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We Aren’t Smart Enough To Understand How Smart Computers Will Be

Below is an excerpt from my book, PIVOT - 20 Trends For 2020 That Will Change Your Life Forever...and what you can do about it , which will be released on January 1, 2019!

Trend #1

We Aren’t Smart Enough To Understand How Smart Computers Will Be


I’m sure you’ve heard the casual comment, “my phone has more power than the computers on the spaceship that took men to the moon.” Well, that is actually an accurate statement. The Apollo 11 guidance computer (AGC) had less processing power than an iPhone 4. And new iPhones and other brands of smartphones have even more processing power. If you measure computing power in Floating Point Operations Per Second or FLOPS for short, it allows you to get a feel for how rapidly computing power is starting to advance beyond human comprehension!

In 1985 the Cray Supercomputer possessed 1.9 gigaflops of processing power, allowing it to process 1.9 billion FLOPS. Just 30 years later, smartphones became mini supercomputers. For example, the Samsung Galaxy 6 smartphone was measured at 34.8 gigaflops or approximately 17 times more powerful than the supercomputers of the 1980s. Today, China’s Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer, weighs in at 93 PETAflops (93,000,000 gigaflops). Which is equal to 93,000,000,000,000,000 floating point operations PER SECOND. Yes... that is 93 QUADRILLION FLOPS!

What does that mean you might ask? Using Petascale computing, scientists can model weather patterns, nuclear war simulations, quantum chemistry and even lower-level mammal brain simulation. Futurists can also perform predictive modeling tasks that come as close to time travel as we can imagine.

We are getting ever closer to having computers that can simulate basic human brain function. So, the next logical question is, what comes after that?

The most common method for measuring human intelligence is to identify one’s Intelligence Quotient or IQ. While IQ tests are controversial and are just one way to measure intelligence, it does allow us to use a metric to discuss and debate intelligence using a standardized framework. And we do see some consistency in high IQ scores and high-achieving people. For example, both Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking had IQ scores of over 160. Average IQ scores are between 90 - 110. People with superior intelligence score between 110 - 120. And genius-level intelligence is attributed to people who score 140 and above. Some scientists have predicted that an AI driven supercomputer could exceed the average human IQ by 2020. When we reach the point where AI machines can acquire new knowledge on their own via abstract reasoning, some scientists predict the AI IQ will explode past an incomprehensible 1000!

What does it mean for humans when computers coupled with AI software vastly exceed the intelligence of the smartest people on Earth? Logically, we really have no idea.

What we do know is that artificial intelligence will have a greater impact on our lives than the invention of the television, the personal computer, the internet and the smartphone. When we discuss artificial intelligence we have to talk in terms of AI being the “catch-all” term for all projects pursuing computer and software-based artificial intelligence and machine learning... which is the science of building computers that actually learn on their own, using neural networks and massive computational power.

Today, as I write this...AI is already surpassing human capabilities in areas such as legal document review, accounting, X-ray and MRI diagnosis, trading stocks, playing games and in some ways, driving a car. As computational power increases and the amount of data used for modeling solutions and outcomes increases, the applications of AI will grow beyond our current imagination.

What do you need to know and how can you benefit from this trend in 2020?

There are three key areas to consider for yourself when assessing any trend:

Does this impact your current career, positively or negatively?

What investment opportunities may exist for you to take advantage of?

Could this advancement impact my personal life, i.e., my health, my education, my leisure or my family.

2020 Pivot - Artificial Intelligence - Personal, Career and Investment Opportunities

Since this is just one chapter of this book and I could write multiple books on this topic alone, I will simply state that AI will have an impact on ALL careers. Jobs that are already disappearing are the careers that require only very basic service functions or rule-driven reading, writing and math. Careers like legal assistants, accountants, telemarketers, computer support, benefits personnel, retail sales personnel, receptionists and bank tellers will be eliminated. Additionally, even job functions that are more sophisticated like X-ray and MRI review, basic computer programming, lower-level medical diagnosis and non-trial legal work will be performed by AI assistants in the near future.

For decades, there has been speculation that robots would kill millions of jobs around the globe. And while jobs in assembly line work and other basic manufacturing areas have been lost, surprisingly, the biggest and most immediate job losses are coming from white-collar careers that required a college degree not so long ago. If you are in college and making future career decisions, you must consider the fact that many jobs that require a college degree are on the decline. With the cost of college at all-time highs, you simply can’t ignore these developments.

If you’re interested in becoming an AI software developer or a data scientist, then you can expect multiple job offers and very high salaries including signing bonuses. But, if you’re not inclined to work in a technical role, then you may want to consider careers where humans won’t be replaced (in the near future). Below are 25 jobs that require uniquely human qualities to execute:

  1. Teachers

  2. Coaches

  3. Project Managers

  4. Business Analysts

  5. Event Planners

  6. Artists

  7. Writers

  8. First Responders

  9. Yoga instructors

  10. Personal Fitness Trainers

  11. Dentists

  12. Chiropractors

  13. Physical/Occupational Therapists

  14. Mental Health Therapists

  15. Trial lawyers

  16. Entertainer/Professional Athlete

  17. Military/Federal Law Enforcement

  18. Environmental Scientists

  19. Security Analysts

  20. AI Industry Personnel/Data Scientist

  21. Scientists

  22. Entrepreneurs

  23. Farmers

  24. Food Preparation Professionals

  25. Babysitters/Nannies

Note: You may wonder why I didn’t include basic software engineering on this list. Initially, software engineering will see a spike in the next few years, however, after that, AI systems will start writing code based on basic human inputs and eventually software engineers that are just doing basic web and Tier-3 application development will disappear.

And while Artificial Intelligence is a broad and complex topic, the investment opportunities are clear. The largest technology companies in the world are spending billions of dollars on research and development. Companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft are inventing new technologies that sound like science fiction. Microsoft has already stored data on DNA strands! Google Assistant is expanding the definition of “search” on a daily basis. Apple is using AI to enhance everything from mobile phone usage to medical diagnostics via wearable devices. And Amazon...well, Amazon knows what you want to buy before you do and is planning for us to all live in space! (Search Blue Origin).

Other industries that will profit from AI are CPU and GPU chip manufacturers, augmented reality device manufacturers and tool developers, medical device companies, logistics companies, EV and AV automobile companies and social media companies.

Below are a list of 25 current companies that could benefit in the growth of AI (invest at your own risk):

  1. Apple

  2. Microsoft

  3. Facebook

  4. Twitter

  5. Amazon

  6. WalMart

  7. Google

  8. NetFlix

  9. Ford

  10. Tesla

  11. Uber

  12. Lyft

  13. Nio

  14. AMD

  15. Intel

  16. Nvidia

  17. Vuzix

  18. IBM

  19. Oracle

  20. Cisco

  21. Dell

  22. Square

  23. Shopify

  24. Salesforce

  25. PayPal

On the surface, it may seem as if artificial intelligence is all about social media algorithms and robots. But AI will impact every aspect of your life, from your health to your education to your career. You will make purchases in a more informed fashion. You will get to and from work differently. You will assess your health differently. You will meet and interact with people in ways we never imagined. And you will most certainly educate yourself in a manner that puts more emphasis on how to USE information than simply how to briefly memorize information for a test. I believe most of the changes will be positive. But, pay attention to how your environment is changing and be prepared to adapt.

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