Artificial Intelligence (AI) is known to be a branch of Computer Science that aims to create machines that are as smart as humans.
According to MIT Technology Review, AI can be defined as the quest to build machines that can reason, learn, and act intelligently, and it has barely begun. As technology is developing and becoming ubiquitous day by day, many things once considered good examples of AI are now not treated with the same level of awe.
The best example of this is Optical Character Recognition (OCR). There are those who consider it as routine technology, while others defend its capabilities. Regardless of this, AI is still evolving with it impacting industries such as the automotive industry, healthcare, manufacturing and many more.
So, the question is, is AI going to do more harm than good? Industry leaders Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg seem to have extreme views on this. The former thinking AI is a threat to humanity while the latter believing that AI can only help humanity
While we can leave them to lock horns on AI potentially killing or saving humanity, here are a few things we can put together ourselves.
For the time being, AI can bring a lot more efficiency to the workplace. The manufacturing industry has already harnessed the powers of technology in their production lines but AI has the potential of allowing machines to assemble more complex items and make informed decisions on the fly. For example, sensors can identify faulty parts in the assembly line, with machines removing the part but also ordering another part to be manufactured through the cloud.
While the world suffers from unemployment, the healthcare industry will find itself even more understaffed than it is now. This means there will be a vacuum that will need to be filled. If machines are able to administer the right drugs in the right dosage by assessing the patient, it would significantly reduce the strain on an already stretched workforce.
Another application of AI can be in exploration. There are still many undiscovered parts of the world and space that we have not been able to reach due to the safety aspects of it for humans. However, if intelligent machines can be sent without having to worry about this, we are likely to know more about our surroundings and maybe even discover undetected resources.
However, while AI has many expected benefits, we’re still not out of the woods. There is actual worry that machines will not do as they are told. They may readjust the goals and objectives set by humans.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the machines will become ‘evil’, it just means that the outcomes expected by humans will not be delivered
This is what could lead to devastating results, especially in the automotive, transportation and healthcare industries.
While the benefits of AI in smart factories and intelligent machines are boundless, this still means it could lead to severe unemployment in these industries. If machines become as smart as humans, the need for humans operating machines no longer exists. Machines will work even better than humans and they don’t even need breaks or holidays.
Additionally, if care homes and hospitals have robots with superlative AI capabilities caring for patients or robots teaching school children, there is no longer a demand for humans in those fields either. The risk of creating a dull, non-creative population persists
If AI truly starts taking decision for humans, we are likely to lose our ‘human touch’ – something bestowed upon us, something prized and treasured. Will the world depend on more advanced versions of ‘Siri’ to express feelings like love or hate? Will robots replace humans in more personal aspects of life, like marriage and child-rearing?
It all really depends on governments and law-makers ensuring they safeguard humans first. Humanity has survived for thousands of years and we must ensure we do not lead to our own destruction. Laws should be put in place regarding AI how intelligent a machine will be allowed to become. As long as these safety measures are encouraged and enacted, the world can do with a bit more help of our robot friends.
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