Artificial Intelligence - Curse or Blessing?
by Clemens Niekler, on Jul 1, 2019 10:14:00 AM
This month’s articles will deal with the exponentially fast growing topics of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Did you know that Artificial Intelligence embraces many technologies and fields of life? It is not just the red-eyed robot that might kill us in the future. AI and ML are already part of our daily lives and help us in many situations.
When you are searching for something on Google, for example, the Californian tech-giant uses Machine Learning to improve the accuracy of its search results for you to find the information needed faster and easier. For everyone who does not know what the terms AI and ML mean, here comes a short introduction.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning - A short overview
Contrary to common believe, AI and ML are not the same. While Artificial Intelligence is part of the broader field of Computer Science, Machine Learning represents a part of AI.
According to the English Oxford Living Dictionaries, Artificial Intelligence is: “The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.” In other words, AI is about training machines to adapt human intelligence to think and act in a way humans would do.
Which opportunities does Artificial Intelligence offer?
From Google Search and Alexa to Netflix and Uber. Even though we might not see it at the first glimpse, AI already plays an essential role in our day-to-day lives. These technologies implemented today are only the starting point of the exponentially growing Artificial Intelligence and its opportunities for the future.
One of the most famous and closest examples is the self-driving car. Humanity’s knowledge and development are increasing at exponential speed. While the first automobile was created only 134 years ago, the first widely, commercially available self-driving cars will be accessible within the next couple of years. It is a huge step that might increase safety manifoldly and will save many lives.
Another area in life where Artificial Intelligence will have a considerable impact is the healthcare sector. According to BGV (2018), $6,6 Billion will be invested in healthcare AI by 2021, and AI applications might save up to $150 Billion by 2026 (Accenture). It is probable that robots and treatment plans that assist surgeries will be designed with the help of Artificial Intelligence, offering better reliability and objectivity needed to treat patients. Nowadays, Artificial Intelligence already outperforms radiologists in identifying lung cancer. This is revealed by a study whose author Daniel Tse works at the Google Health Research group in Mountain View, CA (Medicalnewstoday.com, 2019). The AI model can perceive a 3D picture compiled out of different CT scans and compares it to older scans.
A third opportunity is the created leisure time for many humans. Even though the replacement of workers through machines might be seen as a big disadvantage, other jobs can be created. After being diagnosed with cancer, former workaholic Kai-Fu Lee describes how he realised that the human purpose is not working in his TED Talk of last year. It is to spread love and to spend time with their loved ones, and AI can support humanity in that matter by replacing monotonous jobs and letting people focus on social and creative jobs and tasks.
What causes people to be afraid of Artificial Intelligence?
Many people of all kinds of social classes are afraid of the impact Artificial Intelligence might have in the future. While a big part thinks of the dangerous superintelligent robots that can destroy us, leaders and pioneers like Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are more worried about the safety of AI. What are the possible dangers resulting from the fast development of Artificial Intelligence? It is interesting to have a look at general reasons for fear at this point.
Two of the reasons for fear are the immediate visualisation of a disaster and the fear of the unknown. While Artificial Intelligence poses tremendous opportunities, people don’t know about what could happen in the future and are therefore picturing possible worst-case scenarios in their heads. Anyhow, this worry for the future is not unjustified as researchers and experts in the field prove.
The biggest issue of AI is that it might overpower us in the future. It is crucial for the human race to keep control over the machines and program them in a way that if they exceed our control, they would still be on our side and not work against us. Experts often put it in a way that we, as humans, are creating a new god that can either be merciful and good or bad and evil. Even though the scenario of AI attacking people in the form of robots is improbable, it is possible that whenever singularity (AI being smarter than humans) is reached machines are learned inappropriately and therefore try reaching towards goals without taking regard of other needs. To illustrate: When a model is trained to grow crops for us, and this is its ultimate goal, it might be considering to eliminate humans as we are using land in ineffective manners.
Furthermore, even though humans might have more leisure time in the future through automation, many people will lose their jobs and financial freedom in the first place. It will mean drastic changes in many people’s lives, and as we already know, humans are afraid of the unknown and change.
Also, specialists predict that there are either one of the extreme scenarios possible because of the rapid improvement of Artificial Intelligence. Either the machines use their intelligence to destroy us and exterminate the human race or AI will help us to solve major problems like hunger and climate change, and humans will become immortal. In any way, Artificial Intelligence might be the last invention ever done by humankind.
AI - Curse or Blessing
There is no right or wrong, good or bad, left or right when it comes to the topic of Artificial Intelligence. What we know is that it is growing and improving at an exponential rate and that there is a high probability of machines eventually outperforming humans. In which way, this will go? Nobody knows. It is barely predictable, and we, as human beings can be excited about the future and the many innovations to come.
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Crystalloids helps companies improve their customer experiences and build marketing technology. Founded in 2006 in the Netherlands, Crystalloids builds crystal-clear solutions that turn customer data into information and knowledge into wisdom. As a leading Google Cloud Partner, Crystalloids combines experience in software development, data science, and marketing making them one of a kind IT company. Using the Agile approach Crystalloids ensures that use cases show immediate value to their clients and make their job focus more on decision making and less on programming.