In the last several years, technological progress has accelerated rapidly. Artificial intelligence (AI) has brought self-driving cars to our streets, super-automation to our factories, deep learning algorithms that beat world champions, image recognition programs that diagnose cancer more accurately than experienced oncologists can, voice recognition machines that understand speech on a par with humans and a host of other achievements which would have been hard to imagine even a decade ago. The critical interest, however, is not in what has been accomplished, but rather where technology is going and what will be the implications of forthcoming advances in all aspects of our lives, work and societies, including the possibility, some argue, of mass unemployment and huge income inequalities, as machines and robots powered by AI replace human labor. It is the purpose of this paper to discuss AI and related technological advancements and consider their implications for humanity in general and for a small country like Cyprus in particular. The paper is organized into three parts. It first looks at AI and its achievements and considers four scenarios of how it could affect us. In the second part, the paper presents a complementary to AI technology, that of intelligence augmentation (IA) that provides a different perspective to where technology is leading us and the implications involved. The final, third part considers the consequences of AI and IA for Cyprus and what would need to be done to exploit their advantages whilst minimizing their drawbacks.
artificial intelligence (AI), intelligence augmentation (IA), blockchain, societal implications, singularity, unemployment, income inequalities, AI/IA impact on Cyprus
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