Oren EtzioniCEO, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Oren Etzioni is CEO at AI2, a professor at the University of Washington, and partner at Madrona Venture Group. He founded or co-founded several companies, including Farecast and Decide. Etzioni has authored 100-plus technical papers on AI and helped pioneer meta-search, online comparison shopping, machine reading, and Open Information Extraction. He was Seattle's 2013 Geek of the Year.
How will we die?
More responses to How will we die?
We will choose whether we want to initiate a lightweight legal process that enables us to terminate our own life with dignity, control, and minimal discomfort.
How will we find love?
More responses to How will we find love?
Love will still be ineffable, unpredictable, and wonderfully human but the process of “screening” for love will be far more automated. Our intelligent assistant will dialog with other intelligent assistants online. In addition, videos, images, and bios are automatically vetted and corroborated to minimize surprises when we finally meet IRL.
What forms of transportation will we use?
More responses to What forms of transportation will we use?
The use of sophisticated holograms will become far more common, and autonomous vehicles will be used as a last resort. Driving will be an unusual, somewhat expensive, and highly regulated hobby—similar to hunting today.
What will cities be like?
More responses to What will cities be like?
Cities will be both bigger and denser. Whereas 50% of the Korean population lives in Seoul today, I predict that percentage will exceed 80% by 2070. As a result, transportation will be fully autonomous and highly efficient.
What will our borders be like?
More responses to What will our borders be like?
It will be as seamless as automatically paying a toll on the highway. Illegal behavior will be dealt with decisively by drones and robots.
Will we have ventured to other planets?
More responses to Will we have ventured to other planets?
A few of us will venture out, but the expense and the schlep factor will leave most of us firmly ensconced on Earth. We will focus on the hard work of improving life on Earth over the romanticized notion of escaping.
What will our most valuable resource be?
More responses to What will our most valuable resource be?
Our most valuable resources will be human attention and energy. The fate of humanity will depend on where we choose to direct our most scarce human resources in the face of infinite distractions and unprecedented information overload.
Will our world be more equal or less equal?
More responses to Will our world be more equal or less equal?
The chasm between the richest individuals and the poorest will get even worse, but we will be able to raise billions out of extreme poverty and offer necessities like food, basic healthcare, and internet access to all.
What technology will bring about the biggest change in society?
More responses to What technology will bring about the biggest change in society?
Augmented intelligence in the form of artificial intelligence melded with human intelligence.
What’s your best prediction for the world in 50 years?
More responses to What’s your best prediction for the world in 50 years?
Editor’s note: Etzioni has answered this question in the form of a hypothetical news story from the future.
BREAKING: Food company X and technology company Y have officially completed their merger into a juggernaut computer manufacturer—lab-grown computers with super-human intelligence.
In the early 2000s, scientists speculated that cellular DNA offered transformative opportunities for computer memory. Likewise, companies began to investigate high-bandwidth links between our human neurons and artificial neural networks. Proceeding in secrecy, in offshore locations, ethical concerns were quickly shunted and a race ensued toward growing an artificial brain in a lab; a genuine “brain in a vat.” As technical obstacles were circumvented, and labs’ yield increased, the focus turned to creating super-intelligent, brain-machine hybrids. Alliances sprung up between high-tech companies and protein producers.
Today, the persistent rumors have been confirmed—this new company has emerged as the winner announcing a pioneering line of superbrains (sporting tech company Y’s sleek design, of course). The trillion-dollar question is: Has this machine arrived in time to solve carbon capture and reverse extreme climate change? Or will it determine that the future on Earth is too bleak, and instead lead us off the planet in search of a better habitat?