What Is The Next Step For A.I.? – Minkyoung Cho

Training V, webinar held on February 6th, covered the theme of the digital economy and emerging technologies. In fact, my group was responsible for the introduction and case study presentation for this day into the digital economy and emerging technologies including IoT (Internet of Things), sharing economy, and Artificial Intelligence(AI) as well as the related issues around these including ethical issues, employment issues, etc.

We live in a digital economy bombarded with easy services in the sharing economy that allows us to access delivery services, taxi Uber services, UberEats and much more. Along with the convenience we are experiencing, there are the downsides as well with high Job automation taking over with immense job losses. This is necessitating more and more of a prompt policy to govern the vast changes along with the great change in business models and societal context as well.

With more and more technology producing value along with our personal information and data, it is certainly natural for us to seek what is actually right as well as the growing fear we, as consumers, feel towards more services that use our data to their own goods. To what extent can technology be allowed to use my data? And to what extent can we allow Artificial Intelligence to be used for our comfort? I believe that there is a certain hype towards ‘AI’ in which people automatically think of robots as AI reigning over this world. However, this is not the case. The understanding of AI has somehow become relatively exaggerated as simply some kind of self-thinking demon. This should be straightened out, to begin with for a better society in accepting new technology.

Regarding AI use and its responsibility within the society, from one who is researching the AI impacts towards emerging business models, there is a need for a fundamental definition of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ to be solid without any misconception. The OECD’s 2019’s updated definition clarified as ‘An AI system is a machine-based system that can, for a given set of human-defined objectives, make predictions, recommendations, or decisions influencing real or virtual environments. AI systems are designed to operate with varying levels of autonomy.’ This implies artificial intelligence to be a rational system. From a concrete understanding of AI, I strongly believe that becomes the initial roots that will expand and be applicable to further ideas or businesses. Especially as the emerging 5G connection and blockchain is truly geared up to soon open a new era for applications in platforms and services to potential consumers, the establishment of a right understanding of Artificial Intelligence is greatly needed to eliminate any other misconception of AI that may lead to faults or errors along way throughout the process in the stage of designing the application. More and more, technology will be used in facilitating a better secured ‘trust’.

We, as human beings, are instinctively more drawn to human-to-human contact as it forms some kind of relationship by simply seeing the other person in the same space and time which draws more connection to the other person. Today, with remote access to so many different experiences via diverse platforms (not to mention the high appreciation in hard challenges like even today of the coronavirus affecting the world), some do say the lack of human contact is a demise of humanity.

Yet, technology has been the foundation for our innovations, achievements, and our fuel to our lives. Like it is hard to imagine a world without any kind of technology, by any means, humans will be always the subject of using these technologies, also being the subject to resource generation; the capital, and therefore, as trust is always the foundation in any relationship, especially in the virtual world, AI and further technology will revolve around contributing its efforts into securing that trust in any service or experience for the social goods.

About the writer

Minkyoung Cho (NetMission Ambassador of class 2019/20, Japan)
Keio University, Information Management System