Purpose or Power

Technology news from around the world

How many times have you heard phrases like ‘cutting-edge’ or ‘emerging technologies’? Probably too many times to recall. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and 5G, we’re living in a time of technological convergence. Therefore, it is vital that we actively discuss these state-of-art technologies as they shape our present times and thus our future, perhaps more than we can ever imagine.

The field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no stranger to prophesy

After retracing our steps, we will discover that Herbert Simon predicted in 1960 that machines would perform any task currently done by humans within the next 20 years. Following this, the father of information theory, Claude Shannon, in 1961 foresaw that robots would be developed within the next 15 years. However, according to futurist Ray Kurzweil, who made this prediction in 2017, the singularity will occur in 2045.

If we just look at the numbers, by 2025, the global Artificial Intelligence market is expected to reach $169 billion. However, whilst introducing AI systems into new enterprises, services, and government fields, is it not enough to focus solely on the impacts on profits and GDP. Pressures are mounting to ensure that AI models must remain as free as possible from the biases that we humans consciously or unconsciously develop. The ideal AI models are not those left alone to learn, they need to include collaboration between machines and humans. The reason is straightforward – models and algorithms can’t truly understand and overcome certain complex ethical situations. They need human attention to instill ethical checks and balances. 

AGI – Purposeful or Powerful Use of AI?

According to Deepmind, we may only need to sit back and let a simple algorithm develop on its own to develop artificial general intelligence (AGI), the type of all-encompassing artificial intelligence seen in science fiction. Scientists at U.K.-based AI lab DeepMind argue that reinforcement learning, a type of gamified AI architecture in which an algorithm “learns” to complete a task by seeking out preprogrammed rewards, has the potential to develop exponentially. 

So much so that reinforcement learning, a Machine Learning Technique already widely deployed, could be used to theoretically break the barrier to artificial general intelligence (AGI) without the need for new technological developments. However, Denis Rothman disagrees vehemently with this suggestion. Why? For a simple reason: humans can imagine what is NOT in data and do not even need data to perceive or imagine something!

Hottest topics from the community

Binary ethics and artificial intelligence

While entrepreneurs are working on explainable AI (XAI), it may be prudent for us to keep the bigger picture in mind, for example, how we steer AI towards real good for humanity and away from those hungry for the power and profits that AI can deliver. 

When it comes to artificial intelligence, naturally people are concerned that it will focus on profit optimization and social control, in other words – power, even in our near future. However, these voices raising cautions also must address the problem of getting a consensus-based on ethics. Things can’t be either ethical or unethical, as everything is relevant. Therefore, there remains a need for continuous education on social values and culture to understand how the world works before challenging its reflection in advanced AI systems.

Creating awareness that AI, where possible, should be explainable, transparent, fair, and ethical

That’s why MKAI’s mission is to Integrate Sustainable Human Values into Artificial Intelligence. We believe that organizations globally should create explainable and provable AI models and ethical, understandable, and legal systems and we help organizations navigate the path towards testing for bias in data and algorithms. MKAI believes that it is essential to balance AI innovation with respect for humans and our natural world.

Community success

While all of us are making contributions in all parts of the world, we always find time to celebrate and highlight the successes of our community members. This week, we have a few announcements:

Monika Manolova completed her 1st Omdena challenge! We’re delighted to see her succeed!

Valerie Forgeard is now a Global Ambassador for WomenTech! We’re delighted to share this announcement and looking forward to future announcements from her!

Upcoming events

Are you interested in artificial intelligence in 2030? Then, come and join us for the MKAI Inclusive AI Forum, an event designed to examine how AI will be distributed, powerful, adopted, controlled, safe and widespread over the next decade.

Please join us on June 24th at 5 p.m. (BST) as our guest. We want to know what you think.

See you next week,


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Written by: Aleksandra Hadzic

Written by: Aleksandra Hadzic

Analyzing data while providing strategy for growth, reach, and impact of the community at MKAI.
Experimenting with Data Science in Digital Marketing at Studio 33.
Staying up-to-date with digital technology trends. Otherwise, I'm dancing the tango.

Visuals by: Pinal Patel

Visuals by: Pinal Patel

The brains behind the designs at MKAI, I have been assisting distinguished researchers with their research on AI for close to 2 years at Rennes School of Business. Always been a tech aficionado and keen to keep up with emerging trends. Oh, and I'm also a yoga enthusiast.

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