Who Will Be the Masters of Our Universe?


We probably can trace our recent fascination with artificial intelligence to warnings issued by hundreds of thought leaders including Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Stephen Hawking last summer.

Those warnings generally focused on the need to control some advanced AI-based weapons around the globe. I'll note that they also cited the potential value of AI-based tools in dealing with world challenges such as disease and poverty.

More recently, there has been discussion about technology putting more humans out of work.

The chatter about AI has spawned discussions here in the All Analytics community -- analytics being at the heart of AI -- including the blogs Should We Fear AI? by Dan Gutierrez and Artificial Intelligence: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Leo Sadovy.

Will machines take over the world? Whether you are in the camp that says machines will create new types of jobs, or you see software and robots replacing all of us, we probably have a few years before we find out who is right.

In the meantime, we can take at least a moment to enjoy the ride into the future. Our A2 cartoonist, Jon Carter, came up with his offbeat view into what is to come. So, check out his latest offering, maybe have a laugh, and share your thoughts on our long-term relationship with tech.

Also, take a moment to vote in our Quick Poll, When Machines Revolt.

James M. Connolly, Editor of All Analytics

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than two decades. As editor of All Analytics he writes about the move to big data analytics and data-driven decision making. Over the years he has covered enterprise computing, the PC revolution, client/server, the evolution of the Internet, the rise of web-based business, and IT management. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. Throughout his tech journalism career, he has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through publications including Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups and the Boston-area venture capital sector at MassHighTech. A former crime reporter for the Boston Herald, he majored in journalism at Northeastern University.

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Re: Cylons
  • 3/27/2016 11:04:44 PM
NO RATINGS

@Seth, the Carl Jr.'s CEO is not so visionary. Restaurants had the Automat like 100 years ago --- machines that diners interacted with to order and dispense their food. Sure, humans put the food in the backend of the Automat, but let's not act like we're reinventing humanity here.

Re: It's not funny because it's true.
  • 3/26/2016 8:40:50 AM
NO RATINGS

Well, most of the hiring process is already computerized.  It only makes sense!

Re: It's not funny because it's true.
  • 3/23/2016 9:42:39 AM
NO RATINGS

@kq4ym. Great point. A bit more human warmth in job interviews and other interactions would never hurt.

Re: It's not funny because it's true.
  • 3/23/2016 9:22:40 AM
NO RATINGS

Funny! We often have to muse that those job interviews often seem like we're interviewed by a robot. Maybe an even more challenging task is to get our fellow species to act truly human in business relationships?

Re: Cylons
  • 3/18/2016 10:58:56 AM
NO RATINGS

Seth don't we already have that--- vending machines??? Some of them are doing very interesting things for those that don't mind the processed lifestyle.

It's not funny because it's true.
  • 3/18/2016 9:10:38 AM
NO RATINGS

I think that comic sums up about half of the job interviews I've ever had.

Re: Cylons
  • 3/18/2016 8:08:01 AM
NO RATINGS

On the CIA note, I have to believe that an AI is going to take much longer to determine that a leader of anything needs to be assassinated unless it's designed to choose the lowest cost option.  If an AI can beat the best chess players and now Go players by staying multiple steps ahead of them then watching a country's leader and staying a couple steps ahead of them in the name of removing their power should be a piece of cake.  A new Cold War would be my bigger concern here.

Re: Cylons
  • 3/17/2016 6:24:27 PM
NO RATINGS

Well we are now taking another step forward "Carl's Jr.: Chain's CEO Says He Wants to Open a Fully Automated Restaurant Without Human Workers."  The end is near. 

Re: Cylons
  • 3/17/2016 9:51:48 AM
NO RATINGS

Not that puts a whole new spin on evolution... a machine determined race. Now what would be the criteria that determines who surives and who is eliminated? What type of testing would be used?

Re: Cylons
  • 3/17/2016 9:07:09 AM
NO RATINGS

What if the AI designs a reality show to choose humans for elimination?  Would we know? Would we care?  Would it be easier to accept that you last saw your neighbor on TV falling from a helicopter and being eliminated from a reality show game?


@SaneIT. There you go, giving Hollywood new ideas for reality shows where computers choose the winners and the losers die.

Or, worse, some former CIA agent is going to go on 60 Minutes and say, "We've had computers selecting assassination targets for years."

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