AI and Future Society

Introduction

Human advancement has come hand-in-hand with advances in technology. As computer science underpinned by emerging technologies — including cloud, mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) progress exponentially — Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly standing out as the transformational technology of our age.

Few will debate that we are now standing at the threshold of a new age that will usher society through yet another pivotal transformation. Human society has reached a crossroads that will confront it with the task of choosing which “Society 5.0” path to follow.

Some doors to the future may lead to a society in which robots and AI create a dystopian disaster for humanity. Others may lead to a society in which all personal information is under centralised control by the government and state.

However, we should remain focused on opening a door (or doors) that leads toward a better, more inclusive world for humanity, a world in which each and every individual may find true happiness, safety and opportunity. In this future world, technology and data will be used to balance economic development with the solution of social challenges; people will finally be liberated from all restrictions that the information society proved unable to remove; and we will witness the formation of a human-centred society in which everyone is able to shine and flourish — reflected by #diversityequityandinclusion.

Society 5.0

Society 5.0 is the vision for the next stage of human society, a “Super Smart Society”, which is an evolution of previous stages of “a hunter-gatherer” society (Society 1.0), “agrarian” society (Society 2.0), “industrial” society (Society 3.0), and “information” society (Society 4.0).

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It was initially proposed by Keidanren (translated as “Japan Business Federation”) and incorporated in the 5th Science and Technology Basic Plan (click here for full copy of report in English) in Japan as a concept for the future society to which we should aspire.

Society 5.0 envisions a future where people are liberated from various constraints that previously societal evolutions could not overcome; resulting in an age where everyone has the freedom to pursue diverse lifestyles and values.

However, Society 5.0 requires active collaborations between all people across governments, businesses, industry competitors, universities, research institutions, local communities, and a vast array of other stakeholders, all uniting in a common vision of open innovation.

With this in mind, Society 5.0 is founded on the following ideals, underpinned by AI and Emerging Technologies (such as blockchain, deep learning, and more) :-

  • People will be liberated from focus on efficiency. The emphasis will be placed on satisfying individual needs, solving problems and creating value; for the betterment of society.
  • People will be able to live, learn and work, free from suppressive influences on individuality, such as discrimination by gender, race, nationality, etc. and alienation because of their values and ways of thinking.
  • People will be liberated from the disparity caused by the concentration of wealth and information, and anyone will be able to get opportunities to play a part any time, anywhere.
  • People will be liberated from anxiety about terrorism, disasters and cyberattacks, and live with security with strengthened safety nets for unemployment and poverty. This might be supported by concepts such as universal basic income (UBI) built using blockchain technology. Checkout this excellent TED Talk by Hilde Latour
  • People will be liberated from resources and environmental constraints, and able to live sustainable lives in any region.

All of the above are underpinned by Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) which are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015.

There are NINE YEARS TO GO to achieve the SDGs: we have much more work to do!

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In short, Society 5.0 promises a world in which anyone can create value any time, anywhere, with security and in harmony with nature.

With AI and Emerging Technologies, we have an opportunity to create this future world where all humans have agency; enabling a society that is #peoplecentric.

Naturally, technology alone will not suffice.

We will need to boldly combine together to re-imagine our politics, laws, communications, borders, ownership of assets and resources, and wealth distribution based on new approaches to international relations (through some combination of multilateralism, bilateralism, and unilateralism).

Only through a new world-wide ecosystem underpinned by economic, environmental and social considerations can we bring about SDGs and restore our planet. Without this, we will continue to witness over-exploitation of natural resources (allowed by our present day economies, governance systems and corruption) threatening the well-being of future generations.

It won’t be quick or easy, and it will take deep changes. Perhaps the most important thing is that everyone has a role to play i.e. all people across all parts of society not just Big Tech or the elite, ruling and governing classes.

Closing Thoughts

When I reflect on the role and importance of #AI (and #EmergingTech) and its impact on society, I realise that the vision people hold of the world to come is but a reflection, with predictable wishful distortions, of the world in which they live. 

Today, we each live in a labyrinth of attitudes fused with #cancelculture #fakenews #selfinterest #selfgratification.

And these attitudes, furthermore, though the person is usually unaware of it (and arguably, unaware of so much!), are historical and public attitudes. They do not relate to the present any more than they relate to the person.

Anything in the world today that we want to change, totally and forever, should be done with one eye on the past … a willingness to learn from and reflect on the true meaning of our history. 

We human beings now have the power of universal extinction .. a terrifying ability to exterminate ourselves; regardless of how far we have come or believe we have come, this seems to be the entire sum of our achievement.

Everything now, we must assume, is in our hands; we have no right to assume otherwise. If we genuinely want a future which is based on #diversityequityandinclusion then we must let go of the countless atrocities, acts of violence and divisive philosophies that are rooted in our collective past. 

Only then can we truly change the world — despite our history — and have a chance of creating #newnormal that provides the foundation for #tomorrowspeople #fairness #accountability #transparency #equity #equality.

Otherwise, we will fail to realise, perhaps our last chance, to #reimaginerecreaterestore a world endowed with #artificialintelligence #augmentedintelligence #automationanywhere #tech4good #aiforsocialgood that is above all #peoplecentric without the social, economic and political ills of today’s reality.

About the Author #aboutme

Over the past 25 years, Salim has built a career in consulting, working both client and supplier side as an interim CIO/CTO and a Business Change / Transformation Consultant.

Salim has engaged in, and led, digital and technology transformations and programmes involving rescue & recovery (“turnaround”), process optimisation & improvement and organisational change — globally across the UK, Central Europe, Nordics, Turkey, UAE, US, Asia and Australia.

Salim is an Oxford University alumni and an author in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Key interests include the role of AI for the betterment of people and society.

Checkout Salim’s latest book –

“Understanding the Role of Artificial Intelligence and Its Future Social Impact”

(1) https://lnkd.in/gbk-zba (Amazon)

(2) https://bit.ly/34cfJVf (IGI Global)

This work has been endorsed by academia and industry thought leaders (https://lnkd.in/dWHBXBE).

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