It’s the question on everyone’s mind – will Artificial Intelligence (AI) replace humans? With the fast development of new technology, some professionals are considering the notion that the need for ‘real-life people’ will soon become obsolete.
Of course this is a bold statement to make, and one that is hard to determine given the rapid and constant developments in technology. But let’s consider for a moment that AI would become advanced enough to replace human functions – what would the risks be, and what would we miss about human interaction in certain decision models?
Many of the risks discussed surround the idea that AI will become super-intelligent, even more so than the human brain, thus meaning we can not predict how AI technologies will react and move forward in the future. The unpredictability of AI is a massive risk to both the world, and the specific functions and industries, it is intended to serve.
As we have never experienced the evolution of a technology such as AI before, it is hard to determine the effects, and whether the need for people in certain jobs would be necessary. Some industry experts have commented on the evolution of this technology, being similar to the evolution of humans. So if we consider that analogy, what would be the need for the weaker and less intelligent beings controlling certain occupations, and decisions and actions within those job roles? Surely we would conclude that there would be no risk if the ‘super-intelligent’ machines were in control.
The answer from most experts to that question is this: the worry is that AI will be competent enough to set goals, with those goals possibly being misaligned with our own.
If we take this back to digital marketing and predictive segmentation, you will see the issue. Hubspot co-founder, Dharmesh Shah talks of how AI will allow for, “the ability to do things without us explicitly telling it what to do.” So for example, the ability to recommend content to a user, or send an email based on preferences or selections without us setting the command in motion.
But what if AI begins to act and set goals and trends based on it’s own understanding, rather than predicting and acting based on our (a business’s) overall objectives. It could have the power to move forward regardless of human decision, ambition and strategy – something which could potentially make or break a multi-million pound business.
Shah does go onto say that as far as marketing departments are concerned, the need for people will stay, stating “More interaction design is what marketers will do rather than the mechanics of marketing.” So this suggests that humans in a marketing sense will focus on the creative side, something which technology will have a harder time automating given the nature of idea generation. However, there is a concern that whilst bots and AI will take over the menial tasks, it does not alleviate the risk of things potentially spinning out of control.