Whenever there is a discussion about AI, something that almost everyone talks about is how it could be threatening to humanity in the long run. They tend to be scared of it and build up assumptions on why AI is to be feared by everyone else as well. But is it really something to be feared? Or is it just a passing technophobia? This will be the beginning of our blog post series about AI and how it will truly change the world.
Why we should not fear AI
AI has no emotions
When we hear AI, most of us try to picture the movie depictions of the concept; malevolent, vengeful and of course powerful. A classic example of this destructive Hollywood AI is HAL 9000 from the Space Odyssey series (Remember, “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that”?). However, this won’t be the case in reality. No matter how powerful the AI is, it’s hard to think that it will develop complex feelings and emotions such as anger, hatred, jealousy etc. No matter how advanced the technology is and how advanced it will get in the future, developing human emotions within a man-made creation is difficult to master. Devoid of such feelings, an AI has no reason to wage war against the human race. If there is any reason to worry about AI and it’s threats, this isn’t it.
AI is functional and task-specific
Realistically, when an AI is developed, it will be functional or task specific. If an AI is designed for gaming it will only be good at gaming. If it was asked to go to war, it will not know how to. AGI or Artificial General Intelligence is when an AI machine could resemble the comprehensive intellectual capacity of humans. This is quite advanced and is not easy to achieve. If a true AGI machine is to be created it should be able to learn new things on its own without humans having to manually program it into its system. The AI that we will be able to embrace in the near future will be nowhere close to that level of intelligence.
Why we should be cautious about AI
As much as we should not fear AI, there are is a reason to be cautious. Because even though AI has no emotions to initiate a grand revenge scheme, it has power and resources. Whatever it is that we ask of AI, there is always the possibility that the machine could take it too far in the name of achieving its “core target/goal”. There is no guaranteed method to prevent this from happening. In other words, to guarantee it doesn’t happen, all research and progress of AI must come to a halt. But then we won’t be able to reap all the incredible benefits that advanced AI would have in store for us.
How can AI be incredible?
AI can perform intensive labour
In other words, automation. If AI is done right, the future will not have human construction workers, city cleaners, assembly workers etc. All of this will be replaced by AI. Hence, people will be able to aim for better jobs that pay higher and standard of life will be improved dramatically. Humans will also not be needed to perform difficult, tedious activities as part of their job. This also connects to how AI will be creating new, more advanced intellectual jobs for people but let’s save that for another post in this series, on how AI will create more jobs.
This is one of the most crucial results that can be gained by developing AI. Climate change is a huge issue in the world right now. And this issue can breed many other problems such as frequent natural disasters. Many companies, governments, and other organizations would hence, in time, express a dramatically increased level of demand for AI disaster response systems.
Minimum errors in crucial matters
Nothing can be perfect all the time. But there are situations in which a certain degree of meticulousness and accuracy must be maintained. For this, the world requires systems that not only doesn’t make errors but also can avoid certain potential errors under different circumstances. Hence if AI is used in disaster response and automation, the error-free quality definitely compliments the jobs that the world has in store for AI.
The key takeaway here is that AI is not all that scary. But it doesn’t mean that it’s perfectly safe either. No technology is perfectly safe. But people will always find a way to keep it under control. However, it’s all worth the trouble. AI can change the world in so many positive ways if executed right. This series is bound to cover most of, if not all the ways in which the world will truly change with AI advancements. Stay tuned for a thrilling set of posts! Reach out to us if you have any concerns, suggestions or general feedback.