When you hear the word ‘artificial intelligence’ the first thing that comes to mind is robotics, but what truly is artificial intelligence and what does the future hold for it? According to Wikipedia, artificial intelligence also referred to as machine intelligence, is any device or machine that mimics cognitive functions humans associate with the human mind such as learning and problem solving. Examples of artificial intelligence in our day to day lives include: Siri, Google, drones, advertising and so much more. Every industry is incorporating artificial intelligence into its back bone in one form or the other, changing the way we think and live. The future of artificial intelligence is both fascinating and a constant cause of concern, therefore what will our future look like with the advancement of artificial intelligence? Here are a few case scenarios.
According to Forrester, in a recently published article ‘The Future of Work’, which gives a pragmatic view on the influence of artificial intelligence and automation in our job industry, it predicts that by 2030, job losses will reach a rate of twenty nine percent (equating to roughly 20 million jobs eliminated) with an even lesser job creation percentage of thirteen percent. Not every company or organization will be able to jump upon the artificial intelligence train and will risk being overtaken by companies with a firmer hands-on approach to artificial intelligence. Jobs such as data entry, inventory trackers, proofreaders, receptionists will be replaced by artificial intelligence. Presently we see patterns of jobs becoming obsolete with the emergence of self-driving cars, drone and factory automation.
Artificial intelligence will lead to more new and important discoveries in the future, through its predictive modelling. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was able to predict new thermoelectric materials when it’s artificial intelligence left unattended, examined old scientific papers. In 2017, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) reported the discovery of an eight-planet solar system by an AI and in 2019, with the help of AI, two new planets were discovered by astronomers at the University of Texas. What this spell for the future of artificial intelligence are new discoveries that will not only lead to scientific breakthrough but in lesser periods of time. Less back breaking work for scientists who do not have to pore through thousands of scientific records especially in cases of emergencies. It can also predict the emergence of any new virus, disease or epidemic and discover a corresponding drug to treat it. Beyond that with well written and researched algorithms, AI can also predict preventive measures to stop any such epidemic from happening.
AI accesses multiple sets of data to reveal patterns in diseases, diagnosis and treatments. This in turn will help the healthcare industry develop AI algorithms that will improve longevity and predict the onset of diseases, improve drug research processes and aid doctors in diagnosis. Drones are already transforming the delivery of medical services by providing medical supplies, search and rescue operations and medical care. This technology will benefit countries with poor medical services greatly. Also, nanotechnology combined with artificial intelligence will create a totally different way in which we treat diseases. By using nanotechnology, AI can identify bad cells, especially in cancer patients, tumor penetration and drug delivery.
Remember the movie ‘I, Robot’ and the Nickelodeon TV show, ‘I Am Frankie’? With the onset of robotics research that focuses on replicating and learning human behavior, we have robots like Sanbot, Buddy and ASIMO. These robots will shape the robots of the future. They will do much more than work in factories, they could act as care givers or simply home companions. A robot that is capable of running searches the same way as your smartphones can, schedule appointments, respond to questions and run basic human errands. So, imagine a world where a robot companion can carry on intelligent conversations and provide information that you will usually seek out on the internet, prepare meals according to your health needs and perform functions that will smoothen the daily activities of the average human.
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The Turing test is a method in artificial intelligence that determines if a computer has the ability to think like a human being. This test was developed by Alan Turing in1950. In 2014, a chat bot known as Eugene Goostman made judges think it was human and led to a lot of raised concerns. Does this mean that with prolonged research, robots can insert themselves seamlessly into our environments? Vladimir Putin, former president of Russia stated that “Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia but for all humankind. It comes with enormous opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere becomes the ruler of the world”. These threats that could become a major source of concern range from abuse of power, artificial intelligent warfare or weaponized robotics and robot rights. Also, artificial intelligence meant as a source for saving lives could be used as a biological weapon. Artificial intelligence makes use of data to predicts trends, data collected from online searches. Deepfake technology, another fast-rising concern enables a person in a media source such as videos or pictures to be replaced by someone else’s image. This has made its way into app technology such as the Zao, a Chinese deepfake app, politics in which powerful politicians are misrepresented in videos and use of peoples’ faces in pornographic media. In the wrong hands, is anyone really safe?
Artificial intelligence is going to change the way we view the world both positively and negatively. Anyone who hold the power of AI in his or her hands has to be cautious in its usage. Privacy laws and security parameters should be reviewed to protect everyone from vulnerability. Beyond that the positives currently outweigh the negatives, therefore if researches continue to be done with transparency and accountability, the balance would not tip in favor of the negative.
Essay Example #2
Essay on Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence forms an important part of every sector of life in today’s technologically advanced world. From robots to software and applications, the distribution of artificial intelligence spreads far and wide. With every passing day, as new technologies are being introduced, the dependency on machines grows. On one hand, advocates of artificial intelligence strongly promote the concept of the “robotic age” and claim that it will bring about a slew of benefits. On the other, the idea of living in a world dominated by machines terrifies ordinary people. In movies, specifically in the Hollywood sci-fi genre, artificial intelligence is portrayed as dangerous and inherently evil. However, in real life, thus far, artificial intelligence has only served to benefit society and the world as a whole. The question is now whether artificial intelligence will dominate social welfare, healthcare, and the workforce or it won’t dominate? Generally, this question comes with a range of negative connotations. However, this need not be the case. The answer is affirmative and for all the right reasons. Artificial intelligence will improve and advance civilization remarkably with major changes visible in the key fields of ethics, social welfare, healthcare, and workforce.
The ethical issues involved with the employment and use of artificial intelligence are far too much for a world that runs on machines. It is disconcerting to learn of the ethical implications and gray areas involved in the use of technology. A comforting factor, as Kurzweil puts it, is the fact that the world of artificial intelligence is not the sole responsibility of one singular person (1). The widespread usage of technology and artificial intelligence by billions of people all over the world is accompanied by an understanding of the outcomes of this accessibility. All users of technology are aware of the pros and possible cons of interacting with artificial intelligence. In spite of that, the number of users of technology continues to rise on a daily basis. Starting from Netflix’s movie recommendation algorithm to digital virtual assistants, artificial intelligence is part of every dimension of everyday life. Here, the only problem that remains is the ignorance of the potential of artificial intelligence and the lack of awareness of what it can achieve. In games, the use of artificial intelligence has proven quite successful and defeats top-notch players. Employing such technology in a controlled environment within a game is vastly different from the application of artificial intelligence in the real world (Bostrom and Eliezer 317). The unpredictability of the world makes this task highly risky. A simple error can result in catastrophes on a massive scale (Bostrom and Eliezer 318). However, since “human-level” artificial intelligence still has multiple decades before it is introduced in society, specialists are confident that the necessary ethical standards will be devised will in time (Kurzweil 1). At its current rate and stage, it is safe to say that artificial intelligence is well on its way to firmly planting its roots in society and its development into the future – keeping all necessary precautions in place.
When it comes to social welfare, artificial intelligence gets a bad name due to consistent claims that it endorses and promotes violence in society. One of the major outlets of artificial intelligence happens to be video games. It is not a secret that critics have strongly opposed modern-day video games under the banner of social welfare. However, Pinker makes an important argument by pointing out that, today, many different misdemeanors, from minor to major, are punished by simple fines (3). On the contrary, by studying the history of societies, one can see that violent punishments for all crimes, petty or otherwise, are a dominant norm. In fact, violence was even used largely for entertainment purposes. Pinker gives the example of the burning of animals and death by unleashing starving animals on the victim (3). If one were to look at the statistical data of this claim, acts of violence decreased from 1945 to 2010 (Pinker 3). Additionally, civil wars declined and genocides observed a 90% reduction (Pinker 3). While this significant drop in violence cannot be attributed to a single factor, it is safe to say that artificial intelligence played a significant role in influencing this reduction. Through the use of simulation in video games, artificial intelligence provided an outlet for violent releases. The term coined for this concept is “fantasy aggression” and it is where users release their pent-up anger or negative emotions through outlets such as violent video games. A cathartic vent, these games allow users to indulge in violent acts in a virtual and controlled environment. Interestingly enough, Weber notes that such behavior limits carrying out similar acts in a “behavioral domain” (350). Artificial intelligence in itself does not initiate or employ the use of components that bring about violence. In essence, it is a safe technology that can be trusted to dominate and advance the world safely.
Another important field that would only benefit from the domination of artificial intelligence is the field of medicine and healthcare. The use of artificial intelligence in the medical field has brought about remarkable advancements since the beginning. One of the most important applications of artificial intelligence in medicine is the management, storage, and collection of data. Through this accumulation of data by means of technology, the foundation of digital medicine is laid. As opposed to simple antibiotics, artificial intelligence is capable of providing and devising treatment options for an extensive range of illnesses. Artificial intelligence is capable of applying decision-making abilities based on the context and situation at hand through the use of the aforementioned data storage. In this manner, artificial intelligence is quite similar to the human mind and its ability to learn and apply knowledge. Moreover, parallel processing enhances the overall efficiency and effectiveness of treatment methods that make use of artificial intelligence. It also goes without saying that machines do not grow tired or weary, unlike human beings. These two factors together almost entirely eradicate the chances of error, leaving behind the perfect doctor. So far, artificial intelligence has seen continuous improvement and in the process, it has empowered and benefited the individuals who employ its usage (Kurzweil 1). While the medical field has already come a long way since earlier years, the developments that are yet to come once artificial intelligence is fully introduced will, without a doubt, be phenomenal in accuracy and dependability. Assimilating artificial intelligence in the field of healthcare and allowing it to dominate this sector opens the door to a medical revolution.
As far as the workforce goes, the influence of artificial intelligence is already obvious ever since the introduction of the digital computer. Over the past few decades, almost every sector has incorporated artificial intelligence in one manner or the other. Alongside this widespread incorporation of technology came the rapid fear of artificial intelligence taking over the workforce entirely. However, with every new development in technology and the introduction of novel machinery, this fear has reared its head. Even in the 18th and 19th centuries, prior to the Industrial Revolution, the worry over the effects of automation on the workplace was rampant. Today, this fear stands just as baseless as it did all those years ago. The potential that artificial intelligence has to transform economies on a global scale is unprecedented. Without a doubt, incorporating artificial intelligence on a large-scale basis in the workforce will improve productivity significantly. In addition to higher efficiency levels, Wilson, Daugherty, and Branzino bring to light an important finding that has largely been glossed over: new job categories (13). While everyone is fearing for their current jobs and titles, no one is paying attention to the plethora of new job openings that will be introduced. A multitude of “uniquely human” jobs are not only going to be introduced to the workforce and marketplace, but will also need to be filled (Wilson, Daugherty, and Bianzino 14). An example of such a job position would be “trainer.” This person would be responsible for teaching artificial intelligence systems how to perform and function – a role that can only be played by a human. While a significant number of jobs will be eradicated, many new opportunities will be introduced. In the domination of the workforce, artificial intelligence will completely alter the landscape of current jobs and positions.
To conclude, artificial intelligence is well on its way to world domination. While that may sound like a terrifying and foreboding future, there is no significant or solid proof to show that the use, application, implementation, and assimilation of artificial intelligence will harm the world in any way. So far, technology has only served to improve upon prevalent situations and current living conditions. Artificial intelligence has effectively benefited those who created it and those who used it. Unlike depictions in Hollywood sci-fi movies, the world is not susceptible to an attack by robots gone rogue. For those who still have their doubts, according to scientists, a hypothesis can be disproved by the introduction of one instance where it does not hold true. To date, artificial intelligence has proven to be nothing short of beneficial. In terms of ethics, social welfare, healthcare, and workforce, artificial intelligence is well on its way to groundbreaking success. As these are the major aspects of life on a daily basis, advancements in technology in these fields will matter a significant deal more than they would in any other field. Improving ethical standards, benefitting social welfare through controlled environments, advancing healthcare significantly, and revolutionizing the workforce; artificial intelligence is the miracle no one asked for but everyone needs. World dominance by artificial intelligence will greatly improve the quality of life and transform the world.