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Will 2017 Be the Year AI and VR Take Over the World?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) have been the big buzzword over the last few years. Will a computer take my job? Will robots take over the world? Can I live forever as a machine? - you can find the answer to the first question using this handy (computer-generated!!) programme.

While the idea of robots taking over the world might seem far-fetched, new technology, advanced algorithms and sophisticated computer programmes are emerging all the time, advancing the world towards more and more automated work practices - a recent study by Oxford University and Deloitte suggests that in the next 10-20 years, 35% of today’s jobs in the UK will be automated.

As we head into 2017, let’s look at what the experts predict the future may hold for Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and automation.

Using Artificial Intelligence to see life from a different perspective

In his LinkedIn article, Denis Williams II predicts a big trend of 2107 to be “The use of virtual reality to allow users to get POV experience of life in another skin colour or gender.” Suggesting AI could be paired with live video to raise social awareness of minority group issues and proposing the use of EdTech programmes to build skill sets in line with the jobs of tomorrow technology field.

I love the idea of using AI for something positive like championing change and raising awareness for minority groups - I wonder what else this technology could be used for?

In his prediction piece, Nir Eya describes Conversational Interface as an interface designed to enable users to accomplish complex tasks through natural dialogue.’

The idea of having effortless, real-time conversations with automated bots or apps is an interesting one for me. I like the idea of being able to ask questions to a company any time of the day (or night) and get the answer to my query straight away, but what about when a solution to a more complex problem is needed? For me, there is no substitute for a real-life human at the other end of the phone or keyboard who can provide empathy as well as a tailored solution.

Consult with a Doctor from your mobile phone

With the advancement of video and messaging technology, the story of Hiro Hamada and his robot, Baymax (Disney Pixar, Big Hero 6), may not be as far-fetched as it seems. Patients no longer have to wait to see a Doctor as Apps such as Babylon Health and Push Doctor allow users to connect directly with a GP in real-time - via video, voice or text.

This use of technology really puts patients back in control of their health. Allowing them to get a diagnosis of their illness whenever and wherever they are. If this shift in health-care availability takes off, it will also relieve a strain on over-stretched health-care systems which can only be a good thing. However, this sort of technology should be used with caution – there is no substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a Doctor or medical professional.

Artificial intelligence paired with Human Intelligence

With Artificial Intelligence technology continually advancing, the next logical step will be that humans will start to use the technology more directly for example, by inserting microelectronics directly in their bodies, to monitor brain or heart function or for stress and weight management.

It seems the possibility of Virtual and Augmented Reality combined with human interaction is getting ever closer. But is it ethical? How will this industry be monitored and regulated? And where is the line drawn before it is considered unethical?

So, can we soon expect a world where we work alongside robots, look to them for healthcare diagnosis or where humans become robots? I hope not! Although it looks like we’re going in that direction, I am still a huge advocate of human interaction. I believe technology should aid us, not replace us! I attend regular (popular) networking events, and make sure I ‘check-in’ with my clients weekly, either via Skype or in person. I believe the power of human interaction is crucial to a business’s success and cannot be replaced by a machine.

Rather than a world led by machines and technology, I think 2017 will see a shift to a more collaborative approach to working with AI. I’m sure we would all love to have AI superpowers but surely the greatest human power is our NATURAL intelligence, judgement and creativity, after all, we wouldn’t be where we are today without it.

Are you worried about the rise in AI and VR? Are you excited for the future of technology? Let me know what you think.

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