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CIVILIZATION IS (NOT) IN DANGER IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AGE

BASIC HALL, October 17, 10:00 — 11:00

We are at the beginning of a new era, an era of artificial intelligence, or as some scholars and visionaries say: now is the first day of creation. But it is not only about new technologies, but also some dramatic changes in the very foundations of our civilization, a way of thinking of all the inhabitants of the Earth. The founder of the World Economic Forum, Dr. Klaus Schwab, called it the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. The third industrial revolution took the course. Determinism is inevitable and society is involved in changes, regardless of an individual desire: the decision to grant a bank loan or to invite to a new job is made by artificial intelligence. Mass media are overwhelmed by news on new successes of neural networks or on investments in their creation (in amounts comparable to budgets of mega-cities).
However, if we recall the artificial intelligence development history, then ‘deja vu’ is inevitable - such a splash of interest has already been observed twice - in the 1980s the unreasonably high expectations of large corporations and the military-industrial complex funding research in this area led to a period commonly known as ‘artificial intelligence winter’. Disappearance of state support led to almost complete cessation of all research in this area. Business has obviously formed excessive expectations, but will the new artificial intelligence industry be able to become independent enough to survive the loss of the state’s interest in this technology?
Have modern projects connected with artificial intelligence become independent enough for us to be sure that an artificial intelligence winter, in case of recurrence of a situation with termination of financing by large corporations and states, will not come due to the fact that these projects are really needed for a real sector of economy: they have a clear model of commercialization and can be repaid within a period acceptable for business? Wouldn’t savings associated with jobs reduction ultimately be compensated by increased expenses of the state on social benefit for people of dying professions, such as drivers, salesmen, clerks or cleaners?