Men vs Computers.

Uno scheletro di uomo che lavora al computers

Who has the pencil?

Quantum computers VS Men.

The red line between what is possibile and what is not marks even more distant boundaries. Once upon a time, “good enough” was okay, but nowadays science fiction is becoming science fact and we have the duty to reach perfection, no matter what the cost might be.

We know what is happening, but at the same time we are not ready: we believe that our livelihoods will not change and that we are safe. This is simply not true: a recent research conducted at Oxford University states that one in every two jobs will be completely automated by machines.

Machine can outperform tasks faster and better than humans: in 2012 on the Kaggle platform, users have built an algorithm that can automatically assign grades to high-schools essays and tests.

It seems impossible that a computer can judge what teenagers want to communicate, but it was shown that the algorithm gave exactly the same grades that any professor would have given. And the same happened with another algorithm that is able to diagnose diabetic retinopathy, giving patients the same opinion of doctors or ophthalmologists.

In the “IDC’s Worldwide Robotics 2017 Predictions Report”, it is eximated that, by 2019, 30% of leading organizations will implement a chief robotics officer role and/or define a robotics-specific function within the business.

Men vs Cumputers: every side of this game has its own role.

It is not an issue that automation will replace lower-skilled people:

computers are becoming quantum computersand they have started working in parallel.

What does it mean?

If quantum physics is the branch of physics focused on the smallest scale of energy level of atoms where particles can exist in two places at the same moment, quantum computers can use quantum bits that allow them to analyse more scenarios together: this innovation will drastically decrease the time needed to extract information from the volume of data we produce day by day.

This is the reason why quantum computers can be superior than supercomputers and why MicrosoftGoogleIntel and IBM (but also new interesting startups) are already investing in this market which is projected to top $ 5 billions by 2020, according to MarketWatch.

Machines are learning in a few months what man have learned over centuries of trials and errors and there is no chance of winning if we consider big volume and repetitive actions.

So what is our best option?

If computers require a large number of past data to obtain an answer, man will still be indispensable for solving new problems.

Our mind is capable of dealing with new situations and managing them: we connect memories and feelings, we have intuitions, creativity and spirit of adaptation, even if what we are dealing with is something completely unknown.

This is the red line that no computer can overcome still leaving the pencil in the hands of men.

“il Progresso online”

Antonella Germinario
Antonella Germinario

Post-graduate student in Engineering and Management at Polytechnic of Turin and volunteer in Event Planning team for TEDxTorino.

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