Fighting drought on a hardscrabble farm, inspecting the inside of single-engine aircraft fuselages in 46°C temperatures, and managing food safety and equipment cleaning in a remote rural market—these are just some of the jobs my 90-year old mom has had over four decades.
When she started working, few imagined a world in which fail-less farming inside climate-controlled buildings would promise to end famine. Or that a camera-toting robotic arm might have crawled into that small, hot fuselage to capture and analyze images that required human judgment and intervention. Or even that the food industry could save vast resources by using AI to optimize food freshness and inspect food preparation instruments to avoid over-cleaning. With these incredible advances, no wonder my mom gets a little dreamy-eyed when she hears about what artificial intelligence (AI) is doing to enable human progress. Looking back, she says, “That…would have been nice.”