Should we fear Artificial Intelligence?

Written by: Justin Cunningham | Published:

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) will change society as we know it according to engineers at a recent technology conference in London. But will it all be positive or are we headed for a destructive dystopian future where machines become self-aware and take over the world?

Mike Haley from computer aided design company Autodesk heads up the company’s efforts into machine learning. I asked him for his thoughts on the future.

“If you look back at history, technology has always displaced jobs and changed society,” he said. “AI is set to do this again, but possibly more so than ever before.

“AI is about learning principles and patterns and developing a machine’s ‘instincts’, it’s not the simple ‘if this, then that’ kind of programming that we’ve been used to up until now.”

With design getting increasingly complex, technology moving more quickly and consumer expectations at an all time high, it’s perhaps no surprise that many of the world’s largest design software companies are looking to give engineers assistance.

“We’re entering an age where we’ll collect so much data we simply won’t be able to cope,” added Haley. “Imagine the data at the mass-city level, AI will be able to discover all these crazy correlations between things, like pollutions levels related to the time people are eating, which relates to power usage.

“As humans we can only think in narrow little slices, the beauty is that the solutions that start coming out of AI will be incredibly compelling and useful and we’d have never of gotten to them before. It will take us to places technically that we really wouldn’t go otherwise. I’m hugely optimistic about what AI can do for the world.”

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