XZRS: Peter J Scott - Crisis of Control: How Artificial SuperIntelligences May Destroy or Save the Human Race

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Peter I Scott - Peter J. Scott's resume reads like a Monty Python punchline: half business coach, half information technology specialist, half teacher, three-quarters daddy. After receiving a master's degree in Computer Science from Cambridge University, he has worked for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an employee and contractor for over thirty years, helping advance our exploration of the Solar System. He started in the Navigation section, which maneuvers spacecraft to hit tiny targets a billion miles away, then moved to IT infrastructure, providing solutions for enterprise architecture in distributed computing and institutional cybersecurity. Over the years, he branched out into the Open Source community, writing technical books and videos, and delivering convention speeches and onsite trainings. Yet at the same time, he developed a parallel career in "soft" fields of human development, getting certifications in Neuro-Linguistic Programming from founder John Grinder and in coaching from the International Coaching Federation. In 2007, he co-created a convention honoring the centennial of the birth of author Robert Heinlein, attended by over 700 science fiction fans and aerospace experts, a unique fusion of the visionary with the concrete. Bridging these disparate worlds positions him to envisage a delicate solution to the existential threats facing humanity. His new book, “Crisis of Control: How Artificial SuperIntelligences May Destroy or Save the Human Race” explores these threats. [1] It offers us a fascinating look at advancing technology and how we will either be greatly helped or gravely harmed by it depending on how we act now. Few people are prepared for the seismic changes coming in the next few years, when what today is science fiction will become reality. Nearly half of all job functions will be automated with virtually no alternatives. [2] Those include many jobs currently considered to be premier white collar professional positions, such as $400k financial advisors. Knowledge workers are particularly susceptible: If your job consists of taking in one kind of information and outputting another, it may well be possible to train an AI to perform it, as has already happened with customer service and report writing. Gartner even forecasts that within a year, more than three million workers world-wide will be supervised by a “robo-boss.” [3] Surviving and leveraging this tidal wave of change requires adaptive strategies. Artificial Intelligence can improve efficiency and performance in many areas of, for instance, fraud and abuse detection through machine learning. The FBI’s Sentinel system, for one, has demonstrated the ability to correlate information from apparently unrelated and sources of unstructured information to find new relationships. Business analytics tools such as Splunk now incorporate machine learning toolkits to find patterns and causes in massive data streams. AI will become an expected component of Internal Audit operation. As AI subsumes much of what we have come to think of as exclusively human intuition, the future of IA will resemble the current state of the art of chess: the best players on the planet are no longer humans, but neither are they computers. Instead, a human-computer pairing is the best approach. There may be no I in Team, but there is an AI in Team. Beyond even that timeframe, the future holds even more fantastic possibilities for the evolution of employment and humanity… Scott lives in Victoria, BC with his wife and two daughters, writing the Human Cusp blog on dealing with exponential change. Peter@HumanCusp.com [1] http://humancusp.com/book1 and https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MUIS9QM/ [2] http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/publications/view/1314 [3] http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3143718

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