What does the future hold for artificial intelligence? AI Experts Weigh In.

Andrew Arruda
November 20, 2017

Everyone has their own take on what the implications of AI will be for the future. In this article, AI Pioneers, ROSS Intelligence’s AI Godfather and the Canadian Prime Minister weigh in on what the future holds for AI.

Recently I put together a piece that aimed to answer a question I get asked a lot, which is “how do you define artificial intelligence?” (for those that may have missed that piece, check it out here!) In it, I touched on various definitions of AI from world experts and also highlighted that it seems when it comes to AI, the Dunning–Kruger effect is real, meaning those who know the least seem to, at times, be the most confident in their opinions.

future of artificial intelligence

Today I wanted to answer another question I get asked all the time, which is “what do you think the future holds for artificial intelligence?”

What Does the Immediate Impact of AI Look Like?

Geoffrey Hinton, widely considered as the creator of modern artificial intelligence, has stated that:

what is the future of AI geoffery hinton
“I think we’re going to see the learning methods we’ve got already have dramatic effect on many industries and solve lots of problems.” — Geoffrey Hinton
Download the report from Blue Hill Research here.

This makes a lot of sense to me, especially seeing how ROSS bringing the state of the art in artificial intelligence to the law has already led to some dramatic improvements in a very short amount of time.

Within about a year of building ROSS, we benchmarked our technology and Blue Hill Research group found that ROSS usage led to a 30% reduction in research time while finding 40% more relevant authorities translating to a whopping ROI of 176.4% to 544.5% off of core search alone.

We’ve been fortunate to partner with fabulous law firms of all shapes and sizes and continue to release great case studies describing the benefits that modern artificial intelligence techniques are bringing to the legal industry. What’s most exciting is that we all know we are only on DAY 1 of what the future holds for ROSS in law, meaning that artificial intelligence application within the law will continue to evolve at a breakneck speed — the future is very exciting!

This is why we ensured ROSS was the first true AI product to come to the legal space, it’s allowed us to be the first company to make partnerships with law firms and in-house legal teams so our AI systems could begin the snowball effect of machine learning, getting smarter each and every day, furthering our competitive advantage — read more about deep learning with ROSS CTO/Cofounder Jimoh Ovbiagele here and here.

We’ve also brought in world class people, including Randy Goebel, who is a founder at the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (AMII) and currently a professor in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta, and among other things, is involved with the development of the University of Alberta Google Deepmind relationship (the group behind AlphaGo).

In a recent conversation I had with Randy, he had this to say with respect to how AI will impact the industry in both the near and long-term:

what is the future of AI randy goebel talks artificial intelligence
“The science of AI has always proceeded like most other science: periods of fervent activity and observable progress in cycle with periods of only incremental progress on foundational challenges. The next 5–10 years will refine industrial and business exploitation of the automated construction of classifiers, where transparency and accuracy is less important than using supervised learning to build opaque models to improve decision support.
During that kind of cycle, the next non-incremental transition to a new cycle will arise from reconfiguring formal frameworks of the past to move further along the classify-explain-teach spectrum of intelligent use of data. Being able to use supervised methods to predict that an image is a cat, precedes the creation of systems that can explain why it is a cat, and similarly precedes a system that can teach anyone, including humans and computer systems, how to learn to recognize cats.”

Canada’s Role in all of This

It’s no secret Canada has continued to lead the world when it comes to AI research and development. The leaders of the modern AI movement have been described as members of the Canadian AI mafia, check out this article, and the heads of artificial intelligence at most tech giants, (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc.) are all connected to universities and research centers in Canada. A recent article in the Economist does a fantastic job offering an inside look into Canada’s role in bringing modern AI to existence, check it out here.

Speaking recently on AI, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that:

“there’s a lot of new areas that are going to open up. I think that’s part of the excitement of it that this is pure science on a certain level that will lead to very tangible very pragmatic discoveries but as we go there, we have to be open to being surprised by what comes out along the way.” — Canadian PM Justin Trudeau

Building on Prime Minister Trudeau’s comment, in my recent conversation with Randy, I asked him how he saw machine learning and the recent developments in natural language processing transforming industries and solving problems today and into the future, Randy had this to say:

“The reality is that careful integration of NLP and machine learning is already showing higher than expected value in vertical areas where improvements in human-machine interaction improved connections between data modeling and language use are already showing high value in many areas which may have previously exploited what had been loosely labelled as “operations research.” Current machine learning and NLP accelerate the exploitation of data for improvements in accuracy and efficiency of decision support.” — Randy Goebel

When we opened ROSS Intelligence’s AI headquarters in Toronto in June, the city’s Mayor John Tory as well as the President of the University of Toronto were both in attendance and cut the ribbon together. They also shared sentiments about ROSS, AI, and Canada’s unique position in driving forward AI research and development. Canada and AI go together like hockey and Canadian beer, it’s a great match.

“I’m pleased to say that the arrival of ROSS North is part of a larger development over the last couple of years in which Toronto has emerged as a global hub in the AI revolution…so in the case of transformational changes, such as those represented by people like Geoff Hinton and his work in neural networks and others in this great department, the applications are multi-sectoral as we’re seeing in the work of UofT researchers and their partners in fields such as computational medicine, quantitative finance and transportation. And now ROSS Intelligence is pioneering the very exciting applications in the legal profession.” — Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto

What does the Long Term Future Hold

During my recent conversation with our CTO and my co-founder Jimoh Ovbiagele about artificial intelligence and the future he had a great perspective:

“What could humanity accomplish if we had billions of intelligent, creative, empathetic, and compassionate minds? I am not talking about AIs, I’m talking about people who will be freed by AIs from mundane work to focus on the big-picture problems that face our society, today and in the future.” — Jimoh Ovbiagele

…and that’s just it. I feel like this is the perfect place to end because it highlights what I believe as well, the future of AI is human. AI systems will continue to have humans at their core, humans whose abilities are amplified and capabilities enhanced.

The sooner we stop worrying and start loving AI, the sooner we can begin to accomplish more than ever before humanly possible.

I, for one, welcome our new exciting future.

Andrew Arruda

CEO & Co-Founder of ROSS Intelligence. International speaker on the subjects of AI, legal technology, & entrepreneurship and has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, BBC, Wired, Bloomberg, Fortune, Inc., Forbes, TechCrunch, the Washington Post, and the Financial Times.