AI- The next major disrupter -Are we ready ?

Author: Devashish Ganguli

AI is one of the most important things humanity is working on. “It is more profound than, electricity” Says Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai.If you don’t sacrifice for what you want, what you want becomes the sacrifice. 

For four billion years living things have come from the realm of the organic. Artificial intelligence could become the first non-organic living entity in the history of the world. And if it became more powerful and more intelligent than humans, then it would replace us as the dominant force.AI is constantly gaining new ability; By the 2040s, non-biological intelligence will be a billion times more capable than biological intelligence (a.k.a. us). Nanotech foglets will be able to make food out of thin air and create any object in physical world at a whim. By 2045, we will multiply our intelligence a billion fold by linking wirelessly from our neocortex to a synthetic neocortex in the cloud.

Oil of the future- data

 It is no denying that software has disrupted and will continue to disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years. Data is the biggest oil. UBER is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world! Ask any taxi driver if they saw that coming. Airbnb  is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties. Ask Hilton Hotels if they saw that coming. A century ago, the resource in question was oil. Now similar concerns are being raised by the giants that deal in data, the oil of the digital era. These titans—Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft—look unstoppable. They are the five most valuable listed firms in the world. Their profits are surging: they collectively racked up over $25bn in net profit in the first quarter of 2017. Amazon captures half of all dollars spent online in America. Google and Facebook accounted for almost all the revenue growth in digital advertising in America last year. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.

Amazon will soon know when you need lightbulbs right before they burn out. You tube knows how to keep you staring at the screen long past when it’s in your interest to stop. An advertiser in the future might know your sexual preferences before they are clear to you. (And they’ll certainly know them before you’ve told your mother.) Let’s take an example. Today an increasing number of people are reading books on Kindle or other devices. What many people don’t know is that while you’re reading, the book is also reading you! The e-reader is capable of following you as you read. It knows which pages you’ve read quickly, or slowly, where you stopped reading and when you started again. Given all this data we’ll soon be able to precisely identify any problems and flag them to the author. And this is only the first generation. Tomorrow, if you add a facial or biometric recognition system to your Kindle which can capture your expressions and physical reactions, the device will be able to comprehend the emotional impact the text is having on you, the reader.  All this data could be used to help create highly effective stories.

Artificial intelligence, as an author, will know exactly which button to push to make you react. Don’t forget that ten years ago people thought that it would be impossible for artificial intelligence to translate texts. Now we have Google Translate, which suffices for simple texts, such as user instructions.

Know thyself else algorithm will hack you

And one of the key themes is the notion that our minds don’t work the way that we sometimes think they do. We don’t have as much agency over our minds as perhaps we believed until now. Could technology be hacking human feelings, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors to keep people engaged with products? To hack a human being is to understand what’s happening inside at the the level of the body, of the brain, of the mind, so that one can can predict what people will do. With Technology one can now understand how people  feel and you can, of course, once you understand and predict, you can usually also manipulate and control and even replace. The algorithms that are trying to hack us, they will never be perfect. There is no such thing as understanding perfectly everything or predicting everything. You don’t need perfect, you just need to be better than the average human being . Every day, each person takes a dose of ‘soma’, a synthetic drug which makes people happy without harming their productivity and efficiency.

There is only one historical development that has real significance. Today, when we finally realise that the keys to happiness are in the hands of our biochemical system, we can stop wasting our time on politics and social reforms, putsches and ideologies, and focus instead on the only thing that can make us truly happy: manipulating our biochemistry. If we invest billions in understanding our brain chemistry and developing appropriate treatments, we can make people far happier than ever before, without any need of revolutions. Prozac, for example, does not change regimes, but by raising serotonin levels it lifts people out of their depression. Nothing captures the biological argument better than the famous New Age slogan: ‘Happiness begins within.’ Money, social status, plastic surgery, beautiful houses, powerful positions – none of these will bring you happiness. Lasting happiness comes only from serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin

Organisms are, in actual fact, algorithms. Human beings, giraffes, viruses are all algorithms. They differ from computers only in the sense that they’re biochemical algorithms, which have evolved at the whim of natural selection over millions of years.

From a biological point of view, these algorithms have no soul, no God-given spiritual essence. And if it’s true that humans have no soul or spiritual essence, and that all human capabilities, including creativity, are the result of chemical processes. People don’t really need human translators for that kind of thing. Artificial intelligence will do the job. In areas such as writing and translation, artificial intelligence could catch up with homo sapiens more quickly than expected.  AI will have to analyze human feelings accurately in order to treat human illnesses, identify human terrorists, recommend human mates, and navigate a street full of human pedestrians. But it could do so without having any feelings of its own. An algorithm does not need to feel joy, anger, or fear in order to recognize the different biochemical patterns of joyful, angry, or frightened apes .

Advent of Artificial Intelligence ,Computers have  become exponentially better in understanding the world. Last year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.  By contrast, Alpha Zero had not been taught any chess strategies by its human creators—not even standard openings. Rather, it used the latest machine-learning principles to teach itself chess by playing against itself. Nevertheless, out of 100 games that the novice Alpha Zero played against Stockfish 8, Alpha Zero won 28 and tied 72—it didn’t lose once. Since Alpha Zero had learned nothing from any human, many of its winning moves and strategies seemed unconventional to the human eye.

Herein some areas that pundits think will be profoundly affected by AI .However this list cannot be complete as technology is so rapidly changing it is difficult and impossible to keep track.


People are demanding the healthcare industry treat them as savvy consumers, who deserve choices, convenience and fair prices. The same revolution of consumerism that’s shaking up the way the world buys financial services, airline tickets and groceries is finally underway in healthcare, too. The consumer is in control. 

Highly paid radiologists and poorly paid nurses will be affected . As well-trained AI will presumably be much better at detecting tumors in the not-so-distant future, radiology will ultimately decline in value; in contrast, jobs like nurses will rise in value as humans will likely have an edge over machines when it comes to empathy — at least for a few more decades. Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, its 4 times more accurate than human nurses.

In certain areas like vision, speech, language and cognition, AI has already achieved or surpassed human abilities. Computer vision, for example, is now better than human vision at detecting differences and identifying things like different types of dogs.Scientists have developed a bionic hand that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to interpret muscular signals from brain activity and make more natural movements – an advance that may pave the way for a new generation of prosthetic limbs.  The new bionic hand uses a human-machine interface that interprets the patient’s intentions and sends commands to the artificial limb.It contains eight electrodes that pick up weak electrical signals from the patient’s stump, before amplifying them and sending them to a mini-computer, also located in the prosthetic.The mini-computer then runs the machine learning algorithm to interpret the signals, before commanding the hand’s motors to move in the way the patient wants.Patients found they were able to easily rotate the wrist and open the hand either simultaneously or separately. They also found the movements far more natural than the conventional bionic limbs they were used to.In addition to types of function, patients could also control the speed of individual movement independently of other movements. For example, patients could turn the hand slowly but open it quickly at the same time.

The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it. It then analyses 54 bio-markers that will identify nearly any Disease. There are dozens of phone apps out there right now for health purposes.

However fiery debate is on whether Digital medicine is good or bad for health .Fitbits and Jawbones have become wildly fashionable. And the really big issue is what will happen when computers start tracking not just our emails, messages and money but our bodies as well. “When you merge the revolution in infotech with the revolution in biotech, you get the ability to hack humans,” In some ways, this could be fantastic: biometric data could create personalized medical care and help us all become healthier and wiser about our bodies.

Urban amenities

Just as no one buys a smartphone based on just its ability to make phone calls, future buyers of smart lighting will not be doing so purely for its ability to produce illumination  The lighting systems of the future will use AI to varying extents and in different formats. Learning will happen through sensing and combining other data into logical conclusions ;We are witnessing ephemeral change of “Smart LED Lighting” to Intelligent Lighting” and is now moving fast towards “Self-  decisive (Edge based) LED lighting” ;Office and industry lighting is heading toward Industry 4.0 which will have individual light control and data collection and analysis at the platform level to implement AI based  automation, which will have the least amount of human intervention. The same goes for outdoor lighting where the expectation is to have analytics inside the luminarie as well as “On the Road” edge based AI control and Cloud based monitoring with  Artificial Intelligence”

Traffic and Parking 

Introduction of IoT will introduce a data-driven approach when tackling issues like traffic congestion. Besides, the various IoT-based applications will also enhance the travelling experience of commuters. IoT-powered traffic lights that contain smart IoT sensors can be strategically placed in different areas. Such sensors can collect real-time traffic data. The collected data can prove helpful in performing big data analytics to create the most practical traffic management solutions. IoT sensors and beacons will also enable monitoring parking spaces to identify empty parking spots. These sensors will navigate drivers to empty spots. Furthermore, IoT sensors can be used for the development of anti-theft system that’ll transmit the location of a stolen vehicle and a centralized system or an app can deactivate the vehicle remotely. 

An Indian startup has developed an IoT-powered technology called Emergency Response Automationthat uses IoT sensors installed in ambulances to alert nearby traffic lights. After receiving a notification from an ambulance, the traffic lights turn green to allow the ambulance to pass. The device also has a touch screen that enables route-mapping and a live tracking system that monitors a victim’s condition. Also use of Smart Smart windscreens can display essential information, such as speed, ETA, distance, navigation, and possible congestion in real-time. Such windscreens will assist drivers by suggesting them the perfect time for switching lanes to avoid accidents. Furthermore, AR-based windscreens will connect to traffic management systems to detect unsafe driving.AI technology can process, handle, and analyse massive amounts of data far more efficiently and faster than the average human. As such, it can provide more accurate insights into many areas of business including sales, operations, supply chain and more. For consultants, such information could be used to augment their offerings and services to clients, enhance clients’ ROIs. When used for consultancy purposes, information on for instance sales channels, customer journeys and client behavior can help marketers and consultants tasked with sales identify new opportunities and develop more effective strategies for advertising campaigns.


Auto repair shops will disappear.  A petrol/diesel engine has 20,000 individual parts. An electrical motor has 20. Electric cars are sold with lifetime guarantees and are only repaired by dealers. It takes only 10 minutes to remove and replace an electric motor. Faulty  electric motors are not repaired in the dealership but are sent to a regional repair shop that repairs them with robots.Your electric motor malfunction light goes on, so you drive up to what looks like a car wash, and your car is towed through while you have a cup of coffee and out Electric cars  will become mainstream about 2030. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity.

Thus in addition vola Petrol pumps   will go away. Street corners will have meters that dispense electricity. Companies will install electrical recharging stations; in fact, they’ve already started in the developed world.  Smart major auto manufacturers have already designated money to start building new plants that only build electric cars. Thus logically coal industries will go away. Gasoline/oil companies will go away. Drilling for oil will stop. So say goodbye to OPEC! The middle-east is in trouble. Homes will produce and store more electrical energy during the day and then they use and will sell it back to the grid. The grid stores it and dispenses it to industries that are high electricity users. Has anybody seen the Tesla roof? Welcome Self-driving cars which are already here. In the next 5 years, the entire industry will start to be disrupted. You won’t want to own a car anymore as you will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need  to park it you will only pay for the driven distance and you can be productive while driving. The very young children of today will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car.

This will change our cities, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars. We can transform former parking spaces into green parks. Baby of today will only see personal cars in museums. The FUTURE is approaching faster than most of us can handle.

Most traditional car companies will doubtless become bankrupt. They will try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels. Look at what Volvo is doing right now; no more internal combustion engines in their vehicles starting this year with the 2019 models, using all electric or hybrid only, with the intent of phasing out hybrid models.

Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; are completely terrified of Tesla and they should be. Look at all the companies offering all electric vehicles. That was unheard of, only a few years ago.

Sports :

Similarly, advanced technologies are making their way into the sports sector. Microsoft is building smart cricket bats for Anil Kumble’s Sports technology company ,Spektacom in India. Anil Kumble is officially calling the IoT-powered bat as a power bat which includes a 5-gram sticker that will be attached to the bat to deliver analytics for insights into a cricketer’s batting style. The sensors will measure parameters such as impact, angle, distance, thrust, and swing speed.

Sports technology giants are installing IoT-powered sensors to develop smart fabrics and smart insoles. Such sensors can track the health and performance of the athletes and collect athletic data for analysis. For example, an American sporting equipment brand has manufactured shoes with inbuilt IoT sensors that store and share data about the distance traveled, speed, mileage, and fatigue levels of athletes. The data collected from the sensors can be integrated with the team’s internal systems to analyze an athlete’s performance level, health, stress, and injuries if any.

IoT sensors can improve athlete safety by detecting potential injuries. Smart insoles can look for foot injuries in runners, while smart helmets can diagnose brain injuries after a fall or a blow to the head. After detecting such injuries, coaches can communicate with athletes with the help of IoT goggles that have inbuilt earbuds to withdraw their athletes from the rest of the game. Plus, IoT sensors and wearables can work together to monitor an athlete’s health and suggest her recovery time.

Sensors can be installed in the stadium for monitoring the status of various heating, ventilation, and electronic systems. Connecting such systems to a centralized interface will notify the concerned parties about any defects or repairs. Besides, IoT sensors will help in tracking electricity and water usage, helping conserve resources.Furthermore, installing beacons in parking lots can help sports fans in finding empty parking spots. Additionally, IoT sensors can provide traffic updates before and after a game, which can be used to manage traffic outside the stadium. IoT connected security cameras with facial recognition feature will ensure better security standards for the stadium

By implementing IoT in sports, sports organizations can generate additional revenue. The data on fan behavior and purchases, gathered with IoT sensors, can be sold to advertising partners for analysis and planning of advertising strategies. Advertisers can create new advertisements to target specific customers. On the other hand, sports organizations can include customized packages, with perks such as team jerseys and merchandise, stadium tours, food offers, and seat upgrades, based on fan data. 

Summing Up

As humans, we are biased to think linearly. As entrepreneurs, we need to think exponentially. Although artificial intelligence and automation will leave no area of life untouched, the job market will presumably be affected most profoundly. AI will yield results based on its ability to understand its environment, analyze data, draw conclusions, and learn from experience to achieve continuous improvements. We ought to invest at least as much time and money in “exploring and developing human consciousness,” particularly wisdom and compassion, as we invest in improving AI. Otherwise, AI “might serve only to empower the natural stupidity of humans, and to nurture our worst … impulses, among them greed and hatred.”

To survive and flourish in such a world, you will need a lot of mental flexibility and great reserves of emotional balance. You will have to repeatedly let go of some of what you know best, and feel at home with the unknown. Nothing is inherently beautiful, sacred, or sexy; human feelings make it so.Strangely we all want to be a part of bigger entity whether true or false as along it give safety net.Traditional religions told you that your every word and action was part of some great cosmic plan, and that God watched you every minute and cared about all your thoughts and feelings. Data religion now says that your every word and action is part of the great data flow, that the algorithms are constantly watching you and that they care about everything you do and feel. Most people like this very much. For true-believers, to be disconnected from the data flow risks losing the very meaning of life. What’s the point of doing or experiencing anything if nobody knows about it, and if it doesn’t contribute something to the global exchange of information?At present, people are happy to give away their most valuable asset—their personal data—in exchange for free email services and funny cat videos. It’s a bit like African and Native American tribes who unwittingly sold entire countries to European imperialists in exchange for colorful beads and cheap trinkets.


Devashish Ganguli

Devashish Ganguli
Havells India Ltd

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or publishers.