Technology 4 min read

How Machine Learning Could Spur Economic Hypergrowth

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Not only will machine learning platforms benefit businesses, they will drive world economies as they self-improve.

AI has now become more than a catchphrase used by developers in their pitch to make investors more willing to fund their startups. AI is making more accurate predictions than human lawyers, which you can read about here. The new iPhone X will use AI to create a robust and fool-proof profile of your face with which to control the phone.

The global economy as a whole should greatly benefit from machine learning systems that grow and get better over time.

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AI’s Ubiquity

Apart from big tech corporations that are using deep neural networks to anticipate future trends and predict the evolution of their users’ tastes, many companies from all industries are increasingly interested in AI tech.

The AI rush is intensifying as companies are incorporating AI systems into their business strategies, and working to propose products and services that include AI in some form. If it’s not strictly an AI system, it’s probably constructed or optimized using AI of some kind.

In a couple of years (by 2020), AI technologies will be present in almost all new software and services, according to Gartner, who says that the term “AI” has become a hot search keyword on its website.

One other mind-blowing AI-related figure, again, by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be automated, through chatbots, robo-advisors and other AI programs.

AI, which loosely celebrated its 60th anniversary, saw its fields of application expand: voice and image recognition, natural language processing, autonomous vehicles, personal assistants, and that’s just the beginning.

The AI market was worth $1.5 billion USD last year, and is expected to reach about $60 billion USD by 2025, says Tractica. That’s the AI market alone. The prospects for an overarching AI-driven economy are huge.

AI That Generates “Original Thoughts” to Spark Economic Hypergrowth

In numbers, the huge gains in productivity and performance will translate into 14% increase in global GDP, or $15.7 trillion USD added to the world economy (by 2030) thanks to AI.

Three economists and professors–Benjamin F. Jones (Northwestern University), Philippe Aghion (College de France), and Charles I. Jones (Stanford University)–wrote a paper where they ask what happens to economic growth after the emergence of “super intelligent” AI.

In the paper, Artificial Intelligence and Economic Growth, researchers discussed how far could AI go in automating tasks, and how “singularities” could potentially affect economies.

“If machine learning can really take over all human tasks and take over ideas of innovation,” Jones told CNBC, ”then it would be possible to get a radical change in the growth rate of the economy, but the real question is going to be: can AI take over all of the essential tasks?”

Automation will deliver humans from tedious and time-consuming tasks to focus more on what they’re good at: creative tasks, decision-making and social intelligence.

Full-automation and economic hypergrowth needs robust machine learning networks to construct self-improving cycles until reaching a point where they are able to generate “original ideas.”

“We are vastly better at growing food than we were 100 years ago, but by virtue of automation it now only accounts for 2 percent of GDP,” said Jones, citing another example of computers getting faster yet without much impact on growth. “Our limit to economic performance probably isn’t computation, right? We’re still heavily constrained by things we can’t or find harder to improve.”

“A.I. can potentially increase growth, either temporarily or permanently, depending on precisely how it is introduced,” concluded the researchers. “It is possible that ongoing automation can obviate the role of population growth in generating exponential growth as A.I. increasingly replaces people in generating ideas.”

Where do you see our AI-driven economy going?

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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