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AI Technology

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Innovation (nber.org) 64

Abstract of a paper [PDF] which was originally published last month: Artificial intelligence may greatly increase the efficiency of the existing economy. But it may have an even larger impact by serving as a new general-purpose "method of invention" that can reshape the nature of the innovation process and the organization of R&D. We distinguish between automation-oriented applications such as robotics and the potential for recent developments in "deep learning" to serve as a general-purpose method of invention, finding strong evidence of a "shift" in the importance of application-oriented learning research since 2009.

We suggest that this is likely to lead to a significant substitution away from more routinized labor-intensive research towards research that takes advantage of the interplay between passively generated large datasets and enhanced prediction algorithms. At the same time, the potential commercial rewards from mastering this mode of research are likely to usher in a period of racing, driven by powerful incentives for individual companies to acquire and control critical large datasets and application-specific algorithms. We suggest that policies which encourage transparency and sharing of core datasets across both public and private actors may be critical tools for stimulating research productivity and innovation-oriented competition going forward.

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Innovation

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  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Sunday April 15, 2018 @05:12PM (#56442661)
    No matter what you think, we won't end up with people working less and living better. We will end up with 1% exclusively benefiting from all the increases in productivity and 99% getting hit by even higher unemployment because even conspicuous consumption by 1% has a limit.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Capitalism will break down without a welfare system and a high redistribution of wealth: if the workers canâ(TM)t earn a living working in automated factories, they canâ(TM)t afford the goods. No costumers, no business.

      So with high automation, high taxes and high redistribution of wealth will actually _grow_ the economy, since it will increase spending for large groups, who would otherwise be poor.

    • We will end up with 1% exclusively benefiting from all the increases in productivity

      Exactly. Just like how the 1% prevented common people from owning cars, computers, cell phones, microwaves, and washing machines.

    • go into biotech to replace the jobs NAFTA sent to Mexico. At least once a week I read how the sort of rank and file jobs that were supposed to have been created (the biotech equivalent to a code monkey) were replaced by some form of automation.

      Oh, and the point of being in the 1% isn't conspicuous consumption, it's power. The good thing about being rich is the poor have to do what you say or they starve to death.
  • But it may have an even larger impact by serving as a new general-purpose "method of invention" that can reshape the nature of the innovation process and the organization of R&D.

    The latest and greatest gizmo you bought in the morning will be obsolete by evening.

    I'd like to live to see that era, it seems like it will be very interesting — in a good way.

    • Yeah. That would be so good! We would just buy something in the morning, and throw it away that night in the landfill. Then the next morning we would do it again! That would be SO INTERESTING!
      • yes will be fun; when those recycling is all done by machines drawing energy from say a distant star/galaxy (using new yet to discover science/physics).
        we already experience this to some extent like enjoying a morning sunrise.. and throwing it away for a totally new image in evening as in sunset. Just that this is nature made without human driving it.
      • by mi ( 197448 )

        I said nothing about throwing things away. What you bought in the morning is still just as usable as it was, when you bought it. My main desktop computer is 18 years old — 4096 times less powerful than the latest systems, according to Moore's law. I still use it, though am looking for replacement, because the power supply is increasingly flaky.

        The same improvements and the sheer speed of innovation TFA talks about are likely to do something about landfill as well. Also, some other things may become si

  • Just because you can crunch #s doesn't mean you can invent the new Zippo lighter, Polaroid camera, or iPhone that doesn't already exist.

    A lot of the innovation that occurs is what results from "fixing" what already exists but is not efficient enough in some way. It is innovation that no one except the designers themselves appreciate, because it is hidden innovation inside of products.

  • AI is going to be so amazing! It is really going to transform our lives. I'm sure it is right around the corner.
  • is them making a discovery but not telling us.

    Won't for a while ... hopefully!

  • Both of the "we suggest" paragraphs are coma inducing, so you get past that and what remains? This:

    At the same time, the potential commercial rewards from mastering this mode of research are likely to usher in a period of racing, driven by powerful incentives for individual companies to acquire and control critical large datasets and application-specific algorithms.

    Strunkian synopsis: Imminent ruthless-genius land-grab race to the bottom.

    Then the rest of the words could have been devoted to explaining prec

  • It won't be any better than successive approximation, albeit fast, so might appear to be intelligent.
    And yes it will make capitalism more efficient.
    But that will regress our society

  • by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Sunday April 15, 2018 @07:29PM (#56443197)

    We suggest that this is likely to lead to a significant substitution away from more routinized labor-intensive research towards research that takes advantage of the interplay between passively generated large datasets and enhanced prediction algorithms.

    It is cruel to have this (AI generated?) stuff just after another story [slashdot.org] telling "Papers today are longer than ever and full of jargon and symbols"

  • I imagine a scenario where distributed software exists, kind of a cross between seti@home and cryptocurrency mining, that performs processing for a deep-learning algorithm. The amount of total memory and processing power devoted to this could be as large as the larger cryptocurrencies, let's say. Now let's say that this algorithm is dedicated to creating new inventions. It's been said that a machine that's smarter than humans is the last thing we'd ever need invent, and this would be like that. Now, the alg

  • "We suggest that this is likely to lead to a significant substitution away from more routinized labor-intensive research towards research that takes advantage of the interplay between passively generated large datasets and enhanced prediction algorithms"

    What is a passively generated data set? You can have data without creating data. Passive data is an oxymoron.

    What does enhanced prediction algorithms mean? Enhanced how? the thing reads like it came from a journal paper generator.

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