Artificial Intelligence: a blessing or a curse?

March 2, 2018

 

A legacy of innovation and scientific outlook has been bestowed on humans with which we discovered fire, wheel, alloys, electricity, etc. The quest continued and now asks for machine-like accuracy which was started with the Six sigma project of Motorola in the 20th century, continued with Asimov’s robotics and now manifests itself in the form of Artificial intelligence.

 

The significance of AI has been established with a robot named Sophia being granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia. It only gets strengthened with the recent statement of the CEO of Google, Sunder Pichai, that AI will be more important to humanity than fire or electricity.

 

What is Artificial Intelligence?

It is an area of computer science which work and react as humans. In other words, intelligence in machines is termed as Artificial Intelligence.

 

 


However the quest for AI has created more ambiguity rather than clarity with visionaries like Elon Musk, Gates, Steve Wozniak and Hawking, questioning AI on our “existential risk” whereas Sunder Pichai and Ray Kurzweil, portraying the significance of AI for growth of humans, the debate continues and raises important questions culminating into the risk of losing jobs in the short run and eradication of human race from the face of earth, in the long one.
These questions need to be answered only after taking into consideration the positive aspects wherein we can utilise the features of AI into missions in which humans are incapable of acting in person. For example, infusion of Artificial Intelligence in space communication network for satellites, thereby harnessing cognitive radios by NASA.

Application of Artificial Intelligence:

We know from history that eventually we accustom ourselves to newer technology, and similar might be the case with AI. AI is a natural step towards evolution. 

With each passing day, we are witnessing use of AI in healthcare, education sector and many more.

 

Aviation:

  • The Air Operations Division (AOD) uses AI for the rule based expert systems.

Computer science:

  • time sharing, interactive interpreters, graphical user interfaces and the computer mouse, rapid development environments, the linked list data structure, automatic storage management, symbolic programming, functional programming, dynamic programming and object-oriented programming.

Education:

  • Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS)

    • an ITS called SHERLOCK teaches Air Force technicians to diagnose electrical systems problems in aircraft.

    • Another example is DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which used AI to develop a digital tutor to train its Navy recruits in technical skills in a shorter amount of time.

  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS)

Finance:

  • Algorithmic trading: use of complex AI.

  • Portfolio management: Robo-advisors

Healthcare:

  • Healthcare and medicine have become affordable with AI.

  • We can predict heart diseases with machine learning.

  • Self-healing electronic skin lets amputees sense temperature on prosthetic limbs.

Energy:

 

Water and energy networks have become accessible and widely usable when AI can mediate the use of different sources.

  • Humans do not need to go to remote areas for conducting surveys and studies.

Like any technology on its evolution, AI is at nascent stage and is being shaped by innovators across the world.

We need to make sure AI remains inclusive allowing its application in different areas of society. Today we have control and can shape AI in its early stages and we need to optimise the opportunity.

Is AI a destroyer of humanity?

There are questions whether technology can be dangerous in itself. Technology is as useful as it can be harmful. Guns don't kill, only humans do. An AI is an autonomous entity and from what we have seen of such machines, they are like other human beings in terms of their capacities and decision-making.

It is an attempt to introduce super-intelligent humans.

Like a gun, AI is a performer. Unlike living organisms, whose life, delay, vulnerability and death remain significant characteristic, AI doesn't need to worry about this meagre issue.

 

Solution?

 

During our journey of scientific developments, whenever an invention has been made, there have been similar debates. AI is a working magic as well as can be potential destroyer.

At this stage of its evolution, we need to debate what AI ethics and regulation should look like. At present, we are far from "strong AI", but are surrounded by "weak AI". Weak AI builds on mathematical techniques that have been developed since the 1940s, but have come into use only in 21st century.

Examples include: translators in the form of various app(lication)s, facial recognition on social media, etc.

Technological capabilities are changing at a fast pace and with this, our ability to arrive at ethical norms regarding uses of AI and to regulate them in an intelligent and beneficial manner becomes a prerequisite.

 

 

But a mere fear of failure should not hamper with the human tendency to evolve, think, innovate and implement. And thus we need to ensure that AI is kept under human control, instead of humanity under its control. As the old idiom goes, “Science is a good servant, but a bad master.” 

 

 

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