In 2017, machine learning will go from an idea that has been discussed, questioned and accepted to new successful early implementations. The promise of a life with intelligent machines is a more productive, convenient and intuitive one for humans. Though traditional machines cannot match human intelligence and replicate human reasoning, there is an opportunity for the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into our daily lives that will make humans and machines more like partners than ever before. In this next year, I predict we will cross over the threshold and into the next phase of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The entrance of AI technologies into our everyday life will not be all at once, but rather a ripple effect that begins like so many things in today’s world: with early adopters or individuals seeking a better way to do everyday tasks. I think in 2017 we will start to see applications of AI across a variety of industries such as insurance, healthcare and transportation. Until now, seemingly everyday functions like insurance underwriting, medical diagnosis and financial transactions have been primarily driven by human intelligence; but intelligent machines will enhance opportunities within these industries.
In 2017, we will start to see machines complete more complicated transactions like autonomous discovery of diseases and service as robotic financial advisors to consumers.
While it may not be tomorrow, the near future will see AI influence almost every industry’s human touch, greatly changing – and improving – the world around us.
However, the autonomy of machines should not come without human oversight. While an intelligent machine takeover is the stuff of fiction, human interaction with machines and technology should not, and will not, ever cease. Human participation in machine learning and AI is critical to understanding the long-term influence these technologies will have on human life and a way to maintain a level of security and protection. World-changing technologies must have security as a foundational component to their architectures, or we will always be playing catch-up.
There are weaknesses in the technologies we use today as demonstrated by recent hacking and security breaches. AI and machine learning hold the promise of an ever-changing architecture that would inherently make private information more secure. But it will still require human oversight and design to ensure these security protocols are built in from the very beginning. As intelligent machines enter industries such as automotive, healthcare, home and industrial, security will need to play a vital role.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning can – and will be a large part of everyday life. We talk a lot about the Internet of Things (IoT), the cloud and intelligent design because these are some of the most advanced technologies humans have created. Machine learning and AI are no different. But they will only be successful if we approach their use as a partnership and collaborative effort.
We are on the precipice of a transformational time in human history, one that sees machines, computers and devices less as tools and more as integral parts of human life. The possibilities are endless, but supervision will be imperative. I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 will bring.
Dan Goldin is the founder and CEO of KnuEdge. Prior to founding KnuEdge, Dan was the longest-tenured NASA chief, serving across three presidential administrations. At NASA, he guided the redesign and launched the International Space Station, initiated bold robotic exploration of Mars, formed the Astrobiology Institute to better understand the origin, evolution and destiny of life in the universe, and without incident put a record number of people into space.