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Topic for January 2021 - Planning for an AI Society

    • 121 posts
    January 14, 2021 1:12 PM GMT

    Our topic for the New Year is Planning for an Artificial Intelligence Society. 


    It is recognised that there will, over time, be widespread replacement of existing jobs by AI. Some believe this ‘Disruption Scenario’ will be mitigated by creation of new types of jobs, largely based on what happened in the industrial revolution and with computers. Others believe AI is of an entirely different order, because any new jobs will be capable of being performed by AI and we will reach a ‘Tipping Point Scenario’ where there is a net loss of jobs. If that happens work may become a privilege! The estimates of the length of time to that tipping point vary considerably with 20 years often being quoted but even if it is 50 years we need to plan ahead for such far-reaching consequences.

    The tipping point scenario would affect and overturn almost every aspect of how we operate our society. So, it is an opportunity to plan what sort of society we want in the future and to choose to take steps now that have a beneficial outcome whatever scenario comes to pass. We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that there are huge positive opportunities from AI at every turn as long as we make good decisions early.

    Our proposed agenda is:

    The Job Disruption Scenario

    • What sort of issues might result?
    • What do we need to do to avoid or mitigate the extent of this disruption?

    The Tipping Point Scenario

    • What would be the consequences for society of a gradually increasing net loss of jobs?
    • How could we reshape society in this scenario. Not just to cope but to substantially improve it?
    • What do we need to do to avoid or mitigate the problems and to take advantage of the need for change that would be created?

    We have produced a thought document on this subject Planning for an AI Society as input to the discussion. Our paper examines both the Disruption Scenario and Tipping Point Scenario in depth. It identifies issues, unintended consequences and potential ways we can avoid or mitigate them and also looks at the opportunities and what sort of society we might be able to create. 

    • 121 posts
    January 25, 2021 3:41 PM GMT

    Our discussion output focuses on the Issues of an AI Society and some of the solutions to these issues.

    The AI Society - Combined Discussion Group Output 

    For a view of the Opportunities as well, see our original document Artificial Intelligence - Managing the Future

    • 121 posts
    February 4, 2021 2:49 PM GMT

    We've now replaced the Discussion Group Output by a Considered Document on the subject at
    The AI Society - Proposals

    • 23 posts
    August 11, 2021 10:09 AM BST

    It's not strictly AI but sortof is - as time marches on the boundaries between robotics, machine learning and AI may become blurred => https://medium.com/ifm-insights/the-future-of-human-robot-interaction-a-look-at-three-scenarios-78ca55541c13