That’s where I was a few months ago, sitting in a rideshare from suburban Scarsdale, New York, to New York City. The driver had recently emigrated from Nepal, and his ability to quickly find work greatly illustrates how ride-sharing platforms open economic opportunities. Once upon a time, my driver would have had to learn the area well before he could drive a customer from place to place. Now AI mapping had him hard at work just weeks after landing.
The New York metropolitan region is one of the most complicated urban areas in the world, however, and even with the map, my driver struggled. After making a few illegal maneuvers and an unplanned stop for gas, he did get me to my destination, but I exited the car thinking that I’d once had the privilege to expect a far more capable driver.
As AI infiltrates more of our experiences and organizations, it’s important to recognize not only its many benefits but its unintended consequences as well. AI protects us from known and unknown threats, helps us connect to one another, and provides better answers faster and cheaper than humans do. And, of course, it’s great that AI frees us from routine tasks such as reading a map. But are we recognizing and addressing the loss of human expertise that accompanies that new freedom?