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Freaky Future? How Humans and Machines Will Merge Sooner than You Think

10-16-2017
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Humans and machines could be merging within 20 years through artificially intelligent nano-machines, injected into people to repair and improve muscles, cells, and bones, or to help us send signals to other machines.

That's the forecast from IBM senior inventor John McNamara who offered his prediction to the Artificial Intelligence Committee in British Parliament.

He believes the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will lead to super-tiny devices that would be inserted into human bodies.

They would then allow people to control things around them - like their homes - simply by thoughts or gestures.

"We see the creation of technology that can meld the biological with the technological, and so be able to enhance human cognitive capability directly," McNamara says.

"Using this technology, embedded in ourselves and in our surroundings, we will begin to be able to control our environment with thought and gestures alone," he says.

Before we get to that point, McNamara predicts we'll see a huge shift in the service and retail industries within the next 10 years.

"A.I systems will be able to recognise customers, & will have access to their habits, styles, personality traits (via social media – or customer database) and be able to make ultra-tailored proactive recommendations/suggestions to their users (up sell/cross sell)," he writes.

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A global debate about the development of Artificial Intelligence has been underway for decades, and with each new scientific advance in the field, AI is increasingly being intertwined with our lives.

That's what IBM pointed out in a broader statement to the committee.

"Artificial Intelligence is already part of our daily lives, answering questions and giving recommendations, whether this be in internet search engines, GPS mapping systems, anti-virus and malware avoidance or medical devices. There is an acceptance of AI based on a certain level of familiarity and trust in its use. An increased level of attention has come as a result of driverless cars and other eye-catching initiatives."

"For decades, we have been stockpiling digital information. We have digitised the history of the world's literature and its medical journals. We track and store the movements of vehicles, trains, planes and mobile phones. And we are privy to the real-time sentiments of billions of people through social media," IBM states.

Meanwhile, a civil liberties and privacy campaign group called Big Brother Watch is offering this warning.

"AI is already around us, making important decisions for and about people. However, alarmingly, most people are unaware of what AI is and how it works. This clearly needs to change."

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