When Stephen Hawking expressed concern that things shown in Johnny Depp’s movie Transcendence are not exaggerated but factual. He also emphasized that it would be a ‘’worst mistake in history’’ to consider it as mere fiction.
He felt that this scientific development might bear serious and unpredictable consequences for mankind. So if a physicist of his stature issues such warnings then it’s obvious there is something to worry about.
A layman needs to understand in simplest terms, what artificial intelligence is?
With the ever-growing human population, there is an ever-increasing need to automate tasks in an error-free manner. For instance, one doctor responsible for checking the eyesight of a thousand patients a day might exhaust, or misdiagnose.
But an AI simulated system can do it in seconds while handling a countless number of patients even that error-free. Precisely speaking, AI can replace numerous manpower jobs which might require heavy labor or time consumption with few workers to handle a massive amount of work.
It is especially true for an accountant or clerical work where a single person is supposed to process data beyond capacity and the possibility of error still remains.
AI exists in our day to day lives but goes unnoticed
Ever wondered when you browse the site of your favorite brand, a message appears asking if you need to chat? Or call a customer service of your mobile company, and you are asked to press a number that redirects you towards your desired inquiry. How does it happen? That is because of AI because it’s impossible for a human to control this mass amount of services.
So it’s a need of the time then what is the cause of concern even among renowned scientists and tech giants like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Stephen hawking? It’s obvious they understand the system better than us and what consequences it can bring upon mankind.
Tesla’s owner Elon Musk basically predicts that humans shall be reduced to a pet if sophisticated and far intelligent AI take over their tasks in the future. If these tech giants are that apprehensive then we need to understand what risks this advancement of technology is posing?
Let’s discuss its advantages before the disadvantages
Human memory is prone to error
Human forgetfulness is phenomenal and can make great errors. Whereas a robot’s memory is flawless and can store things without limits. That’s another thing that human experiences define their memories for them. Whereas robot is either free from emotions or programmed with certain biases to discriminate based on color or origins. Human empathy is nonexistent in their error-free memories.
We carry AI in our pockets all the time!
When you are stuck in traffic and need to find a way out of it, what you do? Turning on your google maps and finding a nearby location that can make you reach your destination earlier. Your GPS service runs with artificial intelligence and has become such an integral part of our lives that while criticizing AI we forget a big deal of how it’s shaping our lives.
When we are typing a message, an autocorrect keeps working, or when a friend posts our picture an algorithm based facial recognition detects our face, it’s all AI run. It has become a part and parcel of our lives.
Repetitive functions can’t be a nuisance anymore
First of all, robots are supposed to replace tasks not jobs. Repetitive functions like accounting, medical diagnosis, clerical functions, or drafting documents, etc. These menial tasks consume so much of human time and energy that can be accumulated for some higher form of function. Machine-based task execution can eliminate such stressful work.
But it doesn’t displace humans, they can perform superior work and who is controlling the robots after all?
Time and project management
One of the most challenging aspects to enhance productivity was to manage time. There was no automated system back then. But with the help of technology, automated time tracking systems emerge. If an efficient time monitoring app is installed it can free a person from the misery of manually tracking time. Buddy punching is no more trouble with this development.
Likewise, micromanagement has become redundant thus saving time for both employers and employees. Which employees are most productive, and who need training is always under consideration of employers. With real-time monitoring, they can even share screens with the workforce, which was unprecedented before.
Benefits don’t eliminate risks and fears
Robots are goal-oriented but can you control how they achieve them?
There is a lot of speculation that AI might mismanage its goals and targets. However, you can never doubt a missile will miss its target. Or can you? For instance, if a war breaks out with your opponent state, can you hope that since its AI managed so it might miss the target. Think again, it can cost you your life.
The real problem isn’t whether it is really goal-oriented. But the real issue lies in the lack of control. For instance, once that missile has left, you can’t ask it to return to its place. It will do what it was programmed and asked to do. Let’s elaborate on it with further examples.
You bought an AI-controlled car, you added your destination but how will you reach there is beyond your control. It might hit you in a pole and make you feel like you are taking a roller coaster ride before it leaves you where you were heading towards. You won’t like it to happen.
Wars are fought on a different level
With speculation of automated weapons and militaries making efforts to achieve, it has raised much skepticism and fear around the world. And not of ordinary people but of scientists themselves.
These automated weapons can be destructive. If they are run and controlled by the wrong person and war is triggered between parties that both own AI-controlled weapons. Shall there be a way to pause or stop them? Nobody can ensure that. Just like cloning was banned due to its unpredictable future.
Like how a cloned human will act or will there be a way to control it? Even though that was still living being, not an automated technology. So who can guarantee automated warfare? And the fear of the unknown is natural phenomena.
No substitute for human intelligence or experience
Humans can feel sympathy, love or fear. Robotics are devoid of all. Human intelligence is formed with a multitude of experiences whereas a robot can’t see any improvement in its understanding with gaining experiences.
They can’t judge whether they are making a right or wrong decision. Likewise human sensitivity lead towards its creativity, which again is a lacking feature in these automated species.
It needs a lot of time to accomplish an error-free automated technology. AI has become part of human lives and shall continue to do so. But there is a strong urge to ensure that it’s services are not employed for destructive purposes like arms industry etc.
Simple defining line is wherever it eases human burden and lives, it’s good. Where it inculcates fear for the same mankind, it is to avoid at any cost