by Sarah Knapton
Augmented bodies and machines
heal us from within may be on the horizon
Technocrat expectations of AI are far beyond the
actual achievement, and their far-off predictions
have more in common with science fiction than
Nevertheless, Technocrats invent because they can,
not because there is good reason to do so.
Artificially intelligent nano-machines will be injected into humans
within 20 years to repair and enhance muscles, cells and bone, a
senior inventor at IBM has forecast.
who works at IBM Hursley Innovation Centre, in Hampshire, submitted
evidence to the
House of Lords Artificial Intelligence Committee, which is
considering the economic, ethical and social implications of AI.
Mr McNamara said
that within just two decades, technology may have advanced so much
that humans and machines are effectively 'melded' together, allowing
for huge leaps forward in human consciousness and cognition.
"We may see AI
nano-machines being injected into our bodies," he told Peers.
"These will provide huge medical benefits, such as being able to
repair damage to cells, muscles and bones - perhaps even augment
utilizing technology which is already being explored today we
see the creation of technology that can meld the biological with
the technological, and so be able to enhance human cognitive
capability directly, potentially offering greatly improved
mental, as well as being able to utilize vast quantities of
computing power to augment our own thought processes.
technology, embedded in ourselves and in our surroundings, we
will begin to be able to control our environment with thought
and gestures alone."
at companies including Microsoft are already
developing a computer made from DNA
which could live inside cells and look for faults in
bodily networks, like cancer.
spotted cancerous changes it would reboot the system and
clear out the diseased cells.
McNamara also predicted 'Political Avatars' which will
scour all available data from news sites and government
debates to provide people with a recommendation on who
to vote for and why, based on their world view.
he also warned that the rise of AI could bring 'huge
disruption' to those working in the retail and service
sectors and spark widespread unemployment.
"Whereas today, being poor means being unable to
afford the latest smart phone, tomorrow this could
mean the difference between one group of people
potentially having an extraordinary uplift in
physical ability, cognitive ability, health, life
span and another much wider group that do not," said
separate evidence to the committee, Noel Sharkey,
Emeritus Professor of AI and Robotics, University of
Sheffield, who is now director at the
for Responsible Robotics, said artificial
intelligence comes with a cost.
"The immediate concern is that by ceding decisions
or control to machines, the humans start accepting
their decisions as correct or better than their own
and stop paying attention," he said.
"There is a growing body of evidence that the
learning machine decision makers are inheriting many
invisible biases among their correlations."
Jochen Leidner, Director of Research at
also warned that older people, or those with accents could struggle
in a future where voice recognition became widely used.
could be unfairly disadvantaged by being excluded from access to
essential services," he said.
"Imagine a voice recognition system to do your
banking over the phone, as banks are reducing
physical branches. Such a system would likely be
trained with British voices available in London if
the company developing the system is London-based.
"Said system likely will result in misrecognitions,
or may not work at all, for an elderly citizen in
Uddingston, Scotland, and lacking alternatives
access to cash will depend on trusted friends or
family members, if available."
Brundage and Allan Dafoe, from
The Future of
Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, also
warned that jobs were at risk from artificial
recommend the UK government prepare for the
possibility of significant job displacement, as well
as creation, as a result of the deployment of AI in
the coming decades," they told the Lords.
is likely to exceed human performance in most
cognitive domains. This poses substantial safety