We all heard of artificial intelligence devices. Siri, Google, Alexa, Cortana, all four serve the same purpose: to provide us with the service that we ask for. Without these devices, we wouldn’t be able to gather information to write documents, portfolios, or even this essay. This made me realize how important technology is to everybody’s lifestyle, serving many purposes that help them in certain ways. However, what if we expanded the knowledge of computers to a certain point that they’re smarter than any living species, including us.
The concept of artificial intelligence is for computer systems to perform tasks that would normally require humans. For example, space exploration. AI can travel across the surface of Mars, exploring and determining the best paths to take, learning for itself. It collects data and has the ability to endure hostile environments that do not affect their physical state nor function. That’s extraordinary! Imagine all the capabilities that robots can do! However, it may not be as pleasant as it seems. Humanity’s superior intelligence is the main reason we are the dominant specie on this planet. Building machines that have a higher level of intelligence is indeed frightening. Researchers have noted less than 200 scientists are working on making AI safe, leading to some citizens being skeptical of the rapid progress of machines being produced. Will these machines cooperate with their specific task?
Experts believe there could be two different outcomes of calamity once machines are implemented to our daily lives: (a): The AI is programmed to do something devastating.
Autonomous weapons are programmed to destroy and kill. In the wrong hands, these weapons can result in mass casualties. Moreover, it could lead to a war against humans, leaving many “war-rysome" about the situation.
(b): The AI is programmed to do something beneficial, but in a destructive manner for achieving its goal.
If you ask an obedient car to transport you to the airport as quick as possible, it may cause road chaos with police cars chasing after you.
We can’t rely on past technologies as a basis because we have never created anything with the ability to outsmart us. AI has potential to become more clever than any human. Therefore, we have no surefire way to predict the outcome and behaviour of a machine.
Loss of jobs is a major issue with artificial intelligence. A World Economic Forum study in 2016 predicted that around 5.1 million will be unemployed to AI over the next five years alone in fifteen countries. As well, production of machines cost billions and billions of dollars to create and repair.
Although there are cons, advantages include: mining and digging for fuel, exploration in space, self-driving cars, facial recognition, translation in different languages, and much more.
To investigate more on others' opinion, I hosted a poll questioning if artificial intelligence would have a positive impact in the future.
Surprisingly, 62 percent agreed with this statement. Meanwhile 38 percent disagreed, protesting that it would have a negative consequence.
I later asked friends on a one-on-one basis their opinions on artificial intelligence.
One said: “Artificial intelligence will not take over the world. On the contrary, it is a tool that will help humans move forward in civilization.”
Another said: “Road trips won’t be fun. What if self driving cars malfunction? As long as Siri doesn’t become aware of itself and take over the world, we’re good.”
In conclusion, many are hesitant and skeptical about the idea of artificial intelligence being implemented in their lives. Numerous believe machines will “take over the world” and cause disaster in their quake. This is a gigantic leap to a unprecedented era: either massive progress, solving global issues, or ultimate corruption, leading to machines overpowering humans. If we are no longer the smartest, are we assured to remain in control? We have a lot of work ahead of us and at this point, it is unpredictable.