Will.i.am reveals his artificial intelligence insights and why he sees it as a human companion rather than rival

Will.i.am

Will.i.am, the music performer, producer and TV star has offered his take on the future of artificial intelligence (AI), claiming that he sees it as 'a companion' for advancement of the human race which will overcome the issue of it replacing jobs.

Talking to The Drum's Jessica Goodfellow in the latest edition of the magazine, Will.i.am spoke about his tech venture I.am+ which aims to bring AI into the mainstream. He also discussed his vision of a future where man and machine will work together, rather than as rivals.

But on the problem of whether AI will replace people in work, he believes that creatives will help overcome the problem.

"Everyone was talking about an electric vehicle that would do away with the horse and carriage and how machines were going to revolutionise farming. The farmers were like 'I don't' want that' because they were too proud. Technology threatened a whole bunch of workers. And then the dreamers came along. Think about Edison with the lightbulb and how many candle makers went out of business," he said.

"But there are new opportunities. The same thing is happening with the fourth industrial revolution. Yes, it is possible the old jobs aren't coming back, but new jobs will come. It's a cycle. I am an optimistic believer in progress, I want everyone to be involved in this leap - that's the reason I do tech, coming from the ghetto. Inner city kids are not dreaming about tech, but they will."

He also discussed his views on the importance of marketing and about how he aims to create products and services that make the world a better place. Some of the products produced by his brand include earphones known as Buttons and a smartband which connects to mobile phones called Dial.

The full interview can be read in The Drum's Human Tech issue, which was created in collaboration with The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, and his technology programme Pitch@Palace.

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