What is AI?
The advance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Many are welcoming this groundbreaking step as representing a new frontier in technology. However, some are more wary of the changes that may be brought about by the ‘robots’ in our work places.
In short, AI is intelligence demonstrated by machines. The traditional goals of AI include reasoning, knowledge representation, planning, and learning. One of the long-term goals is general intelligence. Recently, machines have advanced enough as to be able to perform numerous tasks in the workplace. In some offices, they are trusted to be in roles that were very recently occupied by humans in a full time capacity.
Is this a positive step?
Naturally, many are concerned about the fast (and getting faster still) march of AI. Fears that the robots will take over our workplaces are not uncommon. Many worry that jobs for humans will be lost to the machines. Those who might have watched a few too many science fiction films even have fears of deadly robot takeovers, with machines overthrowing humans as Earth’s dominant species.
One thing at a time perhaps?
As regards humans being replaced by machines, there are countless ways in which humans still cannot be matched.
Can we trust AI to make ‘big decisions’?
Nobody in 2019 should still be doubting the potential of AI in certain areas. However, evidence has shown that we should be very wary of trusting machines implicitly to make intelligent moral and political decisions. For instance, a report last year claimed that an AI-generated program used in US courts was suggesting to authorities that black people were twice as likely to re-offend as white people.
It is feared that many in the tech industry are expecting too much of AI. This will likely lead to unfortunate consequences such as an increase in injustice or unfairness as a result of mindless uses of automation.
Should we be afraid?
In short, no. There are too many areas in which AI still cannot compete with humans: ethics, morals and principles, to name a few. Many roles will always need a human touch, no matter how advanced AI becomes.
The thing to remember is: if you don’t work like a machine, you cannot be replaced by one. The AI must be ran and assisted by humans, as without us, they couldn’t exist. Could that person be you?
Top technological talent is a prime resource in short supply. One could argue that for any human job AI takes over, several more are created as the tech industry advances. In the not too distant future, the world of employment for humans is predicted to change massively – but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are expected to be jobs available in the coming years that haven’t even been thought of yet, such is the march of technology.
AI is not something to be feared, but embraced. However, it is important that we continue to recognise its limitations.
And just to confirm – a sci-fi style robot takeover will not be happening! We control the robots, they don’t control us.
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