Artificial Intelligence

Roman Semiokhin: Realising the Potential of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionising the world as we know it. In the simplest terms, AI is the simulation of human intelligence by machines and computer systems to perform tasks usually associated with intelligent beings. AI applications have evolved considerably in recent years and are now used in many everyday activities, including speech and facial recognition systems, online shopping and advertising, machine translations, autonomous cars and smart home features, to name but a few.

According to research by PwC, AI could contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030 and represents a unique opportunity to boost productivity, reshape decision making, impact government policy and improve society. For example, AI could be used to create a more sustainable global food system by automating irrigation and crop monitoring systems. Around 70% of freshwater consumption worldwide is used in farming and automated irrigation. However, AI-powered sensors and software can ensure that controlled amounts of water are distributed to the right places, as well as reducing the use of herbicides, getting rid of weeds and minimising the overall environmental impact of farming.

However, one of the most common fears associated with artificial intelligence is that robots will take away people’s jobs and livelihoods. AI is transforming the world of work, and around 37% of workers are reportedly now worried about losing their jobs to automation. These concerns are not entirely unfounded, as analysis by the Brookings Institution found that 25% of U.S. jobs are ‘highly exposed to automation’, which equates to over 36 million workers at risk of unemployment.

Nonetheless, artificial intelligence isn’t all bad news for workers. PwC has said that whilst certain roles will inevitably become redundant and some existing jobs will be displaced, the resulting shifts in productivity and consumer demand will lead to many new employment opportunities. For example, the equivalent of air traffic controllers may be needed to monitor and manage self-driving cars on the roads. The World Economic Forum anticipates that the future tech-driven economy will create 97 million new jobs, with humans, algorithms and machines increasingly working together.

Beyond employment, a more pressing concern about AI is the extent to which it needs to be regulated and its potential unlocked in a responsible manner. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Bill Gates have all publicly expressed concerns about AI and robotics. Given the incredible speed at which it is developing and the significant impact it has on our daily lives, AI regulation may be necessary to avoid undesirable outcomes. The use of algorithms to moderate content on social media could lead to restrictions on freedom of speech, and utilising AI to store and process vast amounts of personal data may pose a threat to people’s data protection rights.

Roman Semiokhin, a tech entrepreneur and serial philanthropist, is an advocate for using innovative AI technologies to automate tasks, improve products and drive increased economic output. Semiokhin has integrated many pioneering technologies into businesses over the course of his career, including in the fields of healthcare, education and construction. However, he also believes that proportionate and sensible regulation is needed to keep pace with innovative technologies and ensure they benefit society at large. 

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