As AI has permeated our lives most innovatively, the interest and investment are expected to grow further to drive the innovation engine across all sectors of society. Such large scale investments by government or private firms will create a long-appraised impact on society and its citizens. AI researches powered by such investment will help root-out the societally relevant problems to engage people in creating a more diverse workforce to better tackle the problems. The report “A 20-Year Community Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence Research in the US” highlights six significant areas where AI research is likely to impact in the next 20 years.
Enhancing Healthcare and Quality of Life
In the near term, chronic health conditions like diabetes, cancer, and heart and neurological diseases are likely to benefit most from new applications of AI, according to a survey of healthcare professionals. In addition to AI’s ability to aid in the medical diagnosis process, the deployment of AI applications in hospital workflows could further enhance care delivery. An analysis by Frost & Sullivan suggests such cross-cutting uses of AI “have the potential to improve patient outcomes by 30 to 40 percent while cutting treatment costs by as much as 50 percent.” The impacts of AI-enabled technologies over the longer term are likely to be even more profound.
Lifelong Education and Training
The market for AI technologies in education and training in the US, including higher education, K-12 education, and corporate training, was US$ 400 million in 2017 and is forecast to grow more than 45 percent per year to about US$ 5.4 billion by 2024. This Roadmap envisions integrated interactive AI systems that will expand education and career opportunities across broader segments of the society and level the playing field for students facing socio-economic, health and disability challenges in our nation’s schools.
Reinvent Business Innovation and Competitiveness
By some estimates, AI contributed US$ 2 trillion to global GDP in 2018 and is expected to be US$15 trillion by 2030. Business leaders worldwide see AI technologies as increasingly crucial to their competitiveness. However, because of the limitations of the current state of the art, these deployments tend to be somewhat narrowly focused, applied to particular problems and constrained by the inability of current AI systems to integrate intelligence from a wide range of sources and contexts. The Roadmap describes a broader set of capabilities for business innovation and competitiveness, from developing broad-ranging recommender systems to integrating robotic and AI systems into standard practices.
Accelerate Scientific Discovery and Technological Innovation
The scientific field is still only working in narrow models. The industry expects new hybrid modeling approaches that could be facilitated via advanced Artificial Intelligence learning research. Advancements in machine learning techniques will enable techniques to process multimodal, multi-scale data, handle heterogeneity in space and time, and accurately quantify uncertainty in the results. The continued improvement of AI systems will impact the pillars of science, from data collection to experiment to discovery.
Social Justice and Policy
As noted by the report, there is no greater opportunity to enhance the quality of life than by increasing the equity, effectiveness, and efficiency of public services provided to citizens. The opportunity for AI to have an impact on the social policy and justice space is tremendous. McKinsey has recently done an analysis of 160 Artifical Intelligence social-impact use cases and determined that existing capabilities could contribute to tackling cases across all 17 of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. One of the goals is to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking, and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labor in all forms. The Roadmap, provided by the report, envisions a future where meaningful interactions between people and systems will enable a complete path from forced laborer to the survivor.
Transform National Defense and Security
Artificial Intelligence is already an essential part of cybersecurity, providing commercial and military cyber defenders with comprehensive security monitoring, threat detection, and actionable insight. At the same time, AI provides adversaries with unprecedented ways to understand a target’s vulnerabilities and vector attacks accordingly. Defending networks from an intruder using compromised legitimate network credentials, perhaps gleaned by spear-phishing, requires deep learning to analyze the user’s behavior over a series of actions. Future approaches to cybersecurity and defense will benefit from the powerful capabilities provided by AI systems. The report envisions how future AI systems can aid in responses to other types of threats as well, including natural disasters.