DEV Community

Cover image for #DEVDiscuss: The Future of AI
Erin Bensinger for The DEV Team

Posted on • Updated on

#DEVDiscuss: The Future of AI

image created by Margaux Peltat for the Chilled Cow YouTube channel

Time for #DEVDiscuss — right here on DEV 😎

Inspired by @brownrita460's Top 7 post, tonight’s topic is...the future of AI 🤖🔮


  • How do you think the proliferation of AI will affect society over the next 10 years? How about 20 years? 100 years?
  • How does this topic make you feel? Scared, excited, optimistic, cynical, or skeptical? Or something else?
  • Any triumphs, fails, or other stories you'd like to share on this topic?

Top comments (24)

erinposting profile image
Erin Bensinger

I have to admit, on this topic...I am allergic to the hype 🤧

I'm highly skeptical that AI/ML will bring on a great wave of change in human society — truthfully, I think the effects of climate change on our current configuration of society will be swifter and greater (and already have). AI/ML requires energy to function, after all.

And if it did? Well...I'd be bored. Who wants a society devoid of the influence of unique human perspectives? Part of the beauty of life on Earth, to me, is the fact that we each experience it uniquely, and the spark of mystery behind human consciousness. In my opinion, AI/ML models can complete prompts, but they can't create art — a sentient perspective is a requirement in order to consider something art. Without it, it's just content.

sweetpapa profile image
Forrester Terry

I think humans will always have an important place in art and creation, computers do not have intuition or emotions.

However, I also think the writing is absolutely on the wall in terms of the impacts of A.I. for society.

I do not think this is hype, but a really important milestone for technology (occurring alongside some other important milestones).

The security implications of more people having access to generative A.I. is undeniably concerning - the ability to quickly create and spread fake information, the ability to generate and fabricate photos and videos, and the ability to develop more complex applications with less knowledge is something the cybersecurity community is sincerely concerned about.

The likelihood of layoffs and certain job markets disappearing or changing is not theoretical -- we have already seen products aimed at assistive writing, thinking, and design be introduced. These automations will only become more capable and will indeed put people out of work. Many artist and creatives are concerned about the direction and current capabilities of generative A.I.

We also have not even seen yet the full capability of A.I., the technology is growing -- other technologies alongside it are also growing and soon will be able to integrate with it (IoT, transportation, renewable energy, robotics, quantum computing, etc.).

On the flip side, A.I. and ML technologies do have the potential to help humanity out in great ways: A.I. can help with many medical and scientific tasks such as creating proteins, running simulations, automating services etc. The portability of ML models offers a lot of promise -- soon small businesses will be able to invest in A.I. to help them do tasks that otherwise would have taken up a lot time or resources.

However, the can of worms that has been opened is no joke in my opinion and we need companies to take this technology really seriously. This tech is a two edge sword, and we have been through this before. Facebook, Twitter, and the internet in general were new tools and technologies that had expected and very unexpected impacts on society. Those tools did everything from causing wars and interfering with government to helping people organize and spreading knowledge.

The risk/potential with A.I. tools is way higher.

360macky profile image
Marcelo Arias

In my opinion, AI/ML models can complete prompts, but they can't create art — a sentient perspective is a requirement in order to consider something art. Without it, it's just content.

Agree. I fact AI/ML models will always create bored things. Since they just try to make a good prediction base on the average. But they will get better performing repetitive tasks more than ever.

And I do believe AI/ML could help in the climate change issue. I like to think that maybe not in 5, but in 20 or 30 years we can solve most of the climate change effects and we can start reverting those effects.

erinposting profile image
Erin Bensinger

I appreciate your take on AI/ML and climate change! I have an example of how this is already happening in my life — I'm a gardener and amateur naturalist, and I love the app Seek by iNaturalist for identifying plants and animals in my surroundings. I've used it to gain clarity on which species are invasive, naturalized, and native, and I've been using that information as a guide as I attempt to revitalize my lawn (a practice I believe is key to supporting pollinators and regenerative food production!).

Seek isn't perfect, but it gives enough information to be useful in most cases, and perhaps most importantly of all it has sparked my curiosity about my surroundings by encouraging me to snap more photos — all of which are added to the data set.

valeriavg profile image

At some point not so long ago humans thought that electricity would make every job obsolete. It was true for some jobs, but lots of new ones appeared along with new challenges. Will AI change the world? Yes, it already does so. Will it solve many and many problems? Yes, I believe it will; as well as it will create many new problems for humans to solve.

erinposting profile image
Erin Bensinger

Love this balanced, historically-supported take. Thanks for sharing, Valeria!

frankfont profile image
Frank Font

The future is up to us and our mindset. We can be sure that there will be huge change and not much else.

organizedfellow profile image
Jaime Aleman

I'm a product of the age of the internet, when it was referred to as the Information Super Highway (late 90's, early 2000's). I've been on the web since before MySpace 🤣

AI/ML brings with it some amazing possibilities and surely some incredible benefits (and scary ideas) for every man/woman/child.

The only other technology that has had a greater impact is the evolution of the Smartphone - what was that? 2008? We carry the incredible processing power of The Web in our pockets. The ability to capture and cherish live moments with the press of a button. Answers to any burning question just a few words away.

Chat-GPT, MidJourney, etc. have unleashed some frightful concepts. Instantaneous malicious code writing. Educational manipulation and cheating. Angry Artists and copyright infringements & lawsuits.

When Web3.0 was the "buzzword" sometime last year, I knew it was fizzle out. Most buzzwords do. But AI/ML are here to stay - it's not buzz or click-baitey. It has some serious impact in all our daily/hobby/professional lives.

It's been an amazing journey so far, to witness first hand, the Evolution & Growth of the Internet and the Internet of Things. I've been a web developer for almost 20 years. I am overjoyed and thrilled to read the news headlines every single morning, just to see what was created yesterday.

jaywilkinson profile image
James Wilkinson • Edited

I never thought I'd say this: but get the regulators in quick.

AI is moving fast. Very fast. And as this intelligence model gets more and more intelligent, what do you think is going to happen to the pace of this movement?

ChatGPT & Co need to slow. the fuck. down.

They dropped an API at the beginning of March. That's enough game changing for one year. We're going to see this thing everywhere, powering every piece of software and every digital interaction that we make.

Everything. And it won't be long before it's packaged up into a docker container and runnable on embedded devices even without an internet connection.

The economy needs some time to catch up before they advance this thing any further.

It's already too late though - this API drop should have been way more controlled than it has been.

Coupled it with the release of OpenAI's Whisper - as a prime example, the administration workforce (reception, PA, secretaries etc.) just became waaay more competitive overnight.

That's just one example off the top of my head that I can think of.

jeremymonatte profile image

I really think it's pretty imposible to predict how the AI would affect our society. We are at beginning of this technologie and we probably yet don't see all the possibility. We will probably all be wrong on most of our points, and right on a little.

Despite that, my guest is that a large part (~80% ~90%) of white collar work will desappear, and the remaining part would do the same work with the assistance of AI.
That would during a sort-term period create a huge wave of unemployement.
Then i think it could change the way we considers and sorts differents jobs.

Today the jobs wich appear like "premium-jobs" are in business, trading, engineering ...
But in a world where those jobs seems to be replaced, the society maybe will valuate jobs that can't be replaced. I think of jobs where the social part is huge (like the hairdresser with all the small-talks and gossip).
That would also affect jobs where there is a big coimplexity in material handling and mouvement (arts and craft) since AI can't create it on its own, and it would be hard to automate.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

How do you think the proliferation of AI will affect society over the next 10 years? How about 20 years? 100 years?

The thing about AI and society is that there is the AI itself, and then the million different ways people will, for better or worse, form an ill-informed opinion to further their general stance on whatever they're promoting.

I feel like the story so far on AI in every corner is that very few people have a good grasp on the macro story of how it's already affecting their lives, but are willing to make really grand claims about it.

As far as the future goes, I know some things are going to radically change in ways I'm concerned people aren't ready for. Certain things about the Internet, especially, are ripe for longterm change. And I don't expect to be driving my own car for much longer. Even 10 years time is definitely enough time for the first, and second order effects of impending change.

Weirdly, at the end of the day, I think some things about society will certainly be profoundly impacted, and others will be completely unchanged. And I sort of feel that way at 10, 20 and 100 year horizons. Toilets will probably be pretty similar in 100 years as they are today.

How does this topic make you feel? Scared, excited, optimistic, cynical, or skeptical? Or something else?

A little of all of the above. I'm scared and cynical about abuse and neglect within these systems, nervous about people being blind-sided by their jobs being replaced by AI. While I think more people will have their jobs changed, as opposed to replaced, this is certainly going to be disruptive in ways the average person just isn't ready to handle.

Beside that, though, I'm personally excited about a lot of the positive sides. I think there is a lot of potential for improvements to peoples' lives and/or generally exciting innovations. I think AI should be a net positive on existential threats like climate change. Organized intelligence will help humanity deal with big problems like this.

Any triumphs, fails, or other stories you'd like to share on this topic?

Not my triumph, per se, but I just want to say: These technologies are within your grasp. You don't have to understand the underlying ideas of neural nets to get busy with using these libraries and services.

syeo66 profile image
Red Ochsenbein (he/him)

I think AI has both optimistic and pessimistic aspects. On the optimistic side, AI has the potential to revolutionize healthcare, improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion, help manage resources in smart cities, and address social issues such as poverty and inequality. It could also help us address some of the biggest environmental challenges we face today, such as transitioning to renewable energy and increasing food production in a sustainable way.

There are also some pessimistic aspects to consider, such as the black box problem, algorithmic bias, the alignment problem, and the social acceptance automaton. The lack of transparency in AI decision-making can be problematic, particularly in areas such as healthcare, where decisions can have life-or-death consequences. Algorithmic bias can also reflect and reinforce existing biases and inequalities in society. The alignment problem raises concerns about whether the goal of the AI is actually aligned with the goal we think we gave it. Finally, the social acceptance automaton highlights the risk of AI learning to please humans rather than providing accurate and correct information.

There is also a risk that emerging technologies will widen the gap between the haves and have-nots, where some people will be left behind, lacking the skills and education necessary to participate in the new economy. This could lead to a world where a small elite holds most of the wealth and power, while the rest of society struggles to get by. Therefore, it is important to consider the potential downsides of AI and work towards finding solutions to mitigate them.

Actually I'm mostly scared by the neglect in the field of AI safety and the "tech-is-the-solution-to-tech" mentality in the sector, and am afraid of the net-negative we are probably going to see.

dev_geos profile image
Dev Geos • Edited

I'm probably going to be a little more pessimistic than most.

I think the proliferation of AI will make more and more lazy people in the development like than in others. For our generation it should be fine, but for the one to come or even for the one who is currently self-training, the temptation to let an AI give them rotten codes will be great and they will not even know that these codes must be optimized. Conclusion, code quality fuck.

For optimism

On the other hand, since the use of AI is more and more accessible, we should be inundated with tools of all kinds that greatly facilitate life. Many monopolies will fall (in my opinion) to the profile of these tools which will do better, faster and probably cheaper than those of the big companies. in other words, the SAS will explode.

Personally, I'm excited because I feel that I can create things and many things will be created by others to speed up my workflow and allow me to focus more on conception rather than execution.

I have been working for several months on a CSS Framework to avoid my discomfort with bootstrap and tailwind. Because of this, I use heavily on chatGPT to find ways to improve it and do it better and easier (from my point of view) than both cited previously.
Suffice to say that if I like to develop, I am the impatient type who is always in a hurry to see a prototype, the idea in life size. Quickly create funniest UIs is my small goal right now...

Sorry for my bad english ;-)

360macky profile image
Marcelo Arias

How does this topic make you feel? Scared, excited, optimistic, cynical, or skeptical? Or something else?

A little bit scared at first sight, but now just optimistic. I mean, this is not common in our lifetime. In 2 or 3 years the software development workflow will change. Because things are exponential, and people are building things on top of other people, and so on.

Some tasks will be easier to do, and now us (software developers) will focus on more conceptual things.

For as long as I can remember I have heard the concept of the AI revolution. I thought we were living it throughout 2010s (with optical object recognition), or in some year: 2018, 2019 (with large language models). But I feel more than ever that this moment is what they meant.

And well, one day it will go away like the Internet revolution and we will see it more normal than ever.

frankfont profile image
Frank Font

I'm curious about what to do for next year and the next year after that.

There are clearly opportunities, but I suspect there are also many chasms that will catch happy people by surprise.

benhultin profile image
ben hultin

I think AI will for the most part bring a huge wave of productivity boost to the economy. As AI evolves I do feel we will experience some pain as people need to retrain with relevant skills. For those that work with computers will find an increased need to update their skills.

An impact I have seen from AI is artists have already become so confused between human created art and AI art, that a moderator of an art forum banned an artist for uploading an image he deemed to be AI art. The artist had to show proof with an adobe file showing all the different layers of the image in question.

Recently copyright proposals have gone through which protect human generated art, but AI art can not be copyrighted unless modified by a human in a photo editor first. I approve of this move, AI needs guard rails and nerfing its results from a commercial standpoint.

molotovbliss profile image

Image description

"Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin." - John von Neumann

sip profile image
Dom Sipowicz • Edited

With advancements now occurring in weeks rather than months, I'm impressed by the rapid progress of the AI industry. There are, however, some concerns raised by this acceleration.

Here is the video I created about AI economy and what are the current AI skills required on the job market

It is encouraging to see that the UK government is embracing AI and is aware of the need for a smooth transition. To assist individuals in adjusting to AI-assisted jobs, governments are investing in AI tutors or utilizing universal credit as an alternative.

Overall, I am positive about the potential of the new AI economy and believe that responsible deployment of AI will lead to a better future for all.

nerro profile image

The future of AI in my view is a complicated and diverse field to exhaust in on writing or to view in one scope. With recent technological advancement and various automations leading to the rise of more and more superior AIs, it is left to uncertainty of the future of AI. If taken into consideration with the given time periods, there will be less to no great impact and effect in 10 years as compared to 100 years.

In my opinion, the future of AI is a subject I have no clear views on yet. Whether it is for the good or bad, I do not know yet. Recent discussions on various social platforms are focused on whether AI will put people out of jobs and or take over the human race in the long run. With this, the evolution of AI needs to be going at a very fast rate that I think cannot be achieved currently. Yes, some positions in the past have been rendered useless by the adoption of various technologies, but not also entirely. Not every organization, country and workplace is on the adoption of these technologies and some cannot also afford these automation tech and AI capabilities.

jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy 🎖️ • Edited

This tweet about GPT is thought provoking:

Some comments may only be visible to logged-in visitors. Sign in to view all comments.