Artificial Intelligence: The Good, The Bad and The Future
Almost everything we love about civilization is a product of Artificial Intelligence (AI). From SIRI to Google’s search algorithms, Uber Algorithms, self-driving cars, autonomous weapons name it, AI is progressing rapidly. So then why is the human race so apprehensive about AI? The theories that have been fronted range from threats to our jobs to threats to the entire human existence as we know it. So are this all nervous exaggerations or are the fears actually based on some facts? Let’s understand it first.
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
Generally speaking, Artificial Intelligence encompasses anything that can be run by a program of sorts – never mind how that is achieved – that humans would otherwise do. Computer systems just as easily and effectively (in most cases even better) carry out tasks traditionally done by humans from decision making, visual perception, all the way through to speech recognition and even language translation into different languages.
Levels Of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence can be classified into two levels, mainly:
Weak (General) Vs Strong (Narrow)
Weak or general Artificial Intelligence, are aimed at building systems that are able to imitate humans but lack the reasoning intelligence like driving a car or facial recognition. Strong or narrow Artificial Intelligence on the other hand genuinely imitates a human in work and reasoning. They have the potential to think like humans e.g. playing chess. Few examples of these currently exist.
The Pros and Cons of Artificial Intelligence
As with all man’s creations, there is a good and bad (undesired) side associated with
- They successfully accomplish mundane tasks through complex automation hence increase productivity and free humans from the scourge of “boring” tasks so they can be creative in other areas.
- Artificial Intelligence can help make faster decisions and carry out tasks quicker.
- Human is to error; but computers do not make these type of mistakes – that is as long as they have been programmed properly. Artificial Intelligence is able to process colossal amounts of data error-free.
- Artificial Intelligence is perfectly capable of taking risks that expose humans in the name of research like space exploration. Yet these explorations could lead to massive benefits to the human race, like demand forecasting, oil exploration and even medical diagnosis.
- Obviously the biggest disadvantage that humans have experienced with Artificial Intelligence is job losses. AI has already replaced millions of low-skilled jobs, on the assembly line and with driverless cars coming to the fore; millions of human taxi drivers and chauffeurs could be displaced.
- Artificial Intelligence cannot make judgement calls like humans which can end up being disastrous. A good example is a shooting incident that happened in Sydney, Australia in 2014 that prompted survivors to call Uber rides to drive them out of the vicinity to safety. The result was an upsurge of Uber rates prompted by its supply and demand algorithm.
- Some see Artificial Intelligence taking control away from humans through de-humanizing actions. In theory, Nations that possess Artificial Intelligence could very well be terminating humans without needing to pull a trigger.
In the end, Artificial Intelligence has vast potential benefits. The key for humans will be to use their own intelligence and judgement call to apply it productively to balance robots and human life thus eradicate disease, war and poverty.