Google co-founder Sergey Brin expressed surprise at just how far artificial intelligence has developed in recent years. While speaking at the annual Davos retreat in Switzerland, Brin said how despite the fact that he was "right in there and could throw paperclips at" the engineers making it all happen, he is taken aback by the sheer amount of progress and integration the AI field has seen in the few short years that it has been a mainstream focus of wide research. He called the progression of AI a "revolution" and laid out a few very good talking points for people watching AI grow.
During the talk, Brin echoed his partner Eric Schmidt's stance on AI and jobs by saying that society will have to plan around AI advancements, but that technological unemployment will not necessarily be a bad thing. According to Brin, as AI begins to automate an increasing number of monotonous, semi-skilled tasks that normally require a human touch, people who would normally work in these professions will end up finding more creative things to do. While Brin did not outright state that AI would eventually eliminate enough jobs to leave most humans out of work and spur a worldwide socioeconomic revolution, his assertion that people would have time to pursue creative and intellectual things seemed to imply it. The march of AI reportedly even threatens to eliminate some jobs that are highly complex but rely on fixed rules like the practice of law does.
Brin did throw a note of caution by saying that it's currently impossible to predict exactly how far AI could go or how fast it could get there. However, the industry is already producing AI bots that can come dangerously close to passing a Turing Test and the rise of machine learning and neural networks is paving the way for AI solutions that are close to being just as skilled and emotive as their human counterparts. On the other hand, while the march of robotics alongside AI could theoretically make an automated takeover of most job markets possible in the future, most experts agree that such technology is still not close to materializing.