Top Scientist: AI Likely To Experience ‘Backlash’ From The Public


    Jim Al-Khalili, a professor and the incoming president of the British Science Association, has warned that the likelihood for artificial intelligence (AI) in the United Kingdom could be affected by a “backlash” coming from the public.

    As a preview to his address to the British Science Festival in Hull that is scheduled next week, the professor warned that in the absence of greater transparency, the potential of artificial intelligence may not achieved.

    He was quoted by the Guardian saying: “There’s a real danger of a public backlash against AI, potentially similar to the one we had with GM back in the early days of the millennium.”

    He added: “If the public become disengaged our leaders will see it as less of a priority. Regulations will need to be in place and they may come too late. At the very least, this will result in the technology not being used to its full potential in the public sector, potentially leading to an increase in inequality in society.”

    Al-Khalili predicted that artificial intelligence could likely have an even greater effect on the society as compared to the internet.

    He stated: “AI is going to transform our lives in the coming decades even more than the internet has over the last few decades.”

    He concluded: “Let’s make sure we’re ready for it.”

    In a report that was released last Wednesday, McKinsey, a consultancy company, predicted that artificial intelligence would likely contribute approximately 1.2 percent to the annual GDP growth for at least the next decade.

    It said that it anticipated that around 70 percent of firms will adopt at least one form of artificial intelligence by 2030.

    He says that in case a concerted action by academics took place, the government and industry, the quickly advancing technology could result to being “uncontrolled and unregulated” in the hands of a few supremely powerful firms.