significant impact on the economic power of an individual to easily afford the required basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter.
2. AI is Inevitable:
Without a trace of doubt, AI is inevitable. Many post- apocalyptic science fiction works imagine the post-apocalypse world as a place without necessities such as electricity. To the viewer, the scenario is unimaginable because of how central electricity is to daily life. Having to live without it is unthinkable. AI is working its way to becoming what electricity is to human life today. Future science fiction works will imagine scenarios where civilization loses the ability to book plane tickets through AI assistants. Like us today, society will think of such living conditions as simply impossible to cope with. It only takes losing something to realize what how crucial that thing is. AI will play that sort of enormous role in the future.
3. The Future is here:
It should also be noted that the “future” is not some far off 40-50 years ahead of projection. A lot can change in as little as a decade. Consider the earliest Japanese pocket calculators sold for a few dollars in the 1970s. Just a decade before that, people had to use mental imagery or a pen and paper to make computations as basic as multiplying figures. In just a decade, it became uncomfortable to imagine doing math without the calculators. Imagine the flight booking process today – you start with visiting a travel website, spend some time searching for flights with your preferred date and time of departure. Next, you wait for a response from a server before proceeding to pay for the flight. Maybe right now you don’t think it’s such a bad way to book a flight but imagine a world where you could just say to your phone, “Siri, book me an evening flight to Santorini on Friday,” and in just a few seconds after that, you receive: “Would flight JM305 with seat number 55 work for you?”. “All good,” you reply and your flight booking to Santorini is done. Once AI can work that effectively, booking a flight yourself will become so uncomfortable.
In his 1859 book “On the Origin of Species”, Charles Darwin theorized that the survival of a species within an environment was dependent on the ability of that species to acquire physical and behavioral changes that would enable survival. For individuals, businesses, and governments already utilizing AI in their operations mode, a massive upscale in operations model that could yield great economic benefit is on the horizon. For those not adapting to the AI wave, extinction beckons.
Obeidat, S. (2021). The Artificial Intelligence Citizen.