PCs to fade away robots to take over

Washington: About 30 years ago the personal computer began to make its way into regular use and it went on to transform society and the way humans live their lives.

However, Kaspersky Lab experts decided to mark that anniversary by looking further into the future and imagining how information technology might develop and change our lives in the new digital realities of 2045.

It’s likely that the world’s population will include billions of people and billions of robots, with the latter doing almost all of the heavy, routine labour. People will work on improving the software for the robots and the IT industry will be home to companies developing programs for robots just like they now develop apps for users to download and install.

To a certain extent, the boundaries between robots and humans will become blurred as transplants will start using electronically controlled artificial organs and prosthesis will be a routine surgical procedure.

Nanorobots will travel deep into the body to deliver drugs to diseased cells or perform microsurgery. Specially installed sensors will monitor people’s health and transmit their findings into a cloud-based storage that can be accessed by the local doctor. All of this should lead to a considerable increase in life expectancies.

Moreover, people will live in smart homes where most creature comforts will be fully automated. The software that runs the house will take care of energy, water, food and supplies consumption and replenishment.

The PC might have started the whole IT boom, but by 2045, we’ll probably only see it in museums.

It won’t just be dreary chores that are consigned to the history books – production of certain items will no longer be needed. Instead 3D printers will enable us to design and create what we need, from household items like dishes and clothes to the building bricks for a future home.

Alexander Gostev, Chief Security Expert at Kaspersky Lab, said it is clear that every year technologies will get even smarter and the people who work with them will need to keep up. People can certainly be sure that cybercriminals will continue to make every effort to exploit any new IT advances for their own malicious purposes, but whatever our world looks like in 30 years, we should start improving its comfort, safety and well-being now.

Gostev added technology is just a tool and it is entirely up to us whether we use it for good or for evil.

A few days ago, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt predicted that the internet as we know today will disappear in the future.

He made the comment at the end of a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland after he was asked for his prediction on the future of the web.

He said, “There will be so many IP addresses…so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with that you won’t even sense it.”

He explained that Internet will be part of one’s presence all the time.

But even as groundbreaking inventions promise to make our life simpler, the fear of robots taking over humans looms large. Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, donated $10m to stop Artificial Intelligence turning against humans. He had earlier joined hundreds of scientists in an open letter warning about the potential dangers of sophisticated artificial intelligence.

The donation was made to the Future of Life Institute (FLI), which will run a global research program aimed at keeping AI “beneficial to humanity”. They call its first area of concern the “potential risks from the development of human-level artificial intelligence.”

In the open letter Musk wrote of AI, “I’m increasingly inclined to think there should be some regulatory oversight maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.”

World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking led the warnings along with Musk in the open letter, supporting the view that AI posed a serious threat to humans.  Hawking had earlier said that Humans, “who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete and would be superseded.” Adding, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

The concerns among technology and scientific leaders is too much emphasis and money goes towards research into “speech recognition, image classification, autonomous vehicles, machine translation, legged location and question-answering systems,” but little is spent on analysing how these new advances could help society.

Whatever the future holds, good or bad, we can be assured that technology will be the number one guide in our daily life.                 

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