Technology & IT Procurement Pulse Blog Living in the Age of Artificial IntelligenceIn the previous installment of this two-part series I discussed the amazing transformation and evolution made possible by automation and technology advancements of the 20th century. Today’s technology transformations such as robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnologies, and the Internet-of-Things will have a great impact on society, disrupting every industry and improving many aspects of our personal and work lives. They also create problems for governments around the world that must now figure out how to regulate this new environment and respond to socio-economic concerns such as displacement of workers by automation, or inequality.Of all big tech companies using AI to enhance their products or services, Amazon is clearly leading the pack with home automation products like Alexa, its version of a personal assistant. Facebook has recently sunset “M,” which hoped to take current personal assistants to the next level where the trained AI machine would have had the same knowledge as the user and do more things than regurgitating various scenarios scripted by app developers. However, the race to lead in AI as a service is on.While excitement is high about the possibility of self-driving cars becoming part of our daily lives, challenges remain. There are still questions regarding the safety of self-driving cars and it is not known if consumers are ready to give up control and adopt this new life style. It is not clear whether state governments will allow self-driving cars and what the guidelines for that would be. A AAA Study reports that consumers are not ready to embrace self-driving cars. More than 6 in 10 consumers “would be afraid to ride in a fully autonomous vehicle.” Programs like Uber’s “test-riding” in a self-driving car could ease consumers’ fears and build excitement and trust in this emerging market.Automated home drone delivery certainly keeps Amazon customers and the public excited about the possibility for AI as a service and Google’s AI open source object recognition technology is already used by the US Department of Defense (DoD) in their drone program. As recently reported by Bloomberg Technology, the DoD pilot project involving machine learning and computer vision technology sparked an interesting debate on whether a technology designed for non-offensive uses should ever be used for military purposes and warfare.The international race to lead in AI could soon become more than a war on words. Last year, Elon Musk tweeted: “[…] Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely [the] cause of WW3 imo,” in response to a tweet from The Verge quoting a statement from Putin’s speech to students, (as reported by RT): “[AI] comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”