“AI is the most important issue shaping society,” said veteran venture investor Ted Dintersmith.

Concerned that the country wasn’t mobilizing for the automation economy, Ted left his fund, and produced a movie, Most Likely to Succeed, to name the problem. He visited all 50 states hosting conversations about what’s happening, what it means, and how to prepare.

“If we don’t address the problem, we’ll have a lot of angry, alienated people on our hands. It’s all related, the pattern of innovation, school, and democracy,” said Dintersmith.

At SXSW EDU, we hosted a meetup to hold a quick version of Ted’s conversation. Richard Boyd, CEO of Tanjo.ai, facilitated a conversation with some great technologists (including Google’s Jonathan Rochelle. They discussed the 50 year history of AI and the remarkable rise in the last three years driven by more devices (mobile, sensors, cameras), powerful computing and cheap storage.

New machine learning tools, at a minimum, can read really fast, recognize patterns and apply rules— and they never forget. For example, Boyd’s machine learning engine read every U.S. legal opinion since 1797 and produced a complete correlated map in less than a week.

Machine learning systems can read everything written by a person from history and construct a good model of that person. Boyd has investigated the works of leading scientists and constructed a number of “animated persona” to promote STEM learning. Soon learners will be able to engage with historical figures in natural language conversations.

For the next decade nearly every job will become more augmented with smart tools. The technologists discussed shaping the right balance between humans and automation to optimize desired outcomes.

Read the full article about what the rise of AI means for our future by Tom Vander Ark at Getting Smart.