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AI is about helping humanity not killer robots.

AI is about helping humanity not killer robots.

The media has done a disservice to the general population by propagating myths about Artificial Intelligence (AI). A recent conversation I had with a woman behind the cash register at a retail outlet voiced a common misunderstanding, that AI is about killer robots. This could not be further from the truth. Some academics and large technology companies are working on creating what is known as “general artificial intelligence” or the creation of computer programs or robotic systems that are able to perform all the activities that humans can, perhaps even being indistinguishable from humans. While this is a very interesting and lofty goal with many differing opinions about when and if this accomplishment may or may not occur, it ignores the incredible advancements in AI that are making an impact today and that will dominate the world of business for the next few decades. The AI systems in action today are referred to as narrow AI; the term narrow meaning AI focused on a specific problem domain. Chess AI and Go AI that have recently beaten human masters of these games are examples of narrow or focused AI. Another common fear that the media continues to fan is that AI will replace humans at work. I have seen some media reports quoting ridiculously high numbers of jobs at risk, some as high as 47%. While some jobs are certainly going to be impacted, more sophisticated and careful analyses put the jobs affected numbers at less than 10%. What is more likely is that job descriptions will change but most jobs will not be eliminated. Computers are good at making...