Each week on a Wednesday Nikolas Badminton, Futurist highlights the top stories from the past week relating to the incredible rise of artificial intelligence and its application in society, the workplace, in cities, and in our lives.
In Artificial Intelligence Bulletin – Amazon’s Plan we look at how Amazon in planning to dominate shipping, robot brothels, people being scared of AI, and Jack Ma talking about AI’s pain points.
Amazon’s plan to dominate the shipping industry—with almost no humans involved—is taking shape
Amazon is exploring what role autonomous-vehicle technology could have in its business, the Wall Street Journal reported today (paywall). The research is still in an early, exploratory phase, the Journal said, but hints at a larger plan of Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos: to own the delivery and logistics chain for its packages, and make it as efficient as possible.
Read more at Quartz
Startup wants to build ‘robot brothel’ in London, complete with lifelike AI escorts
What did you do with your weekend? We enjoyed an extra hour in bed, spent the morning playing video games, and then took a brisk walk into town to visit the robot brothel. Or at least that’s what folks may be saying in a year or so, if the Spanish company Lumi Dolls has anything to say about it!
Describing itself as the “first sex dolls agency of Europe” (a description that’s a bit less E.U. than “ewww!”), the growing business is attempting to circumvent laws banning regular brothels by introducing lifelike androids to the mix. And while right now it’s still working with inanimate (if expensive) sex dolls, it’s in the process of expanding its operations to include cutting-edge robots, equipped with the latest artificial intelligence technology.
“All people have sexual fantasies that we cannot perform, either because they are embarrassed, or because they have some physical complex that does not allow them to perform these fantasies with a real woman,” a representative for Lumi Dolls told Digital Trends. “The doll does not judge, and says no to nothing.”
Read more at Digital Trends
People are scared of artificial intelligence for all the wrong reasons
People in Britain are more scared of the artificial intelligence embedded in household devices and self-driving cars than in systems used for predictive policing or diagnosing diseases. That’s according to a survey commissioned by the Royal Society, which is billed as the first in-depth look at how the public perceives the risks and benefits associated with machine learning, a key AI technique.
Read more at Quartz
Alibaba founder Jack Ma: AI will cause people ‘more pain than happiness’
Artificial intelligence and other technologies will cause people “more pain than happiness” over the next three decades, according to Jack Ma, the billionaire chairman and founder of Alibaba.
“Social conflicts in the next three decades will have an impact on all sorts of industries and walks of life,” said Ma, speaking at an entrepreneurship conference in China about the job disruptions that would be created by automation and the internet. A key social conflict will be the rise of artificial intelligence and longer life expectancy, which will lead to an aging workforce fighting for fewer jobs.
Ma, who is usually more optimistic in his presentations, issued the warning to encourage businesses to adapt or face problems in the future. He said that 15 years ago he gave hundreds of speeches warning about the impact of e-commerce on traditional retailers and few people listened because he wasn’t as well-known as he is now.
“Machines should only do what humans cannot,” he said. “Only in this way can we have the opportunities to keep machines as working partners with humans, rather than as replacements.”
Even so, Ma acknowledged that in the future companies will likely be run by robots.
Read more at The Guardian