Wednesday, August 2, 2017

AI Guy

An interesting coincidence to share today.

Last week, as I was thinking about writing a blog post on how those of us the world of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are loosely using the term “technology” as it relates to our work, I came across this Harvard Business Review podcast on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already changing business. In the podcast, Erik Brynjolfsson, MIT Sloan School professor, explains how rapid advances in machine learning are presenting new opportunities for businesses.

Here are some of my takeaways from the podcast in light of Imagine!’s mission of creating a world of opportunity for all abilities.
  • What is holding us back is the imagination of providers to use these new tools in their service delivery. 
  • If we want to move forward (and I think we do), we must understand that we have a responsibility to do what we can to influence and deliver on the economic implications of these new technologies. 
  • If we handle this well, this can, and should, be the best thing that ever happened to humanity. 
  • I/DD providers need to take personal responsibility for learning the new skills that are going to be needed going forward. 
  • We need to focus on the big picture, and think about how we can use technology to create shared prosperity for the many, not just the few. 
Don’t be put off by science fiction movies such as the Terminator, or by Elon Musk’s scare mongering. That’s not what’s going on. AI is not an existential risk. It’s a bunch of very specific practical applications that are completely feasible in 2017. The I/DD provider world needs to get on board now to help direct its use to improve the lives of those we serve.

I’m an AI guy. Are you with me?

Then again, what do I know?

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