Gartner Predicts Smarter Machines Will Challenge the Human Desire for Control

Bangalore: The growth of sensor based data combined with advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) are enabling smart machines to make increasingly significant business decisions over which humans have decreasing control, predicts Gartner, Inc. According to the Gartner, smart machines will unavoidably be relied on to make more decisions that are of growing significance to the business, raising the fear that they may become ‘unstoppable’ or run out of control by the next five years. Hence, CIOs should maintain and promote an objective understanding of the real capabilities of smart machines.

Speaking about the smart machines, Stephen Prentice, Vice President, Gartner Fellow says, “As smart machines become increasingly capable and develop into viable alternatives to human workers under certain circumstances, which will lead to significant repercussions for the business and thus for CIOs. This 2015 Gartner CEO and business leader survey, opinions were equally divided on this issue and indicate that business leaders are starting to take notice of the advances being made and more readily acknowledge that the threat to knowledge work is real.”

Further speaking about the smart machines, Prentice noted, “As smart machines become more affordable, they will be more widely deployed in multiple roles across many industries, replacing some human workers. At the same time, entirely new industries have been developed by those technologies, almost always creating millions of new jobs. Hence, organizations must balance the necessity to exploit the significant advances being made in the capabilities of various smart machines with the perceived negative impact of resulting job losses.”

“The fear among many individuals is that the machines will ‘take over’ and run out of control, posing a threat to individuals, society and even humanity itself. However, within the confines of currently known technology, the idea of machines attaining some level of ‘self-awareness,’ ‘consciousness’ or ‘sentience’ is still the stuff of science fiction. Even with the coming generation of smart machines, which actively ‘learn’ and will be able to adapt their actions to optimize their progress toward a goal, humans can choose to remain in control,” affirmed Prentice. On the other hand, Gartner again estimates that, more than 25 billion devices will be connected by 2020 which will generate a massive boost in the background data collection.

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