PWC Consumer Intelligence Series: “The modern world has been shaped by the technological revolutions of the past, like the Industrial Revolution and the Information Revolution. The former redefined the way the world values both human and material resources; the latter redefined value in terms of resources while democratizing information. Today, as technology progresses even further, value is certain to shift again, with a focus on sentiments more intrinsic to the human experience: thinking, creativity, and problem-solving. AI, shorthand for artificial intelligence, defines technologies emerging today that can understand, learn, and then act based on that information. Forms of AI in use today include digital assistants, chatbots, and machine learning.
Today, AI works in three ways:
- Assisted intelligence, widely available today, improves what people and organizations are already doing. A simple example, prevalent in cars today, is the GPS navigation program that offers directions to drivers and adjusts to road conditions.
- Augmented intelligence, emerging today, enables people and organizations to do things they couldn’t otherwise do. For example, the combination of programs that organize cars in ride-sharing services enables businesses that could not otherwise exist.
- Autonomous intelligence, being developed for the future, establishes machines that act on their own. An example of this will be self-driving vehicles, when they come into widespread use.
With a market projected to reach $70 billion by 2020, AI is poised to have a transformative effect on consumer, enterprise, and government markets around the world. While there are certainly obstacles to overcome, consumers believe that AI has the potential to assist in medical breakthroughs, democratize costly services, elevate poor customer service, and even free up an overburdened workforce. Some tech optimists believe AI could create a world where human abilities are amplified as machines help mankind process, analyze, and evaluate the abundance of data that creates today’s world, allowing humans to spend more time engaged in high-level thinking, creativity, and decision-making. Technological revolutions, like the Industrial Revolution and the Information Revolution, didn’t happen overnight. In fact, people in the midst of those revolutions often didn’t even realize they were happening, until history was recorded later.
That is where we find ourselves today, in the very beginning of what some are calling the “augmented age.” Just like humans in the past, it is up to mankind to find the best ways to leverage these machine revolutions to help the world evolve. As Isaac Asimov, the prolific science fiction writer with many works on AI mused, “No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” As a future with AI approaches, it’s important to understand how people think of it today, how it will amplify the world tomorrow, and what guiding principles will be required to navigate this monumental change….(More)”.