Is intelligence becoming a utility?

Machines are becoming cheaper and more efficient every day, and as they do the pressure of a machine takeover is ever looming. But does the increasing use of technology in our daily life mean that intelligence is now becoming a utility, and isn’t something that humans can claim for their own any longer?

The key fact that surrounds this message is that humans cannot become any more intelligent. Within the world we have some exceptionally clever human beings that have made discoveries and decisions many of us could not begin to think about. However, this is no longer a unique aspect. Machines are becoming smarter and working harder, you only have to speak to Siri on your mobile phone to realise that you can now use conversational commerce to book a taxi or reserve a hotel room.

Whether it’s on your phone, computer, tablet or alternative device, technology is becoming smarter on a daily basis – and with devices like Amazon Echo created to monitor every word spoken in your home technology will soon understand your every movement, and predict what you plan to say before you have thought about it yourself. Scary or fascinating?

With the “global brain” managing all of our personal data to deliver personalised and customer adverts, custom information and much more – we no longer do we need to manage or retain this information ourselves. Our machines sometimes know more about us than we do.

The future of automation

There is no avoiding that the future of mankind involves a lot of automation, and this means that many jobs which are process driven will be able to be managed by machine – meaning many of those doing low-skilled jobs currently could be out of work should machine win. In fact, all 1 million+ call centre jobs in the UK could be automated and lost – a shocking statistic all round.

We must proceed with caution too. Just how far could this go, and do we really want to make something such as intelligence a utility – processed by computers, whilst us humans need to understand and handle less information.

If humans cannot compete with machines to get smarter, they simply need to become more human.

The human touch

Machines cannot, and will struggle to, understand human emotion. They cannot comprehend cultures, tone of voice and the expressions that can entirely change the aspect of a conversation.

A lack of emotional intelligence is a shortcoming of technology and not something it can very easily learn. In fact I believe it would be dangerous for machines to learn skills such as this, should they learn to understand empathy and the aspects of individual cultures the skills we humans hold so close would be lost and mimicked by machines. What would the future hold for us then?

So whilst our customer service agents can have a polite and pleasant conversation with those at the other end of the phone, machines will always be process lead and follow a script/guideline meaning they automatically lose that human touch which we value as humans so much.

Computer intelligence is anticipated to beat that of a human by 2023. With AI, IoT and other technology assisting us in this end goal. So, can we ensure that mankind is not defeated by machine?

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