The development and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) is and will profoundly reshape human society, the culture and the composition of civilisations which make up human kind. All technological triggers tend to drive a hype curve which over time is realised by an output which is often unexpected, taking both pessimistic and optimistic perspectives and actions of drivers, contributors and enablers on a journey where the ultimate destination may be unclear. In this paper we hypothesise that this journey is not dissimilar to the personal journey described by the Kubler-Ross change curve and illustrate this by commentary on the potential of AI for drug discovery, development and healthcare and as an enabler for deep space exploration and colonisation. Recent advances in the call for regulation to ensure development of safety measures associated with machine-based learning are presented which, together with regulation of the rapidly emerging digital after-life industry, should provide a platform for realising the full potential benefit of AI for the human species.
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