Humans Will Have A ‘Robot Second Self’ In The Next 20 Years, Say Experts At Microsoft

The digital alter-ego will be AI extension of yourself

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Are you seeing double? You might be in the next 20 years. Experts at Microsoft say that all human beings will have a robot double that’s has a digital copy of your consciousness. Microsoft executives Brad Smith and Harry Shum told Business Insider U.K. that they see artificial intelligence more deeply integrated into human lives, so much so that we’ll have artificially intelligent alter egos. The two have co-authored a book, called The Future Computed, in which they explain their technological predictions.

“I think predicting the future is always hard, but one thing Brad and I firmly believe is that the ultimate form of AI is a digital assistant —a digital assistant that really understands you, and with your permission knows everything about you,” Shum said in an interview with Business Insider.

He added that he thinks that a lot of these developments will be created within the next 20 years. There have already been major strides in building artificial intelligence with reading and writing skills and helping humans to solve complicated math equations, Shum said. But there’s a lot more on the horizon, and it looks like Microsoft wants to be at the forefront.

Cortana is a virtual assistant developed by Microsoft for Windows 10. According to Windows Central, they are planning a major overhaul of the AI, including a new chat-based UI.

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Shum and Smith also talked about how AI will affect the future of work. In their estimation, the future doesn’t look good for anyone who drops out of high school.

Improvements in AI means that more employers will be looking for humans with advanced skills. This doesn’t mean that everyone will need a four-year degree, but there will be a more pronounced need to continuously develop your skills so that you can compete with the robots in the workforce.

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As AI technology improves, there are more concerns being expressed about sentient digital beings replacing humans in various capacities. Last year, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that he believes that AI will be capable of taking over human societies in the future and that government needs to implement legislation now. Musk is the co-founder and chairman of Open AI, a company that’s working on developing safe AI technologies. As the Verge reports, he has also invested in a brain and computer interface project called Neuralink.