Machine Learning and the Market for Intelligence
A market for machine intelligence is on the horizon, and the time to prepare for it is now.
A functioning market for machine intelligence is on the horizon, and those who fail to prepare for it do so at their own peril.
it is not easy to picture the buying and selling FOR MOST PEOPLE, of cognitive capabilities that have traditionally been embedded in humans — things like judgment and decision-making. Yet, thanks to recent advances in machine learning, we face the very real possibility of precisely such a ‘market for intelligence’. Given the potential of this market to transform the global economy, we must all begin preparing — now — for its emergence.
In 2014, upon reflecting on the significance of achieving artificial intelligence (AI), renowned physicist Stephen Hawking wrote: “The potential benefits are huge; everything that civilization has to offer is a product of human intelligence; we cannot predict what we might achieve when this intelligence is magnified by the tools that AI may provide; but the eradication of war, disease, and poverty would be high on anyone’s list. Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history.”
Of course, some of the companies that were not prepared for the arrival of the last technology to transform our economy — the Internet — are still licking their wounds; and many others are long gone. While the outcomes were less severe for countries than for businesses, this technology shock also shifted the relative wealth of nations. For example, the United States was a primary beneficiary among wealthy countries, and India among poor countries.
To be clear, machine intelligence is still in its infancy, and while some of the current applications are remarkable, none are transformational as of yet. For example, the recommendation engines employed by companies such as Amazon and Netflix — which learn our preferences and recommend which books we should buy or which movies we should watch — are a common application of machine learning. Although they may increase