There is a lot of concern over the ability of Artificial Intelligence to take away large numbers of jobs from hardworking humans, potentially sparking a huge unemployment crisis. It is hard to say if this will play out the way it has in the past, where all automation eventually replaced old jobs with new ones, but right now, the technological revolution is something we should think about. How far can we push AI, and what kind of jobs could it really replace?

AI has given robots the tools to synthesize information and understand it. Watson (IBM’s AI project) performed extremely well on Jeopardy. Researchers say that we are not far away from algorithms that can implement motivations in unknown environments. There has been research on using AI and game theory to deal with foreign policy crises.

If an AI president had the wealth of information of the US intelligence agencies, it may have concluded that a land invasion of Vietnam would be counterproductive. It could run simulations, analyze risk, and make decisions without emotion getting in the way. It could objectively handle the massive quantities of information that would overwhelm any one person.

The biggest complexity comes in the form of valuing the morals of a president. Humans can easily act on their morals, even if they change and evolve. An AI president needs to implement a core set of beliefs that is shared by as many of its constituents as possible, and that is hard to quantify for a robot.

AI is becoming increasingly sophisticated, and we are already living in a world where more and more decisions are left in the hands of machines. The government and the private sector use data analytics to make huge decisions. It will play an even larger role in our lives than it does today.