How AI will affect urban life in 2030

Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030 is the first product of the One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100). The 28,000-word report forecasts how advances in artificial intelligence (AI) might affect life in a typical North American city.

“Until now, most of what is known about AI comes from science fiction books and movies,” said Peter Stone, chair of AI100’s 17-member panel of international experts.

“This study provides a realistic foundation to discuss how AI technologies are likely to affect society.”

The report is divided into eight sections, for which the following has been forecasted and recommended:

  1. Transportation: Autonomous cars, trucks and possibly aerial delivery vehicles, may alter how we commute, work and shop and create new patterns of life and leisure in cities.
  2. Home/service robots: Like the robotic vacuum cleaners already in some homes, specialised robots will clean and provide security in live/work spaces that will be equipped with sensors and remote controls.
  3. Health care: Devices to monitor personal health and robot-assisted surgery are hints of things to come if AI is developed in ways that gain the trust of doctors, nurses, patients and regulators.
  4. Education: Interactive tutoring systems already help students learn languages, maths and other skills. More is possible if technologies like natural language processing platforms develop to augment instruction by humans.
  5. Entertainment: The conjunction of content creation tools, social networks and AI will lead to new ways to gather, organise and deliver media in engaging, personalised and interactive ways.
  6. Low-resource communities: Investments in uplifting technologies like predictive models to prevent lead poisoning or improve food distributions could spread AI benefits to the under-served.
  7. Public safety and security: Cameras, drones and software to analyse crime patterns should use AI in ways that reduce human bias and enhance safety without loss of liberty or dignity. Top issues: Protecting privacy and avoiding the perpetuation of built-in bias.
  8. Employment and workplace: Work should start now on how to help people adapt as the economy undergoes rapid changes as many existing jobs are lost and new ones are created. Top issues: Short-term loss of transportation jobs, unpredictability of new jobs created by AI.

AI100 plans to continue issuing progress reports on artificial intelligence every few years, under the guidance of a standing committee.

Chairwoman of the committee, Barbara Grosz, said she hopes the AI100 report “initiates a century-long conversation about ways AI-enhanced technologies might be shaped to improve life and societies.”