Artificial intelligence means a lot of different things to many different people some theories of what is being simpler or more complicated by others. The dictionary definition of what artificial intelligence is “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.” Artificial intelligence is a way for us to have different robotic technologies perform tasks that normally humans would perform in a simpler definition. These tasks could range though from the simplest of human tasks to the most complicated of problems that humans run into in school or jobs. The list of what artificial will be able to do in the future is endless and whether this will be able a good or a bad thing has yet to be determined. There are many different opinions on whether or not artificial intelligence will be a successful and safe measure for the world and it is concerning many important and well knowledge people as show in this quote that was part of a paper published about a letter signed off by many tech giants in the current world “Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and a number of other tech luminaries from MIT, IBM and Harvard recently signed off on an open letter from the nonprofit Future of Life Institute warning about the perils of artificial intelligence. Without the appropriate safety measures built in, they argue, the rapid growth of artificial intelligence could end in disaster for humanity.” (Phillips, G) and this statement couldn’t be any more accurate for the development of artificial intelligence in the near future as it could be a great asset to human society if monitored and regulated properly, but if not, it could also become human civilizations greatest liability.
Technology has been around for a very long time in the simplest of ways all the way through to the hand held devices and other great things we have in the modern day, but artificial intelligence has been coming for some time now the study of it, how it works, what limits it has, and the ways we can incorporate it into our lives. What exactly artificial intelligence actually is wasn’t created until 1956 at a conference at Dartmouth College. Artificial Intelligence had three different definitions that were the main ones constantly used, but they all referred back to a computer making human like decisions. This study is broken into different fields of research being done as described “Typical areas of AI research include cognitive models of human learning, machine learning models, case-based learning models, and neural network research. The Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence conducts advanced research in several of these fields, especially those of machine learning, sensor-based control of autonomous activity, integration of a variety of reasoning to support complex decision making, and neural networks.” (McHugh, Mary L.). This just being a part of what is being studied to this day using artificial intelligence and as you can see this field of study can be very valuable to human society and benefit us in many different ways, but the question most people ask when it comes to this kind of technology is at what cost will be played in order to advance human civilization using artificial intelligence and giving machines human like interaction and problem solving skills. Just based off of movies we’ve seen we can only imagine how negative this could turn out if it gets too out of hand “”Existential risk” is precisely what makes Hollywood sci-fi movies so scary. In last year’s dystopian thriller “Transcendence,” for example, Johnny Depp morphs into a super-brain with the ability to wipe the human race off the planet” (Basulto, Dominic). That’s exactly what is being focused on here the great question of do the pros really out way the cons of the creation of true and advanced artificial intelligence.
Let’s start with the kind of artificial intelligence we already have to this day and how it is being used in everyday world. Probably the most popular piece of artificial intelligence being used in everyday society at this current point in time is the Alexa release by Amazon as a sort of everyday helper for simple tasks being completely voice operated and controlled it can do different tasks such as play music on command, be connected to lights, or give you information which brings me to this next quote from a book about the effects of artificial intelligence “If the following scenario doesn’t already sound familiar then it will soon. A kid is doing homework alone in another room. You hear a question, “What’s the capital of Delaware?” The parents start thinking Baltimore… too obvious… Wilmington… Not a capital. But before the thought is complete, a machine called Alexa says the correct answer: “The capital of Delaware is Dover.” Alexa is Amazon’s artificial Intelligence or AI, that interprets natural language and provides answers to questions at lightning speed. Alexa has replaced the parent as the all-knowing source of information in the eyes of a child. From an intelligence standpoint this kind of technology is huge in the sense that getting information you don’t already know can be increasingly faster and easier, but at what cost? The cost is more moral than intellectual or physical due to the fact that growing up every kid looks up to parents or any elder in their life as a walking encyclopedia and someone they want to be like some day because of all the information they know and the tasks they can complete that the child can’t yet, but when you put a piece of technology in there that can do it faster than them what damage does that do to the structure of human society. Now granted that Alexa is not a bad thing and the information provided isn’t saying Alexa is a product that needs to be recalled it’s about what happens when these technologies become more advanced you can see the kind of dilemmas we as a society can begin to run into.
Artificial intelligence can be groundbreaking to human society and an amazing thing if controlled and developed correctly. Then again, we run into another issue of how humans behave in relation to new things in life. A big issue in life is how greaty and selfish humans can become when they find something they want or are interested in sometimes for the right reasons and others for the wrong. This brings us back to the article quoted about from Dominic Bastulo and the paper signed by Hawkins, Musk and the other influential tech moguls in the current era. They go over how when you mix a study of something that can evolve at a much faster rate than humans can along with the selfishness of human desire it all leads to a possible disaster for human civilization “The reason, Hawking told the BBC in an interview, is that, “Once humans develop artificial intelligence, it will take off on its own and redesign itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete and would be superseded.”In short, if computers get too smart, it’s game over for humans.”(Bastulo, Dominic) What is so crazy about this statement is so accurate it is if you look back on human society in cases like the race for nuclear warfare and how fast it was developed as a means to overpower others. Human desire and selfishness could be considered one of the cons to advancement of Artificial Intelligence and it also hints at the possible disaster full outcomes filled outcomes of a future that could mean for human society this aspect was also talked about in the interview with Hawking as well “In the Future of Life letter, Musk and Hawking hint at a dystopian future in which humans have lost control of self-driving cars, drones, lethal weapons and the right to privacy. Even worse, computers would become smarter than humans and at some point, would decide that humans really aren’t so necessary after all. And they would do so not because they are inherently evil, but because they are so inherently rational — humans tend to make a mess of things.” (Bastulo, Dominic)
The creation of new Artificial Intelligence wouldn’t be all bad though epically in the work force. The addition of more artificial intelligence to the work force could be an amazing thing in the aspect that jobs could be done with way less physical strain on humans as well as with way better speed and precision than a human in comparison to a machine “In effect, working together meant saving a lot of time, while achieving an error rate lower than the humans had achieved on their own. This Human- Machine division of Labor worked because it overcame human weakness in speed and attention, and this was a quote about the effectiveness of the mix of human-machine labor which gives us a look into how the inclusion of technology into the work force has helped us thus leading to the conclusion that if this was done with Artificial Intelligence it may indeed be way more sufficient. This could be a major breakthrough for humans and could solve a lot of problems, but as referred to above in the interview with Hawking things like these need to be regulated so we don’t become too dependent on Artificial Intelligence and machines, but also needs to be balanced with an ever growing population that we are not decreasing the amount of jobs available in the world because we let these machines do everything for us causing one of the instances also referred to by Hawking that we destroy ourselves because we became selfish.
Too keep the balance in society between the use of A.I. and how they affect the lives of humans it will take a lot of selflessness to keep things like job security in place and the job market now expanding to satisfy the ever grow population. Eventually there will become a time when we can use A.I to do all the tasks humans do at their job for no cost and even at an excelrated rate. This can’t happen everywhere though because if we have A.I doing all the labor in the work force the only people that will be able to make a living would be those who own businesses and all of the laborers will eventually be jobless as talked about “a job augmented when machines take over some, but not all, tasks- is likely to become quite common as a natural consequence of the implementation of AI tools. The task that can make up a job will change. Some will be removed as prediction machines take them over. Some will be added as people have more time for them. And, for many tasks, previously essential skills will change, and new skills will take their place” (Prediction Machines 141). This would be the kind of balance that would be vital to society if we were to include AI into the workforce for every job replaced by artificial intelligence, we would need to add one back to the human work force to keep that balance. This task would cause business owners to have to be more selfless in increasing their profit they are making by replacing human labor they need to pay with artificial labor. This being one of the many moral dilemmas that will be brought forth with the inclusion of AI to our everyday life.
We can’t predict the future and what will be the result of the inclusion of AI into our everyday lives so what happens if the addition of artificial intelligence into everyday human life is filled with positives and it allows use solve many of lives mysteries that we can’t solve in today’s world. That was also talked about in the article about the Hawking interview and this quote backs that very thought “For every Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, there’s a Ray Kurzweil or Peter Diamandis. People who focus on “existential reward” claim that AI will bring forth a utopian future, in which the human brain’s full potential will be opened up, giving us the ability to discover new cures, new sources of energy, and new solutions to all of humanity’s problems.” (Basulto, Dominic). That is one of the many wonders that come with the addition of artificial intelligence what if this solves many of the world’s problems. Current world problems such as global warming, poverty, starvation, and disease are all big modern crisis that have the potential to be solved with the artificial intelligence.
Another big question caused from the sci-fi movies that we have today is what happens if artificial intelligence gets out of hand and we can’t control it and we’ve seen many of examples of this obviously in fictional movies such as the terminator. What would happen if this really happened? Some research says that artificial intelligence will be programmed to do what we want them to do but is that really a guarantee we can bet on and that the movies out right now are really just fictional movie plots. This whole theory comes down to again does the potential risk out way what could be a great reward for human society.
Overall, I feel like the evolution of artificial intelligence will continue to be advanced and whether we like it or not this will become a part of our lives whether we like it or not. Now whether this is a good thing or not is purely based on whether we are able as a society to control ourselves and regulate what we decide to do with this new technology “When a technology is so obviously dangerous — like nuclear energy or synthetic biology — humanity has an imperative to consider dystopian predictions of the future. But it also has an imperative to push on, to reach its full potential.” (Bastulo, Dominic). Based on the research found the potential pros do out way the cons in the debate over artificial intelligence and this will be a vital part of human civilization if it is enforced and regulated correctly.