Predictions for AI in the 2020s

All predictions are wrong but some are useful. Hopefully these are useful!

An abstract image of a crystal ball

This is the final Artificiality for the twenty-teens and it’s a bumper issue. We’re now heading into a decade where artificial and human intelligence start to merge in ways that are impossible to forecast. Having said that, it’s always a fun challenge to make some predictions, so here we go with a dozen predictions for 2020 and 2030.

We will demand to know how AI sees us

The next decade will see a fundamental shift in mindset. We will want to protect the sanctity of our inner lives from manipulation and surveillance by AI. We will think less about what we volunteer as inputs to AI, instead we will be concerned about outputs. Instead of controls and permissions, the next decade will be about AI inferences; what are our individual data “voodoo dolls”? We will consider our inferences to be sensitive personal data.

2020: A social media celebrity will publicly demand to know how a large tech company sees them. They will want to go beyond ad preferences and understand deeper characteristics such as typical behaviors, unstated preferences, personality and who they are seen to be.

2030: We will be able to adjust inferences made about us, especially behavioral and sensitive inferences. There will be tools and services that help us predict the value of our data “voodoo doll” to different entities and in different contexts.

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