Positive and negative effects of artificial intelligence
AI is the next new thing in the technological front. Artificial intelligence can be defined as a machine that thinks rationally and acts according to its reasoning. For long, it has been the element of science fiction stories and movies, and almost always, we have seen it having a strictly negative impact on humanity. Take, for instance, movies like I, Robot and Metropolis. In each of these instances, we have seen artificial intelligence developing a superiority complex and trying to take over the human race as the supreme master. Truth be told, we still have a long way to go before we can create a machine intelligent enough to develop a complex. But, now that we are progressing rapidly toward that not so remote future, it is time to look at the issue objectively and understand what artificial intelligence is all about.
Let us begin by discussing the benefits that artificial intelligence confers on us.
Positive effects of artificial intelligence:
To begin with, artificial intelligence is important because it makes life much easier for everyone. The so-called weak artificial intelligences, such as the GPS in your car and the operating system assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Cortana, are all designed to make simple things like searching for something online or navigating your way through an unknown street much easier. On the other hand, strong artificial intelligences, such as intelligent robots, are used in space exploration programs, performing tasks that would be otherwise impossible to undertake by humans by themselves. They are also applied in the medical field to perform complex surgeries that would be impossible or extremely difficult for humans to successfully complete.
The advent of artificially intelligent machines has reduced the possibility of errors to a pretty narrow margin. By continuing the example stated above, today, you can navigate your way flawlessly through a crowded street in a foreign country by following the instructions in your car’s GPS system, and there would hardly be any possibility of error. This is a very small example, but the use of artificial intelligence has reduced the error margin significantly in all fields- big and small.
Used in menial tasks
Artificially intelligent machines are capable of performing tasks that would be deemed menial or monotonous for a human being. For instance, complex computational tasks, such as those required in space stations, would be pretty tedious for a human, being, leading to boredom, and giving rise to the possibility of error. An artificial intelligence in incapable of feeling bored, and will apply itself to the task it has been programmed to do without any signs of tiring.
However, as great as artificial intelligence may be, it still comes with its own set of problems.
Negative effects of artificial intelligence:
First of all, all artificial intelligence is pretty expensive. Smartphones are costlier for this simple reason, that it requires a lot of money to design and constantly improve the AI assistants integrated in the system. Software codes that are used in these machines involve a lot of cost in terms of creation and upkeep, and in case there is a major breakdown, recovery can be extremely costly and in many cases impossible, forcing work to begin from scratch again.
Cannot substitute humans
Despite the near impossible tasks that artificially intelligent machines can perform, it cannot be denied that it would be impossible to substitute or replicate a human. Even in the most intricate of functions, a human hand is at work. Besides, the ethical and moral values that a human possesses, and which often come into play in daily decisions, cannot be programmed in a machine, n matter how complex and intelligent. Because a machine is not human, it will not think emotionally before undertaking a task, and anything it will do will only be the result of cold calculation. Besides, thanks to their programmed nature, a machine will never learn from its experiences. Because of the lack of creativity or original thought, an artificially intelligent machine will keep repeating its mistakes unless otherwise programmed.
Yet another major disadvantage posed by artificial intelligence is the unemployment it has created in its wake. When computers started to become widespread in offices, a number of jobs became redundant. The same has happened with AI as well. Computational workers are being replaced with artificially intelligent machines. Besides, AI has also created widespread dependence. People are becoming lazier as they can now rely on machines to perform a considerable number of tasks for them.
Artificial intelligence is, beyond a doubt, one of the groundbreaking inventions of the modern world. It is unfair to say that the technology will be the doom of the world, and it is too optimistic a statement to say that will make the world a better place. Truth be told, both are equally real possibilities, but the potential is in our own hands, and how things turn out depends on how we use this powerful tool we have created.