HUMANS are banned from driving, you talk out loud to rooms and you have to visit the doctor every day.
No, it’s not an episode of futuristic drama Black Mirror. Welcome to the year 2050.
Leading scientist on Artificial Intelligence, Professor Toby Walsh, has made some terrifying predictions about the future in his new book It’s Alive!: Artificial Intelligence from the Logic Piano to Killer Robots.
His wild predictions cover transport, entertainment and health and he believes by 2050 there will be significant changes to our daily lives with the rise of Artificial Intelligence — computers with the brainpower of humans.
“Computing power will likely have increased many thousands of times over by 2050,” Professor Walsh wrote.
YOU’RE BANNED FROM DRIVING
Professor Walsh predicts humans will be banned from driving in 2050.
“Autonomous cars will fundamentally change road safety,” he said.
“Around the world, over a million people die in road accidents every year. In the United States about 33,000 people will die in road accidents in the next year.
“If a fully loaded Boeing 747 crashed every week, we would be clamouring for airline safety to be improved. But since car accidents happen in hundreds and thousands of different places, we don’t seem to notice.”
About 95 per cent of accidents can be blamed on the driver, with people speeding, drink driving and texting while behind the wheel.
“We take risks that we shouldn’t,” Professor Walsh said.
“If we can take the human out of the loop, we can make our roads much safer.”
WE’LL VISIT THE DOCTOR EVERY DAY
Professor Walsh believes we will have to seek medical advice every day, and our doctor will be a computer.
We will wear a fitness watch that monitors our pulse, blood pressure, sleep, exercise and other vitals.
“It will also watch for falls and call for help if you faint,” Professor Walsh said.
“Your toilet will automatically analyse your urine and stool. Your smartphone will regularly take selfies of you, in order to understand better your health. It will, for instance, identify suspect skin melanomas and monitor the health of your eyes.”
According to Professor Walsh, our computer will also recognise early signs of dementia, Parkinson’s, strokes and even the common cold.
MARILYN MONROE BACK ON MOVIE SCREENS
Professor Walsh believes Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe will be back making new movies, despite her being dead. He said we will also star in the movies.
“Of course, it won’t be the real Marilyn but an avatar programmed to talk and act just like her. Such movies will be completely interactive. Where the story goes will depend on what you do or say,” Professor Walsh said.
“Hollywood and the computer games industry will have merged into one. Movies will immerse us in a hyperreal world. Filmmaking, virtual and augmented reality, and computer games will simply have become the entertainment industry.
A COMPUTER IS YOUR BOSS
In the future, computers could be responsible for hiring and firing us. Professor Walsh thinks it might even already be happening.
“We already trust them to match us with a spouse, and that’s one of the most important decisions we ever make,” he said.
“Indeed, there is an argument that matching people with jobs is an easier problem than matching people with each other.”
Professor Walsh said computers would look at qualifications and skill sets to match you with a job. The decision on whether a company fires or hires you does not rest with a computer and there will still be a human making the decision, but computers will take over managerial duties, such as approving holidays, rewarding performance and scheduling activities.
WE TALK TO ROOMS
Professor Walsh predicts in 2050 we will talk to rooms and make demands.
We will be able to ask it to turn the lights on and even who won the football the night before.
“And you will expect something in the room the answer you. It might be the TV, or the stereo, or even the fridge,” he said.
“Whatever device it is, it will work out who you are, using your voice pattern to authenticate the request to access your private calendar, and it will understand enough about you to know which football result to look up.”
Professor Walsh said while people won’t embrace the change and want to live a basic life, many will have all the devices in their home connected to the internet.
“The Internet of Things is predicted to have over 200 billion devices by 2020,” he said.
“That will be dozens and dozens of devices for every person alive. As many of these devices won’t have screens, the natural interface will be speech.”