In March 2023, Bill Gates published on his blog site titled, “The Age of AI has Begun.” I must say it was a captivating read for me. How so?
Bill Gates pointed out that the current state of AI that we have seen is just the tip of the iceberg and AI will proliferate into our lives further. This statement itself excites me greatly given my passion for Artificial Intelligence and especially my pursuit of the metaphysics of Intelligence. My personal belief is in Augmented Intelligence where machines with better computation and models will help humans to be more productive. The people who WILL BE left behind are those that do not spend time to understand this new tool called "Artificial Intelligence" rather.
Bill Gates also covered how AI can be used in the two industries that are close to my heart (and I am looking for a platform to apply, so reach out to me if you have such a platform and opportunity to collaborate), that is Education and Healthcare. Given his philanthropic work, naturally, he sees it from children's education. But my personal take is that AI will be used not only children's education but lifelong education as well. AI will be used to help adults, who are keen to build up their career, to learn more effectively and efficiently. This is very important as I see education as a social mobility tool, to help move families out of poverty firstly and move towards working in something they are happy in.
So what about the title of this post? Well if you look at the section “Next Frontiers”, Gates pointed out that on the software side, algorithms will get better. How so? Companies and businesses will be competing on the algorithms front (not forgetting data). The best algorithms will win more revenue, reduce more costs, and put more dollars into the business pockets, moreover, the cost of entry into creating good algorithms right now is pretty low as compared to having a brick-and-mortar business like restaurants, retail, etc.
This brings me back to an older discussion, where I was asked, “How can other nations compete that cannot connect immense data given limited population size, or nations that have an established advantage in hardware and software development?”My answer is algorithms development & research.
There are a few points to note if countries want to compete in the algorithms R&D space. They are:
1) Software/Computation: Is there a way to train the algorithms more efficiently? Parallel Processing or Distributed Processing? Generally if the algorithms takes a long time to train to a certain level of performance, it can also take a longer time to get it compute the result out given the (massive) inputs. Trend has it that we should be moving to a more efficient compute.
2) Hardware: Chips are needed for computation. From what I understand, chip design can help in faster compute. It is a topic I want to explore more but my knowledge of it is stopped at the logic gates rather. If you have materials on these topics, please share them with me on my LinkedIn please. :)
3) Algorithm Design: Can we come up with better algorithms? We did that in Machine Learning where you have models like Regression, Support Vector Machines and the foundation model of most AI algorithm these days, Neural Network. Can we come up with something better? Higher accuracy, less compute? How will it change when Quantum Computing comes online cheaply?
These three areas need special skills and knowledge that will take time to train and impart. This means that if any government wants to ensure AI is their main pillar of growth and national security strategy, developing the talents should be done as soon as possible, starting with education policy, followed by manpower policy and immigration policy later.
Governments need to start understanding, planning, and executing policies that will keep their workforce hired and engaged as AI continues to proliferate into our lives. I feel there is more urgency than ever given the current development trajectory of AI. It will be interesting to see the development. :)
What are your thoughts?
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