It’s beyond question that artificial intelligence technology is rapidly breaking its way into virtually all industries—and now everyone’s watching.
All levels of government throughout the U.S. have started introducing regulations aimed at big technology companies, like San Francisco’s Proposition C which taxes those who earn over $50 million in annual revenue to help combat the city’s homelessness crisis. Meanwhile, economic and social frustrations are beginning to be blamed on Silicon Valley, with poor working conditions for tech employees and the massive unchecked impact these companies have on their communities being challenged.
But it makes sense. This intense level of concern regarding AI, and the widespread scramble to get a foothold on its development, is typical of any technology that demonstrates such world-changing potential. Just take the legal history of the automobile for example.
So getting right to it, here’s what to expect next with AI in the United States in 2019.
Emerging Impacts of AI
Artificial intelligence is relatively young and changing modern business in a countless variety of ways, with new advancements and unexpected backlashes still being discovered all the time. Here’s some good and bad.
Some impacts are beneficial and intended results of the technology, such as the increase of AI-driven inclusive design. Or, in other words, using AI to design products and services that are accessible to a wider range of consumers.
So, as AI trailblazes new inclusive design possibilities, the need for special product versions for different audiences and people with limiting disabilities is largely being reduced.
Other developments due to artificial intelligence are introducing serious issues in modern workplaces, such as the disproportionate impact automation will have on women’s jobs.
The uneven impact stems from the routine nature of the positions many women are hired in when compared to men. Automation renders more of these positions obsolete as opposed to soft-skill positions which are normally occupied by men.
This isn’t restricted to the U.S. either. A study from IMF projects that an estimated 26 million positions typically held by women, in over 30 countries, are likely to be replaced. Overall, this means 180 million women are estimated to be affected worldwide.
What Responses to Expect
Authorities will ramp up their efforts for global tax reform to better control big technology companies involved with AI.
A large portion of the globe has already started to set targeted taxation like this in motion, with European governments proposing stricter taxing regulations and inspiring similar action spreading within Asia and Latin America. The United States is expected to follow suit after years of remaining lenient on their own tech giants in an attempt to avoid stifling their innovation.
In the social sphere, a movement similar to the 99% Wall Street demonstrations may arise against Silicon Valley.
While they were once revered as revolutionary innovators who brought a new technological age, the effects of AI learning and the influence of tech companies is becoming a concern to many. More and more people are turning to adblocker software, and after the wake of multiple data privacy fears as seen in the recent trial against Facebook, technology companies are being perceived as increasingly sinister to the general public.
AI, a New Horizon
Artificial intelligence has ushered in dynamic times of change. As companies continue to utilize the technology, the government will have no other recourse but to implement some sort of guideline and restriction.
Of course, the exact nature of the changes to come are uncertain, and all anyone can do is keep an eye on big tech and the powers that seek to regulate them as the battle surrounding AI’s advancement continues.