Artificial intelligence author Calum Chace, of High Street, Steyning, believes robots will soon be more advanced than humans, providing a ‘better, faster and cheaper’ way to do our jobs.
In his 2016 book ‘The Economic Singularity’, Mr Chace explores the options available to humans as they cope with the ‘overtaking’ robots.
He said: “Your smartphone uses artificial intelligence, and it has more computing power than NASA possessed when they sent Neil Armstrong to the moon. Yet we are only at the beginning.
“Computers are getting more powerful at an exponential rate, doubling every 18 months. Unfortunately, we humans think in linear terms, not exponential ones. If you take 30 normal (linear) steps you will travel 30 metres. If you could take 30 exponential steps – each step double the length of the previous one – you would travel to the moon. To be more precise, your 29th step would take you to the moon; your 30th step would bring you all the way home.”
In 2012, a revelation in artificial intelligence called machine learning meant machines recognised faces better than humans and Mr Chace says they are now catching up with as at natural language processing.
He added: “When machines can do all these things better and faster than us they will be able to do almost all the jobs we do - better, faster and cheaper. They will not be conscious, and they will not be Terminators. If we are wise, we can move to a world where machines do all the boring jobs, and humans get on with the important things in life: sharing, learning, exploring, having fun.
“But if we are unwise, the impact of widespread unemployment could be devastating.
“How do we ensure the good outcome? Taking the possibility seriously is the first step.
“Unfortunately, most economists are in denial, describing the argument as Luddite. They fail to grasp the huge significance of self-driving vehicles, for instance. Others argue that educational reform is a solution, or a form of welfare called universal basic income. These will be necessary, but they are far from sufficient.”