My daughter is about to get her driver's license. Her children won't need one as their cars will drive themselves. One issue I have as SIGACT chair is gathering information together from various old proceedings and newsletters. In a few years computers will do this for me as quickly as I can ask for them. Right now we have great tools for finding information on the web. In the future our tools will make sense of that information. In the near future there will be no such thing as unstructured data. Where will all this lead us? I wish I knew--I could be a wealthy man.
Machine Learning has become a very mathematical and statistical-based research area yet the theoretical computer science community hasn't played the role in this area that we could have.
The New York Times have been running a series of articles about AI and its implications to society. A recent article talked about how legal firms save considerable money by using computer software for document discovery. Less money means less white-collar employees needed to sift through documents, a point Krugman pointed out in his column. Krugman also says
Conversely, jobs that can’t be carried out by following explicit rules — a category that includes many kinds of manual labor, from truck drivers to janitors — will tend to grow even in the face of technological progress.I don't expect truck drivers will exist in 10-20 years either. Technology has so far tended to create more jobs than it destroys but will there be any safe jobs in the future?