18 December 2016
Amazon recently announced that it would open a convenience store in Seattle called Amazon Go. This foray into the brick-and-mortar business by the American online retail giant is not the only remarkable thing about Amazon Go. What is more striking is that Amazon will be replacing cashiers with an artificial intelligence (AI) system that knows what items you have taken from the shelves and charges you accordingly.
AI — by definition — refers to machines or computer systems that mimic human cognition and intelligence. Experts believe that AI will someday be capable of self-directed learning and automated decision-making. Like you and me, full-blown AI will also be able to come up with superior ways to complete a task.
In fact, it will even get the job done faster, better and smarter than you and I ever could.
But unlike humans, it will never complain, get angry or become tired.
As AI increasingly displaces humans in many tasks, could it be humanity’s last creation?
…Dr Tan Teck Boon is a research fellow with the National Security Studies Programme in the Office of the Executive Deputy Chairman, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
NSSP / Online / Print
Last updated on 19/12/2016