leadership and technology the human elementWIRED magazine co-founder Kevin Kelly is a Singularitarian who professed that at some point in the not too distant future, "all change in the last million years will be surpassed by the change in the next five minutes." This point in time becomes the tipping point where artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence. Numerous movies have predicted this with apocalyptic outcomes, most recently the 2014 thriller "Transcendence," which depicted a diabolical super computer that can outthink the human race. Futurists such as Ray Kurzweil predict that this singularity will happen by the year 2045 at the latest.

The progress toward singularity took a substantial leap recently with the unveiling of Google's D-Wave 2X Quantum Computer. Google claimed the D-Wave to be 100 times faster than any current digital computer. To put this into perspective, a solution to a problem that would take a current digital computer 10,000 years to calculate would take the D-Wave seconds to complete. The implications of this, however, go far beyond simply calculating solutions to problems, since the D-Wave is revolutionizing the field of artificial intelligence. The uses of such powerful artificial intelligence have far reaching effects, from government to the consumer, with endless possibilities from optimizing space travel and driverless cars, to planning your next flawless vacation itinerary. The implications for commercial industries, however, are staggering.

Robots already comprise a large amount of the international workforce. Add quantum artificial intelligence to them and the boon in productivity, efficiency and safety could be astounding. In his Forbes leadership column, Enrique Dans pointed out the potential increases in robotic use and efficiency could push us into the fourth industrial revolution, noting that this revolution would result in a significant loss of human jobs and cause society to rethink activities that humans could be engaged in.

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