The Bob Pritchard Column
The most exciting, far reaching and awe-inspiring technology advances in recent times have been in healthcare, the financial area and artificial intelligence which is driving much of this dramatic change. AI is impacting nearly every industry imaginable. Intelligence and consciousness are prerogatives of the living, and the inevitability of their existence in machines is hard for most of us to understand.
We need to understand that AI is dramatically altering both medicine and finance.
While the industries are indispensable to our economies and to our lives, many people that work in them, however, are replaceable with AI guided robots performing everything from routine medical functions to major operations and Blockchain absolutely decimating the finance, insurance, banking, share trading and associated industries.
Let’s begin with the automated diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. IBM’s artificial intelligence machine, Watson, is now as good as a professional radiologist when it comes to diagnosis, and it’s also been compiling 30 billion medical images to aid in specialized treatment for image heavy fields like pathology and dermatology. Cardiology is also being overhauled with the advent of artificial intelligence. It used to take doctors nearly an hour to quantify the amount of blood transported with each heart contraction, and it now takes only 15 seconds. With these computers in major hospitals and clinics, doctors can process almost 260 million images a day in their respective fields, which means finding skin cancers, blood clots, and infections all with unprecedented speed and accuracy, not to mention billions of dollars saved in research and maintenance.
Currently, aside from Blockchain, there are almost 15,000 startups working to actively disrupt finance. They are creating computer-generated trading and investment models that blow those crafted by their human counterparts out of the water. Many major hedge funds are already cutting staff. The 100 expensive senior executives in the even more expensive suits who can’t talk business except in expensive, elite restaurants are just 5 minutes from being replaced by one scruffy, personality deprived techie whose normal lunch is coffee and a bag of crisps.
The result is billions of dollars made with fewer people, greater certainty, and much more comfortable work attire.
So where do we go from here? At least 40% of U.S. jobs can be swallowed by artificial intelligence machines and if we aren’t careful about the degree to which we automate them, we are looking at an incredibly serious domestic threat.
Get excited about what AI can do for us, and think very deeply about how it can integrate with us, otherwise we could have major issues.