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Insights into Editorial: Is AI a danger to humanity?

Insights into Editorial: Is AI a danger to humanity?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Since the invention of computers, their capability to perform various tasks went on growing exponentially. Their processing speed has increased and size is reduced phenomenally with respect to time.  Artificial Intelligence pursues creating the computers as intelligent as humans.

Artificial Intelligence is a way of making a computer or a software think intelligently, in the similar manner the intelligent humans think.

AI is associated with superlative memory, calculative power, decision-making capacity, high speeds of action.

What are some of the applications of AI?

AI plays crucial role in strategic games and it is being used in games such as chess, poker where machine can think of large number of possible positions based on empirical knowledge.

It is possible to interact with the computer that understands natural language spoken by humans. E.g. Sophia is an AI based social humanoid robot.

There are some applications which integrate machine, software, and special information to impart reasoning and advising. E.g. Google search engine.

AI is being used by Doctors as clinical expert system to diagnose the patient.

AI based Robots are able to perform the tasks given by a human. They have sensors to detect physical data from the real world such as light, heat, temperature and movement etc. They are capable of learning from their mistakes and they can adapt to the new environment.

What are the giant leaps in AI?

The rise of AI importance in health and medicine is clearly evident. It was recently reported that heart diseases can be predicted with machine learning.

Health care and medicine become affordable and accessible with AI taking centre stage in telemedicine and quick diagnosis.

Water and energy networks become accessible and widely usable when AI can mediate the use of different sources. AI machines can replace humans to physically go to, and service, remote locations.

AI is in a nascent stage and is being shaped by innovators across the world. There will be many kinds of AI and many kinds of species augmented by AI. It’s important to get more people to participate in the building and shaping of AI.

Inclusive AI will mean that more of society will be able to enjoy its benefits and participate in shaping the future.

What are Strong and weak AI?

We have “weak AI” all around us from translation Apps to facial recognition on social networks.

AI has just become a buzzword for any form of algorithmic decision-making or usage of big data combined with self-improvement. Weak AI builds on mathematical techniques.

Apart from computational power, AI requires numerous amounts of data to learn. This data can either be generated by the machine itself or it has to be provided data.

Strong AI is a type of ‘thinking’ machines‘.

By using AI Google is helping all persons with hearing impairment; by using AI for real-time image recognition, visually impaired persons are provided a chance to have the world in front of them narrated to them.

The beneficial uses of AI cannot be denied. Despite the beneficial uses of AI, scientists and leading thinkers like Stephen Hawking, Nick Bostrom, and Elon Musk warn us about the dangers of AI and the coming technological singularity.

What are the concerns about AI?

AI is an attempt to create super intelligent machines that can do things far better than humans. But the real worry about these technologies is the emphasis on intelligence rather than other characteristics of human beings.

AI has not been used to get rid of poverty, to have more equitable distribution of wealth, or to make people more content with what they have.

The types of AI we have, including war machines, will primarily be dictated by profit for the companies that make them.

Being human is about living with others and learning to live within our limitations. Vulnerability, decay and death characterise any living form. Super intelligent AI machines may harm this balance.

These thinking machines may know how to manipulate humans to the extent that humans will not be able to see their negative effects.

All technologies come with a cost (not just economic but also social and psychological) and we have very little idea of the cost that AI will extract from us. 

What is the need of the hour?

Ethical norms regarding uses of AI and our ability to regulate them in an intelligent and beneficial manner should keep pace with the fast changing technological capabilities.

That is why we need AI researchers to actively involve ethicists in their work.

Some of the world’s largest companies like Baidu, Google, Alibaba, Facebook, Tencent, Amazon, Microsoft are cornering the market for AI researchers. They also need to employ ethicists.

Additionally, regulators across the world need to be working closely with these academics and citizens’ groups to put brakes on both the harmful uses and effects of AI.

For governments to regulate, we need to have clear theories of harms and trade-offs, and that is where researchers really need to make their mark felt: by engaging in public discourse and debate on what AI ethics and regulation should look like.