Should we fear artificial intelligence?

Will artificial intelligence bring us more harm than good, once it becomes widespread? A number of high-profile thinkers seem to believe so, including the godfather of science, Professor Stephen Hawking, the philanthropist billionaire and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, as well as Elon Musk, the creator of Tesla motors, SpaceX and a couple of other extremely forward-thinking projects.

However, there are others, like Google’s Larry Page who seem to think artificial intelligence will be of great help to the human race.

ClickSoftware hosted a debate to look at Artificial Intelligence (AI) and find out the potential impact – both positive and negative – that it will have on our lives, with a specific focus on the workplace.

What was clear from the debate is that no-one can confidently predict the exact extent AI will impact society. However, in the coming years we will undoubtedly see a tremendous amount of experimentation that will increasingly begin to change our everyday lives and places of business, it concluded.

Panellists were Steve Mason, VP of Channels, ClickSoftware, George Zarkadakis, novelist, science writer, and Digital Transformation Consultant, Mark Bishop, Professor of Cognitive Computing, Goldsmiths, University of London, and Dan O’Hara, Senior Lecturer in English from the New College of the Humanities.

Asked whether or not we should fear AI, George Zarkadakis said: “As with every technology, there are means, which can be used for better or for worse. Stupid intelligence very fast becomes smart intelligence.”

Mark Bishop’s thoughts are that “There’s always going to be a gap, which I call the humanity gap.”

Dan O’Hara said: “It’s futile to talk about technologies like AI as being solutions to human problems. Necessity is not the mother of invention. Rather, invention is the mother of necessity.”

ClickSoftware was kind enough to put the conclusions of the panel in an infographic which you can see attached below.

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