THE PROS AND CONS OF AI: A tightrope walk

Blogs > THE PROS AND CONS OF AI: A tightrope walk

With respect to Artificial Intelligence, the buzzword of the 21st Century, Dave Waters says:

“Artificial Intelligence is an infant at best. Once it becomes a teenager and believes it is smarter than its parents, will AI rebel?”

In today’s rapidly advancing world, the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is not uncommon to hear or read, in magazines and blog posts (such as those posted by XLNC!); at business meetings and on television. In our everyday lives, a lot of us apply AI technology to our mundane organizational as well as other personal tasks. However, a lot of individuals and groups are still very skeptical about this technology, and the idea of machines functioning autonomously.

While AI enthusiasts often sound gung-ho about the fields of Machine Learning and Automation – claiming these to make life more efficient and dynamic – a lot of others still struggle with getting over the apprehension that AI might take complete control of human life.
We’re back with a blog; and today, let’s evaluate AI’s benefits and drawbacks against the backdrop of the 21st Century world:

I.HEY! AI AIN’T ALL THAT BAD, AFTER ALL…

For those of you who are apprehensive and skeptical about embracing a technology as “frightening” and “overpowering” as AI, we’re here to break the ice between AI and you. Here we are, with the positive side of AI:

a.Artificial Intelligence does not recognize intellectual laziness

While human intelligence has managed to achieve leaps and bounds in various fields at different levels, it is always highly susceptible to spells of complacence and “intellectual laziness”. That’s where AI steps in. Siri, Alexa and Cortana do not tire of assisting you regardless of the time of day or night (check out our previous blog on chat-bots); and your personalized AI tutors will never tire of teaching you or helping you with teaching others. This is one of the reasons for Artificial Intelligence being promoted over manual task completion.

b.To err is human, so humans created Artificial Intelligence.

Einstein famously said, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.

As living beings, mistakes have always been a simultaneous process alongside the successes. But Artificial Intelligence is definitely not a blunder (okay, hang on…we’re coming to the cons!). When programmed accurately, an AI technology is less likely to commit errors; and is usually flexible across different platforms.

c.‘Cause humans are so quick, they find themselves too slow…

Today, the world is now resorting to quickness in whatever it does – so much so, that the natural speed of humans is sometimes too slow for this world. And so, AI bridges the gap between the fast progressing world and the people residing in it. It provides faster and more efficient ways of reaching the desired ends. AI is being widely used in almost all sectors today, including healthcare, education, transportation and communication, and defense and military. It ensures speed and accuracy with minimal compromise on either.

d.Your AI is sensitive, but not emotional.

While chat-bots and GPS may be courteous and sensitive to your needs, they certainly do not possess deeper emotions and mood-swings; and you can rest assured that they will not complain of overwork and fatigue. And such a detached concern for the customers ensures that they can be reliable, diligent and caring, even when the work is strenuous and hectic.

II. AI AIN’T ALL THAT GOOD EITHER!

But, are we headed towards utopia? Is AI really so perfect that one can totally overlook possibilities of disadvantages? Most definitely not! Just like everything else on this earth, AI, too, has two sides. And a lot of people are skeptical about applying this technology for this reason. Come, let’s evaluate the various drawbacks of AI:

a.Yes, my processes will be more efficient, but at what ‘cost’?

Once we install and apply AI to our day-to-day lives, Artificial Intelligence can certainly be quite viable and cost effective. However, in the first place, it is important to install it to our already existing systems and ensure that it functions independently. And these processes are not exactly economical. Designing the specific tool of AI and then training the machine to operate without human intervention can be an expensive task, and one needs to be prepared to incur the expenditure in order to enjoy the results later.

b.Your AI is emotionally intelligent, but sometimes not intelligently emotional

Yes, AI may have been designed to understand human emotions and analyze sentiments. AI may also be able to carry out complex tasks that humans may never be able to undertake. However, there is a certain depth in perception and perspective that no machine has ever been able to touch, at least till now. And so, AI ventures can sometimes turn into not-so-pleasant adventures.

For example, in 2016, Microsoft’s Twitter chat-bot created havoc when it began abusing, and passing pro-Nazi comments such as “Hitler was right.” While this experimental chat-bot, Tay, was only imitating some humans who had been playing mischief, the situation was certainly alarming. Had the AI device been entirely controlled and mediated by a human, the situation may have probably been handled better.
We may consider AI as an innocent child whose active mind is a clean slate. It is the responsibility of humans to ensure it doesn’t waiver from the right path.

c.“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Einstein meant this only for human intelligence.

AI apparently can’t have fun beyond a certain extent – intrinsic creativity does not figure anywhere here. That’s a faculty exclusive to humans – and processes sans human intervention can, well, only do so much to help matters.

d.While taking the help of machines, are we becoming machines ourselves?

This is one of the greatest concerns that the modern world is having to face. There is always a threat that AI can replace human intelligence in a big way; however, a lot of us don’t realize that as creators of AI, it is we who have the upper-hand over our creations. As users, one must realize that machines and technology are not meant for encouraging intellectual laziness and procrastination; but rather, for facilitating increased efficiency and application of one’s intellect. And any device, when misused, can be detrimental to society and individuals. AI is no different.

Source:

Infoworld

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