Should we Fear the coming age of AI?

Written by Zara Hussain.

 

What is AI? 

AI or artificial intelligence is communication demonstrated by robots, as opposed to humans. They have brain-like functions, barring the emotional aspect. AI makes it possible for machines to learn from practice and perform human-like tasks. They depend on levels of understanding and language processing. After reading an Op Ed, written by AI in the Guardian, I believe that if anything, this innovative technology is a blessing. We should use it to benefit our world.

How AI can help humans. 

As the robots evolve, becoming more like us every day, there is no need to worry. If anything, this technology opens new doors and creates experiences for us. If we utilize robots, they can deal with the tedious tasks that humans are left to do. This then enhances our productivity by allowing us to manage the essential tasks efficiently, creating new opportunities for income, cost and time savings, as well as creating jobs.  According to Semrush, 54% of managers say that applying artificial intelligence in their workplace enhances productivity.

Artificial intelligence allows work to be completed 24/7, with no requirement for breaks, which boosts productivity and reduces time waste. Due to the lack of emotion felt by this technology, they will not get bored. They are better off being used to do our tedious assignments and be manipulated into benefiting the public. Although these products require maintenance, updates for performance and protection will improve the overall quality from AI. Everything needs upkeep, even humans.

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These systems are used more than you’d realise, for example, how often do you use Siri on your iPhone? In fact, the number of AI voice assistants is expected to reach 8 billion by 2023. Systems like these often get overlooked. This is also helpful for those who suffer with disabilities as they can make use of distinctive features through AI. An example is Siri, and it can translate commands via voice control as well as support those visually impaired through many tricks. For those hard of hearing, Microsoft created a translator which uses an advanced form of artificial intelligence to convert spoken language to text. They program all stutters and punctuation to allow those with disabilities to live a normal life.

Who should we really fear?

We must remember, these machines are affected by us, they are not a threat unless they are taught to be. Microsoft’s attempt to introduce Twitter users to artificial intelligence backfired hours into the release. People taught the chatbot how to be racist which ultimately led to some worrying tweets from the bot. When used properly, it can be highly effective, for example as of 2019, 62 percent of people say they are willing to use AI in order to improve their consumer experiences. Fears of AI seem to stem from general anxiety about machine intelligence and the replacement of humans. Robots could never fully take over our kind as they lack emotions. Although this can be good when needing to be unbiased and overworked, robots will never fully operate like we do.  The media tends to portray artificial intelligence through movies, books etc. The Terminator is an example of where robots are painted to be villainous and having a thirst for killing, however this is purely fictional and made for entertainment purposes.

Many panic about losing their jobs as robots take control, however an estimate of 97 million new jobs will be created in the future of technology. Although several careers will be replaced with artificial intelligence, some fields such as the government, healthcare, education and hospitality will continue employing many. Future jobs will be entirely new and ideas that we can’t even think of yet. Going back in time, you wouldn’t see social media as a profession, let alone well-paying like it can be now. Around 20 million production jobs may be lost to robots by 2030, however this allows the workplace to be cost-effective and productive. For those that worry robots will take over our world and demolish what we call home, re-evaluate the positives of growing technology. If we use it correctly, PwC estimates AI will cause a 14% lift in global GDP which could come to life by 2030, allowing a further $15.7 trillion to the world’s economy. Artificial intelligence has the ability to benefit society and create life-changing discoveries. The resilience from these machines could help around the globe to solve issues and evolve our lives in ways we are currently unable to perceive.

With the right intentions, artificial intelligence can save our economy.  

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