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A Mundane Comedy is Dom Kelleher's new book, which will be published in late 2024. The introduction is available here and further extracts will appear on this site and on social media in the coming months.

The 52:52:52 project, launching on this site and on social media later in 2024, will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

This site addresses what's changing, at the personal, organisational and societal levels. You'll learn about key changes across more than 150 elements of life, from ageing and time, through nature and animals, to kindness and love...and much more besides, which will help you better prepare for related change in your own life.

Halcyon In Kaleidoscope features irregular and fragmentary writings - on ideas and values, places and people - which evolve over time into mini essais, paying humble homage to the peerless founder of the genre. The kaleidoscope is Halcyon's prime metaphor, viewing the world through ever-moving lenses.

What's Changing? - Artificial Intelligence



Artificial Intelligence (AI) is typically defined as the ability of a machine to perform cognitive functions we associate with human minds, such as perceiving, reasoning, learning, interacting with the environment, problem solving, and even exercising creativity. Examples of technologies that enable AI to solve business problems are robotics and autonomous vehicles, computer vision, language, virtual agents, and machine learning.


Please see below recent artificial intelligence (AI)-related change.


See also: 


June 2024

  • In their 2024 book Our Next Reality: How the AI-powered Metaverse Will Reshape the World, Alvin Wang Graylin and Louis Rosenberg outlined three phases of AI evolution over the 21st century. The third stage could bring the development of artificial superintelligence (ASI). Although such a system would far exceed human intelligence, it would still be influenced by the totality of humanity’s creations.
  • The IMF said the generative AI revolution could spark massive labour disruptions and spiralling inequality across the Global North. It had already said generative AI will impact 40% of jobs worldwide. Some of those jobs will be automated away, they said, while for others the use of AI will become a key aspect of the role. Another report urged governments to take measures that will ameliorate the social impact, including improved unemployment benefits for those who lose their jobs.


May 2024


April 2024

  • The World Health Organization  released Smart AI Resource Assistant for Health - or SARAH - an AI chatbot that’s able to answer basic health questions. SARAH communicates in eight different languages, and the WHO says its a tool to fight misinformation about e.g. mental health, cancer, and COVID. The WHO bills SARAH, which appears as a female avatar with a voice and facial expressions, as a digital health “promoter” - not a provider - and, though SARAH hasn’t taken the Hippocratic Oath, it’s meant to fill in the gaps for people searching for health questions without access to proper health care providers
  • The market is dominating AI: of the foundation models released between 2019 and 2023, 72.5%  originated from private industry, according to a Stanford report. 108 models were released by companies, 28 from academia, nine from an industry-academia collaboration, and four from government. None at all were released through a collaboration between government and industry


March 2024

  • The UN General Assembly adopted its first-ever draft resolution on AI, pledging “to refrain from or cease the use of AI systems that are impossible to operate in compliance with international human rights law or that pose undue risks to the enjoyment of human rights.”The resolution was brought by the US delegation with the support of 123 member nations - including China and Russia.The resolution came one week after the EU became the first major power to pass comprehensive regulation to rein in the most severe risks of AI.


January 2024

  • Some AI prognosticators are obsessed with humanity's demise at the hands of all-powerful AI. In a survey of 2,700 scientists, more than half put the “extinction rate” - the chance that the advent of artificial intelligence will end the human race - at about 5%.


December 2023


November 2023

  • A late 2023 study highlighted a 2000% rise in job posts requiring generative AI skills, underscoring their demand and shortage, and some startups are now encouraged to hire AI officers due to the increasing importance and scarcity of AI skills.
  • Shira Perlmutter, the US register of copyrights, the country’s top copyright official, said her office had received 10,000 comments about AI in late 2023. Artists urged federal officials like Perlmutter to take a stance against AI for fear it’s innately violative. Meanwhile, a litany of lawsuits alleging copyright violations made their way through US federal courts.


October 2023

  • The CEO of DeepMind claimed the risks posed by AI should be taken as seriously as those posed by climate change and called for international regulatory oversight of AI, saying technologists should take inspiration from the International Panel on Climate Change.
  • Meanwhile, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US and the EU published an 11-point code of conduct for tech companies to “promote safe, secure and trustworthy AI worldwide”. It urged AI companies to voluntarily commit to testing their most advanced models for a range of potential risks, boosting cybersecurity defences and using watermarks for AI-generated content.


September 2023


August 2023

  • People are becoming more and more aware of the biased outputs that AI generates. When prompted with imagine ‘a professional’, 80% of the images generated by MidJourney, an AI image platform, featured men. More seriously, algorithms perpetuate existing discrimination - from racial bias in financial servicespolicing and healthcare to gender bias in recruitment 


July 2023

  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) argued that the roles most threatened by AI-driven automation are highly skilled jobs: law, medicine and finance, which often require many years of education, are among the industries set to be impacted the most. The OECED added that the latest crop of "generative AI" platforms can create content that is indistinguishable from that of humans, and major economies could be at a tipping point, although, for now, AI is largely changing jobs rather than replacing them entirely.


June 2023

  • GZERO noted that headlines that warn of catastrophe are hiding the revolutionary advances and opportunities that could benefit billions of people. By sifting quickly and efficiently through oceans of data, AI can help scientists and researchers develop new treatments, and even cures, for diseases, including cancer. It could help educators individualise the instruction of vast numbers of children. AI could also sharply increase economic productivity, an essential step in raising living standards.
  • However, there are clearly risks to e.g. white collar workers like coders, paralegals, financial analysts and traders, journalists and creative, plus e.g. call centre workers in emerging markets like the Philippines, where the industry accounts for as much as 7% of GDP.
  • Generative AI could add $4.4 trillion to the global economy annually by reducing redundancies in work processes, according to McKinsey, who also warned that 50% of work will be automated between 2030 and 2060 - 15 years earlier than the firm initially predicted. McKinsey further estimated that current generative AI and other technologies have the potential to save 60-70% of employees’ time through automation.


May 2023


April 2023

  • Goldman Sachs (GS) warned that AI could put up to 300 million people out of work in a decade. Most at-risk jobs are desk gigs, not blue-collar manufacturing jobs people once thought would be wiped out by automation. However, GS also suggested that generative AI could improve productivity in the US by 1.5 to 2.9% over a 10-year period. Globally, this could translate to a 7% growth in GDP.


March 2023


February 2023


January 2023

  • Despite the risks, AI can also potentially do a lot of good for humanity: one example is how machine learning can help make us live healthier and longer by detecting diseases earlier and improving certain surgeries.


December 2022


November 2022

  • Most CVs are never read by humans. Instead, they're scanned by applicant tracking systems that filter out anyone who doesn't match a narrow profile. While some HR solutions use skill assessments to filter out fewer people, resumes are still the beginning point. TaTiO aimed to rewire the recruiting funnel by looking for skills instead of resumes. The Israeli startup created competency assessments through simulations that focus on key tasks for a specific job. AI is used to analyse a candidate's behaviour and tone of voice, and their data is made anonymous to lower the risk of unconscious biases influencing recruiters.


October 2022

  • The White House announced a new AI Bill of Rights. The guidelines said US citizens should be aware when AIs or automated systems are making decisions that impact them, and should be able to opt out of such systems, but critics said the proposals, which will not become law, will not change the behaviour of Big Tech.


July 2022


June 2022


May 2022


April 2022


March 2022


January 2022


February 2022


January 2022


December 2021

  • At the end of 2021, Exponential View noted that, a decade into the artificial intelligence boom, scientists in research and industry were making incredible breakthroughs. Increases in computing power, theoretical advances and a rolling wave of capital had revolutionised domains from biology and design to transport and language analysis.
  • New World Same Humans noted that The Megatron Transformer, an AI developed by the Applied Deep Research team at at Nvidia, had been invited to a debate on AI ethics at the Oxford Union. The team behind it say it was trained on all of Wikipedia, 64 million English news articles, and 38 gigabytes worth of Reddit threads. Asked to offer its opinion on ethical AI, the Megatron said: AI will never be ethical. It is a tool, and like any tool, it is used for good and bad. There is no such thing as a good AI, only good and bad humans.


November 2021

  • The State of AI Report 2021 found, inter alia, that:
    • AI stepped up in more concrete ways, including being applied to mission critical infrastructure like national electric grids and automated supermarket warehousing optimisation during pandemics.
    • AI-first approaches have taken biology by storm with faster simulations of humans’ cellular machinery (proteins and RNA). This has the potential to transform drug discovery and healthcare.
    • Transformers emerged as a general purpose architecture for machine learning, beating the state of the art in many domains including NLP, computer vision, and even protein structure prediction.
    • Investors took notice, with record funding in 2021 into AI startups, and two first ever IPOs for AI-first drug discovery companies, as well as IPOs for data infrastructure and cybersecurity companies that help enterprises retool for the AI era.


September 2021

  • UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet asked member states to hold off on further development of AI technology until all the "negative, even catastrophic" risks that come with it can be ironed out: AI can cause harm in a number of ways, from algorithms that codify harmful biases all the way up to AI-driven killing machines, warned GZERO.


August 2021


May 2021

  • The Global AI Index claimed to be the first index to benchmark nations on their level of investment, innovation and implementation of artificial intelligence


April 2021


January 2021

  • The World Economic Forum launched the Global AI Action Alliance in a move to bring more voices from across sectors into the conversation on ethical artificial intelligence.


December 2020


November 2020


October 2020


August 2020

  • Tortoise Media launched The Global AI Index, asking: is the world ready for AI and who’s winning the global AI race? As governments and industries try to keep pace, it claims that its flagship index is the first to benchmark countries on AI innovation and implementation.
  • Scientists have warned there could be thousands of excess deaths in the coming years due to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment during by the coronavirus crisis.The pandemic meant routine screenings, and urgent referrals and treatments, have been delayed or cancelled, leading to a backlog of patients. But artificial intelligence (AI) could be a solution. Over the past decade, AI has emerged as a leading technology with the potential to aid the medical community, from speeding up diagnostics and improving accuracy to improving patient outcomes and hospital efficiencies.


July 2020

  • Despite the varying effects of the COVID-19 pandemic across different industries, the global market for artificial intelligence  (AI) software will expand to $98.8 billion by 2025, according to a report from Omdia. That number is an increase by a factor of six from $16.4 billion in 2019.
  • AI got a "B-" in helping handling Covid. The plus side: robots delivering food and medication, and contact tracing. The minus side: AI works by accumulating a lot of data, but a pandemic is a once-in-a-century activity, and there isn't a lot of experience building models to deal with this situation. 
  • Startup Urbint uses AI to anticipate and prevent catastrophic power failures. Using algorithmic risk scoring, the startup's system can determine where high damage is likely to occur on any day of the week, given a range of circumstances, reported GZEROMedia.


June 2020

  • Microsoft announced that it would lay off dozens of journalists, editors, and other workers at MSN and its other news divisions and replace many of them with artificial intelligence. Soon, AI algorithms will search the internet for news stories and decide which ones are most important—a job that has long been reliant on skilled editors. This comes amid 36,000 layoffs at news organisations, triggered by the economic decline of the pandemic, noted Future Today Institute.


April 2020


December 2019

  • Adoption of AI continues to increase, and the technology is generating returns. The findings of the 2019 McKinsey Global Survey on the subject showed a nearly 25% year-over-year increase in the use of AI in standard business processes, with a sizeable jump from the past year in companies using AI across multiple areas of their business. A majority of executives whose companies have adopted AI report that it has provided an uptick in revenue in the business areas where it is used, and 44 percent say AI has reduced costs.


October 2019


June 2019


May 2019

  • Quartz noted that AI is learning teamwork. Researchers have managed to train AI bots to work as a team in a deadly game of capture the flag.


March 2019

  • AI contributed US$2 trillion to global GDP in 2018, according to a PwC report. The report also estimated that the AI industry could contribute $15.7 trillion to the world economy by 2030. The greatest economic gains by 2030 will be the 26 percent boost to GDP in China and the 14.5 percent boost in North America.


February 2019


January 2019


December 2018


November 2018

  • AI has the potential to help tackle some of the world’s most challenging social problems. To analyse potential applications for social good, McKinsey compiled a library of about 160 AI social-impact use cases. They suggested that existing capabilities could contribute to tackling cases across all 17 of the UN’s sustainable-development goals, potentially helping hundreds of millions of people in both advanced and emerging countries. Real-life examples of AI were already being applied in about one-third of these use cases, albeit in relatively small tests. They range from diagnosing cancer to helping blind people navigate their surroundings, identifying victims of online sexual exploitation, and aiding disaster-relief efforts.
  • AI will test truthfulness in European airports, reported Quartz. Virtual border guards will look more sceptical and use different tones of voice if they think passengers are lying.
  • How to create more diverse workplaces and how to use AI ethically are among the more challenging dilemmas facing business and government, according to The New York Times. While the issues may appear to have little in common besides their complexity, they do overlap. Recently, for example, according to news reports Amazon abandoned a hiring tool that used artificial intelligence because it favoured men.
  • One source of income inequality is prejudice. Unconscious (and conscious) attitudes direct opportunities more to favoured groups and steer them away from those on the outs. Forbes noted that Silicon Valley types assumed they could solve the problem like any other - with software, by having AI look at the patterns and make the decisions. Then came the warning signs in research that AI-driven systems were maybe not as free of bias as their creators thought - for example, Amazon dropped recruiting software that used AI because it preferred to hire men over women.
  • AI and automation technologies have the potential to transform government processes and public services, freeing up employee time spent on manual, repetitive tasks. But what does the ordinary citizen make of AI, asked Raconteur.
  • US-based workforce information firm Kronos partnered with IBM to create an AI-powered Watson Career Coach for hourly workers.The mobile-based, chatbot service provides workers with personalised advice on recommended trainings, earning promotions and raises, and switching positions within their organisations. The service, noted TrendWatching, is aimed at companies in, for example, the food service or retail sectors who employ large numbers of lower paid hourly workers where it is difficult to provide meaningful 1:1 human career management.
  • Google’s AI assistant appreciates good manners. It won’t scold you for not saying “please” and “thank you,” but it will be nicer if you do.
  • Further reading:


October 2018


September 2018


August 2018


July 2018


June 2018


May 2018

  • No longer confined to the realms of science fiction, artificial intelligence (AI) has become central to the corporate agenda, with PwC predicting it could add $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. The AI for Business special report, published in The Times, examines the many business areas which could be boosted by smart use of AI, from education to energy.

  • From booking systems to customer and feedback services, chatbots are ubiquitous in business. But in areas, such as health or the home, people seem less willing to engage with what is effectively a computer running smart software or a machine that “learns” thorough artificial intelligence (AI). However, according to Raconteur, businesses are increasingly taking advantage of advances in emotionally intelligent AI to open up new opportunities to gain people’s trust when it comes to more sensitive subjects. 

  • The rise of the personal computer and the internet have given us an early taste of how access to augmented intelligence might change ther world. But a new Quantumrun six-part series talked about a future of truly limitless intelligence, the kind that learns on its own, takes action on its own, a magnitude of intelligence that “can liberate or enslave the whole of humanity”.

  • Retail companies are turning to AI, with companies like Walmart using the tech for shelf-scanning robots to manage inventory. CB Insights took a look at how AI is impacting all parts of the retail chain, from heavy lifting in the warehouse to chatbots online. 

  • Accenture research has shown that, globally, AI could boost profitability by an average of 38%, leading to an economic boost of $14 trillion by 2035.

  • EY pointed to a number of recent cases where AI has been able to accelerate human innovation:

  • 1) Google used DeepMind to reduce the amount of energy required to cool its massive data centers by 40%. Google engineers were stunned the software could achieve these savings. The rule of thumb was that the most energy efficient way to cool a building was to run as few systems as possible, maxing out each one before bringing additional units online. But the AI didn’t do this. Instead, it turned on almost all the cooling systems simultaneously, but ran them at lower power levels, balancing the heat load across almost all of them.
  • 2) In 2016, AlphaGo (a software developed by DeepMind) defeated world’s top player (Lee Sedol) at the board game Go. The game Go originated in China two to three millennia ago and has possible moves to the tune of 10^170 (more than the number of atoms in the universe). There are plenty of rules of thumb about the best ways to play the game. However, during the contest with Lee Sedol, AlphaGo came up with entirely new ways of approaching the game, for instance, it choose to cede territory around the perimeter of the board in situations when humans, based on strategies developed over generations, do the opposite.
  • 3) Google's AI research team Magenta created the Neural Synthesiser, or 'NSynth', a software capable of generating entirely new sounds. It invents audio using deep AI neural networks, which blend the sounds of two instruments to create a novel, hybrid sound. 
  • Philosophers and others in the field of the humanities who helped shape previous concepts of world order tend to be disadvantaged, lacking knowledge of AI’s mechanisms or being overawed by its capacities. In contrast, the scientific world is impelled to explore the technical possibilities of its achievements, and the technological world is preoccupied with commercial vistas of fabulous scale. The incentive of  both these worlds is to push the limits of discoveries rather than to comprehend them, warned The Atlantic. And governance, insofar as it deals with the subject, is more likely to investigate AI’s applications for security and intelligence than to explore the transformation of the human condition that it has begun to produce.

  • One of the main concerns with AI technologies today is the fear that they will propagate the various biases we already have in society. A recent Stanford study turned things around however, and highlighted how AI can also turn the mirror onto society and shed light on the biases that exist within it. The study utilised word embeddings to map relationships and associations between words, and through that measure the changes in gender and ethnic stereotypes over the last century in the United States. The algorithms were fed text from a huge canon of books, newspapers and other texts, whilst comparing these with official census demographic data and societal changes.
  • While there is a lot of news about how artificial intelligence is changing business, Inc. argued that the most common misconception about AI is that it's complicated and only for large companies and that you don't need to be a data scientist to know how to leverage data just like you don't need to be a developer to create the concept behind an app. There are plenty of simple consumer-facing tools powered by AI that can help people run a small business or startup.
  • Scarcely a day goes by without artificial intelligence making news in some form or other, noted Burson Cohn & Wolfe. Much of it is about the new applications for AI, which have been used to create new beers, diagnose depression, detect cardiac arrests, and even write poetry. But there are also ominous warnings about the dangers of AI, with Google co-founder Sergey Brin last month joining Tesla’s Elon Musk, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and the late Stephen Hawking worrying about the technology’s threat to humanity.
  • The FT noted that the potential scale of deep learning’s impact on business had been laid out in an April 2018 report from McKinsey Global Institute, Notes from the AI Frontier: Insight from Hundreds of Use Cases. Depending on the industry it is in, the value a company could hope to gain from applying this technology ranges from 1 to 9 per cent of its revenues. This points to trillions of dollars of potential impact on business - and the workers who are the first to learn how to apply it will be the big winners.
  • Roland Berger’s Think:Act magazine asked what exactly do people mean when they talk about AI in 2018 and tried to answer the question as to where to start if you want to embrace AI in your business.
  • We already have lots of choices when it comes to the products in our life, noted Inc. Coffee or tea? Nike or Adidas? Apple or Samsung etc? Futurist (and Inc. magazine columnist) Amy Webb claimed the stakes of those decisions will soon be a lot higher,  as she talked about the larger role AI will play in our everyday lives in the not-too-distant future. "You won't be deciding between systems like iOS or Android for your phone," she said. "You'll be deciding: Do you want your life operating system to be Amazon or Google? If you think it's hard choosing a smartphone, just wait."
  • Over the next 15 years, AI will take ever (financial) services types of jobs, according to research firm Autonomous’s new report. Two converging trends have enabled forms of AI that can effectively mimic or replace human labour, argued Fast Company. On the one hand, specialised hardware has increased processing power, making it possible for AI systems to generate outputs in real time. At the same time, the amount of data available to feed those systems has skyrocketed, thanks to search histories, online photos, and more. 
  • McKinsey believes that AI can be a huge help to the leader who’s trying to become more inwardly agile and foster creative approaches to transformation. When a CEO puts AI to work on the toughest and most complex strategic challenges, he or she must rely on the same set of practices that build personal inner agility. Sending AI out into the mass of complexity, without knowing in advance what it will come back with, the CEO is embracing the discovery of original, unexpected, and breakthrough ideas.
  • AI is a wide-ranging tool that enables people to rethink how we integrate information, analyse data, and use the resulting insights to improve decision making - and already it is transforming every walk of life, believes the Brookings Institution, which offers recommendations for getting the most out of AI while still protecting important human values.
  • The most momentous challenge facing socio-economic systems today is the arrival of AI, argued The Washington Post. If AI remains under the control of market forces, it will inexorably result in a super-rich oligopoly of data billionaires who reap the wealth created by robots that displace human labor, leaving massive unemployment in their wake. But China’s socialist market economy could provide a solution to this. If AI rationally allocates resources through big data analysis, and if robust feedback loops can supplant the imperfections of “the invisible hand” while fairly sharing the vast wealth it creates, a planned economy that actually works could at last be achievable.
  • Artificial Intelligence will enable breakthrough advances in areas like healthcare, agriculture, education and transportation, argued GZEROMedia. But how do we deal with the complex questions and societal concerns that AI raises? How do we ensure that AI is designed and used responsibly? How do we establish ethical principles to protect people? And how will AI impact employment and jobs? Microsoft explored these issues, and offered suggestions on the way forward in a new book, The Future Computed - read more here.
  • Rand asked whether AI could upend concepts of nuclear deterrence that have helped spare the world from nuclear war since 1945? Stunning advances in AI- coupled with a proliferation of drones, satellites, and other sensors - raise the possibility that countries could find and threaten each other's nuclear forces, escalating tensions.


April 2018

  • We are here to create” is an interview with Kai-Fu Lee, pioneering AI researcher and head of one of China’s Top VC firms. He’s been frank about the risks: “We’re all going to face a very challenging next fifteen or twenty years, when half of the jobs are going to be replaced by machines.