Technology-driven unemployment is no longer just an ailment of low-income households. No job is safe. There are now AI lawyers, AI accountants, and AI financial advisors. Even AI hedge fund managers. So much money is now being spent on technology that Gartner estimates many companies spend more on marketing technology than they do on actual marketing.
AI research has had some breakthroughs in recent years, with computers beating humans at complex games like chess and Go. But this time round the big developments are focused around specific goals, which are more likely to have subtle impacts and stay largely behind the scenes from a consumer perspective.
While concerns about trade and outsourcing may be genuine, our world leaders will soon have to come to terms with the increasing decline of human productivity output, as the prevalence of machines - which provide much cheaper and more effective solutions for companies around the world - poses a deeply unsettling challenge to the way we model our society.
Clearly the UK requires digital leadership at the highest level to address some of the issues around the introduction of AI. So, I was pleased to see the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee's recent report challenging the Government to put more effort into preparing the country for the impact of AI/robotics.
It's that time of the year pre-christmas when many a head is full of ideas, swarming with information from dozens of conferences, meet-ups, launches, talks and exhibitions when it's time to cut through the noise and find out what to focus on - some of which you may have heard of and some you definitely won't have. Welcome to Wired 2016.
One technology attracting attention is artificial intelligence. AI and its current early form, machine learning - computers that can "think" for themselves and tailor their actions and responses to situations based on experience - is going to play an increasingly significant role in our everyday lives.
Many people are already starting to live with an AI presence in their lives. The recent debut of the UK edition of Amazon Echo has created an undeniable buzz. What sets 'Alexa' apart from other voice-activated services like Siri, is that it can learn your preferences and routines, and start to anticipate your needs.
Even before we breathe our first breath, humans innately learn patterns, laying the very foundations of our knowledge. With limited visual capacities, we make inferences by exploring the world through any means possible; mainly through taste, smell and touch. Each perception we have fits together in a certain way, forming a manifest relational framework.