Future of AI with Amy Webb

Amy Webb is a Quantified Futurist. She is a Professor, Strategic Foresight at NYU, and the Founder and CEO of The Future Today Institute. In March of this Year, Amy published a book titled The Big Nine. 

Here is a description of the book via Amazon:

In this book, Amy Webb reveals the pervasive, invisible ways in which the foundations of AI–the people working on the system, their motivations, the technology itself–is broken. Within our lifetimes, AI will, by design, begin to behave unpredictably, thinking and acting in ways which defy human logic. The big nine corporations may be inadvertently building and enabling vast arrays of intelligent systems that don’t share our motivations, desires, or hopes for the future of humanity.

Much more than a passionate, human-centered call-to-arms, this book delivers a strategy for changing course, and provides a path for liberating us from algorithmic decision-makers and powerful corporations.

On April 5th, Amy was a guest on CXOTalk. CXOTalk presents video interviews with business, technology, and healthcare leaders on transformation and the impact of digital. Topics include AI, data science, digital transformation, and evolving business models. Both the book and this fascinating interview are a must see. The importance of dialog, education, and future focus cannot be overstated. Ms. Webb gives us the benefit of her broad and deep experience as she looks at how we got here, and where we might go. The potential paths are varied (some good and some bad). I explore those paths in this recent post on Mapping the Path of Innovation.

I encourage everyone to view the forty-five minute video. The book is in my Book Library  – it should be part of yours.

Mapping the Path of Innovation

In a recent post, I asked my readers to help me identify those catalysts that force the actions required to steer our future towards advancing our human development. Feel free to respond to the Poll. The number one response was the rapid pace of innovation. That response supports my own opinion that the pace will ultimately force stakeholders across multiple domains to take action. Much like the Domain Convergence that occurred during our most Transformative Period in History, convergence is required if we are to take the correct path towards human flourishing.

Balancing the Opposing Forces of Innovation is critical to enhancing our future. This subway diagram focuses on two paths: one that enhances human development (green), and one that diminishes it (red). The station stops are the major innovations likely to have the biggest impact in either direction – but we could add several other stations based on the number of Building Blocks available to society. Click on the visual to expand it.

Addressing the Rapid Pace of Innovation

In a recent book titled The Big Nine, author Amy Webb describes three future scenarios for artificial intelligence: optimistic, pragmatic, and catastrophic. This type of exercise is instructive, as it paints a picture of the potential paths for one of our station stops – and that’s just one stop along the way. What happens when the various stops spawn new stops? What happens as they converge and amplify impact? In the aforementioned book, our author describes the prescriptive steps to be taken to ensure a path towards human flourishing. We’d be wise to heed her advice.