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TECHNOLOGY

Nearly 40 Percent of Millennials Worry About This Technology Replacing Them at Work … Soon

Concern is warranted, but not in the way you might think.

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BY Melanie Curtin - 06 Aug 2018

Nearly 40 Percent of Millennials Worry About This Technology Replacing Them at Work ... Soon

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Since the year 2000, there has been a 14X increase in the number of active artificial intelligence startups. Venture capital investment in AI startups has gone up by 6X in the same time period.

And 37 percent of Millennials worry about their work duties being fully or partially taken over by artificial intelligence technology.

Some of their concern is warranted. As Stanford academic Jerry Kaplan writes in his book Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, automation is "blind to the color of your collar." It doesn't matter what industry you're in; artificial intelligence is coming.

The fact is, while tons of businesses are adopting AI technology, it's still widely misunderstood. It's worth getting a handle on, though: By 2025, it's estimated that global revenue from business applications of artificial intelligence will grow from $1.62 billion to $31.25 billion -- that's a 1,829 percent increase in less than a decade.

Interestingly, the next wave of progress in the field of artificial intelligence may be found in outer space. No, not from aliens, but from tech developed through the Deep Space program, carried out over decades by NASA's famed Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL), operated by Caltech.

Deep space is one of the most unforgiving environments in the universe (literally). There is zero margin for error, and devices need to operate autonomously. AI company Beyond Limits has been working with NASA for years, and recently closed a $20M Series B round from BP Ventures. It's rapidly gaining recognition for having the bona fides of proven AI and machine learning to actually fulfill on the promises of the technology.

The leap, according to Beyond Limits' CEO AJ Abdallat, is a massive paradigm shift from qualitative machine learning to a "bio-inspired" human-like ability to understand, learn, reason and solve problems. In other words, true cognitive computing.

"The limitations of current AI technologies on the market show that they aren't very scalable, or that they are very expensive. As such, the promises of AI have thus far outstripped the actual tangible results," says Abdallat. "Think about an unmanned vehicle on Mars. Space is at a premium, and all that computing power has to be exceptionally efficient, accurate and autonomous. Failure is not an option."

In other words, when failure is not an option, the technology has to work--necessity is the mother of invention.

For almost two decades, all NASA missions have utilized Beyond Limits-licensed and -enhanced technologies. This is in part because while a lot of current AI solutions require tons of servers, power and human resources to maintain, Beyond Limits promises industrial-grade, autonomous, actionable intelligence powered with Human-Like-Reasoning (HLR) that is fast, flexible, and light on hardware.

Again, the kinds of huge shifts that will come along with this kind of AI will occur across industries. According to a recent report by Deloitte, more than 100,000 jobs in the legal sector have a strong chance of being automated over the next 20 years. Fast food cooks already have robot competitors -- Flippy, a burger-flipping kitchen assistant powered by artificial intelligence, is already taking over in fast food restaurants across California.

But companies like Beyond Limits are showing that there are far more exciting possibilities for the technology, as well. For example, their cognitive computing technology implements human-like reasoning software that can perform deductive, inductive and abductive analysis. This would, for example, make it easy to help with things like detecting health anomalies, classifying diagnostic results, and making associations between seemingly unrelated health information.

Upshot: consider AI-powered medical tech helping your aging parents manage their health, getting them help before situations are full-blown.

Imagine artificial intelligence being part of you having more time with your loved ones.

In Abdallat's words, "If our technology can enable the Mars Rover to land, survive, explore and thrive on Mars, we are confident that our technology will have a positive material impact on everyone's lives. This will then fulfill the promises of artificial general intelligence at long last."

The fact is, the only constant in life is change, and the pace of life and evolution is never going to slow down. So perhaps instead of fearing that AI will take over your job (whether you're a Millennial or not), the key is to think creatively about what's next in that sphere--both for you individually and for humanity.

Big change always brings big opportunities; it just depends on how you look at it.

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