For decades, we have been seen Artificial Intelligence (AI) depicted in the media as human-like robots with the potential to outsmart us. Although we’ve not yet reached this stage, AI has advanced rapidly over recent years.
As this technology develops, debates continue over whether AI is beneficial or dangerous for mankind and the planet. Read on for our take on the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Contrary to what we’re used to seeing in movies and TV shows, Artificial Intelligence rarely takes a pseudo-human form. Once depicted as a futuristic, sci-fi world, AI is now part of daily life for many.
The AI that we have today is known as ‘narrow AI’ or ‘weak AI’. This means that it is developed to master a specific task. For example, facial recognition to unlock smartphones or self-driving cars.
Long-term, scientists aim to create a more general or ‘strong AI’. This would have the potential to exceed human capability on a multitude of tasks, rather than only one.
So what are the implications of these technological developments?
Benefits of Artificial Intelligence
Primarily, AI was developed to improve efficiency within businesses and workplaces.
Machines with AI are able to eradicate human error from their processes. They are also able to consistently produce without rest, unlike humans. This yields a higher volume of accurate output.
Having machines complete work, rather than humans, also reduces costs. Removing the need for training, salaries and other employment-related outgoings can be a huge benefit to a company.
AI enables us to gather huge amounts of data very quickly. This means that systems can be analyzed and improved at a faster pace, enabling more rapid overall progression.
Risks of Artificial Intelligence
The computer components required to produce AI often have minerals like selenium and lithium as crucial parts. These minerals are mined from the earth and are in limited supply. This is causing damage to the environment.
Further damage is caused by the non-renewal energy required to fuel these machines.
Aside from the risk to the environment, there is also concern about the impact on people. If machines and robots are able to do the work of humans, humans will be replaced. This raises the question of how people will make an income in the future if AI can complete the work better.
Finally, and perhaps the most debated concern, there is the fear that AI could ultimately overpower us. Experts like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have both expressed fear over the threat of AI against humanity.
If we create robots that can outsmart us and become sentient, how do we maintain control?
How Do We Balance the Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence is already part of our lives. The developments show no sign of slowing down.
In order to protect our environment and our future as a species, there may be a need for more regulation. Ethical codes and guidelines could ensure that the development of AI remains under control.
The Bottom Line
The future is here and the jury is still out on whether this could be a risk to humankind, or simply something which could make our lives easier. What do you think about the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence? Let us know! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at +1 650-230-8000.