Total singularity may still be science fiction, but it’s still worth CIOs ‘raising awareness’ of the issue to ensure appropriate controls in place
Research stalwart Gartner has claimed that with the explosion of sensor-based data along with advanced decision-making algorithms, artificial intelligence and smart machines will be able to make increasingly significant business decisions in the very near future.
During the next five years, Gartner predicts that smart machines will inevitably be relied on to make more decisions that are of growing significance to the business, raising the fear that they may become “unstoppable” or run out of control.
But it’s up to the CIO to increase awareness of the issue inside their organisation and ensure that the implications are fully understood and that appropriate controls, processes and procedures are established.
“As smart machines become increasingly capable, they will become viable alternatives to human workers under certain circumstances, which will lead to significant repercussions for the business and thus for CIOs,” said Stephen Prentice, Gartner vice president.
“In effect, smart machines are now collecting information about practically every facet of human activity on a continual, pervasive and uncontrollable basis, with no option to ‘turn off’ the activity. The potential reputational damage arising from uncontrolled and inappropriate data collection is well-established and can be substantial,” said Prentice.
But Gartner alleviated fears of a total AI singularity, arguing that within the confines of current known technology, machines attaining levels of ‘self-awareness’ or ‘sentience’ is still the stuff of science fiction.
In February, IBM fellow Rob High told TechWeekEurope that it will be centuries before sentient machines could possibly surpass human intelligence. In claims which contrasted view from renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, who argued that artificial intelligence may be a problem in less than 100 year, High said that the notion of machines taking over is a gross underestimation of human intelligence.