Will Artificial Intelligence Be More Profound Than Fire, Electricity, And The Internet?

Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google’s owner Alphabet, believes that artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually have a bigger impact than fire, electricity, and the Internet. Historically, general purpose technologies have driven two major tipping points – from the hunter-gatherer era to the agrarian, and agrarian to industrial. Advancement of human development through transformative periods like this had two common drivers: the growth of knowledge and inventions that served as a platform for society. With that in mind, Mr. Pichai’s assessment when viewed through the lens of history could be spot on. Artificial intelligence combines both drivers in a way that prior platform technologies did not. AI is a general purpose technology that is increasingly woven into the fabric of society, and it could ultimately represent the pinnacle of knowledge attainment.

I expect it to play a foundation role pretty much across every aspect of our lives. The progress in artificial intelligence is still in early stages but I view it as the most profound technology humanity will ever work on and we need to make sure we harness it to societies benefit.”

Sundar Pichai – Artificial Intelligence is more profound than fire, electricity, or the internet, says Google boss

That quote from this recent article captures his thinking, a perspective shared by many in the AI community. In a world as uncertain as ours, where events can advance possible futures or derail them, bold statements like this should be taken with a grain of salt. However, as a society, we should embrace one piece of that statement: we MUST make sure that we harness the invention of this era to societies benefit.

What do you think? Will Artificial Intelligence be more profound than fire, electricity, and the Internet? Take the quick poll below to join the dialog on the topic.

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