How Artificial Intelligence Could Harm the Human Race
Being Unintelligent with Artificial IntelligenceWith time nearly all things advance. Period. There is virtually nothing in life that does not change as time passes by and this is no truer than within humanity; we adapt and advance as days, weeks and years pass by. What is becoming apparent in todays society is the advancements in technology; particularly within the world of artificial intelligence. So, what actually is artificial intelligence you may ask? Artificial intelligence is defined as “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages” (Fowler, 1974). Artificial intelligence will only enhance human life and society for a limited period of time before advancements are taken too far and the human race begins to become almost obsolete.There is huge hype around the rapid growth in popularity of artificial intelligence and its ability to change the game in terms of ease of use and cost saving for anyone from the average person to huge global companies. Artificial intelligence is always finding ways to shorten processes, speed up processes and simplify processes so that quite simply life is easier. Right now, artificial intelligence is still quite a new concept, despite its size already in the world of automation, hence the hype around the possibilities artificial intelligence could bring to the world as we know it today. However, to what extent is artificial intelligence a pure benefit to society and when will it become more of a hindrance. Interestingly, there are many positives and negatives regarding artificial intelligence when you research into the topic more which is highly recommended. After much research and time spent considering the implications artificial intelligence has and will have for humans the answer became slightly more apparent. This was a startling realisation of how encouraging such artificial intelligence could make humans their own worst enemy going forward. Initially, the concept of what artificial intelligence is and could be capable of is most attractive however one day it could very well will rid humans of a lot of their purpose in life on earth as we know it. To help further explain the concept of artificial intelligence lets identify some commonly used forms of artificial intelligence within society today. First up are the virtual assistants we have access to now through devices such as mobile phones, laptops and speaker systems; examples are Siri on apple devices, google now and Cortana the virtual speaker assistant who can hold conversations with you… These devices are designed to perform tasks upon your command, such as: finding weather forecasts, playing certain music, reminding you of your diary and locating venues on a map for you to give some examples. These systems are constantly tracking your requests and collecting information to help them better understand your future requests and to work towards predicting/anticipating the types of requests you are likely to make of the device in the future. Another example of artificial intelligence widely used today is in the video games that the majority of todays youth play. Video game characters now have the ability to respond to stimuli you as the gamer initiate and act accordingly to the players demands which is quite extraordinary. One of the most popular video games to ever exist, he Call of Duty family of games, utilizes artificial intelligence amazingly. Players and their enemies can simulate actual warfare, taking cover using objects, communicating with team members, planning attack routes and performing manoeuvres across maps. The following quote relates to the inclusion of artificial intelligence in the fourth Call of Duty game that was released: “Admittedly, the AI in the game doesn’t necessarily shine for technical reasons, but it’s wonderfully put together within the whole story, and has arguably become one of the best examples of scripted level design” (Champandard, 2008).This is a bold statement to make regarding Call of Duty especially given its status in the world of computer gaming. However, the use of artificial intelligence obviously played a key role in making this game the global phenomenon that it proved to be after its release. A third example of artificial industry comes from the automotive industry in the form of smart cars, or soon to be self-driving cars. Tesla has received lots of media airtime in recent times thanks to its electric engines and autopilot feature which initiates the car to drive itself without control from a driver. Artificial intelligence is being used to develop cars that can view the road ahead of them and make their own decisions on whether to stop, change speed, change direction or indicate for example. In time, artificial intelligence is likely to help develop cars that require no human control at the wheel, which is a frightening prospect. A fourth use of artificial intelligence is for helping to identify and prevent fraud through bank cards and their attached account. Artificial intelligence is used in systems that track the uses of bank card in terms of locations the card is used in and the normal transaction figure. This same system then makes it far easier to identify uncommon used of the card, say at a cash point away from the usually places of usage, perhaps by a robber for example. The cardholder can then be contacted to determine if the card has been stolen/lost and is being used. Therefore, thanks to the artificial intelligence within these systems such norms can be recorded for use in identifying potential fraud of a bank accounts cars.
One positive of artificial intelligence is its use in building robotics like machines for use in manufacturing chains and processes. Such machinery requires no breaks in their work shift, making them more efficient than humans. Said machines can work for longer hours without the need for food and drink breaks, trips to the bathroom, time off over night even to sleep… There are no moral obligations involved with using a robotic style workforce rather than humans to put it simply. Businesses could quite literally keep their production chain running twenty-four hours a day for three hundred and sixty-five days a year. Furthermore, such machinery can also in some cases be more cost effective than a human workforce. The initial cost to install artificially intelligent equipment in to a warehouse can be expensive, but this and the required maintenance costs can still be of lower monetary value than that or employing a human staff base. A second positive towards the use of artificial intelligence is that it can be used to produce machinery that can carry out tasks that a human cannot do, or at least not do without huge financial implications and risks to life (Williams, 2015). A great example of how artificial intelligence is utilized in this manner is in space craft machinery for our worlds ongoing space explorations. Machines widely used that are made with artificial intelligence systems include the satellite and rovers that are robust enough, unlike humans, to spend super long periods of time in outer space delving deep into any activity that happens and feeding such information back to earth. A third positive to using artificial intelligence again relates to making robots and machines to perform otherwise human manned tasks. Simply put, intelligence machines or robots have not emotions or moral values, meaning their actions cannot be influenced by any factors such as pressure and stress which humans are most susceptible to. Instead, intelligence machines and robots will continue to work uninterrupted for as long as they are commanded to without any distraction. You should better understand now how artificial intelligence has the capacity to be an amazing asset for companies within various fields of production in comparison to human efforts we rely on now. A third and final benefit of using artificial intelligence machines is that they can be designed and built to specification for performing specific tasks, unlike the human body. A machine can be built to lift extremely heavy engines in to cars, to fit extremely large and heavy parts of pipes in to place and them connect them together or to construct large scaffolding structures in short spaces of time for example. This is an example of where humans become incompetent compared to purpose build artificial intelligence machines, as we do not have the physical capabilities of such machines meaning it takes the human more time to perform the required task, with a greater risk of human error too. Again, this benefit to using artificial intelligence exemplifies how production lines can be enhanced in terms of speed and volume of production using artificially intelligent machinery. For this author the greatest negative of artificial intelligence is of the loss of jobs due to the replacement of human staff for robotic type machines as eluded to earlier in this paper. For sure, it is hard to argue the brilliance of such machines, and the positive gains they do and will undoubtedly bring to companies all around the world. In fact, artificial intelligence will likely help to strengthen the economy of many countries thanks to its deployment in making superior machinery for output-based businesses. However, the fact remains that many hard-working citizens are and will loose jobs in this transition and development period in to a new era of artificially intelligent machinery that is here now, has reinforcements coming and will be here to stay. Families will be affected as incomes are lost to new development in intelligence and the human right to work and earn a wage to support a family will begin to be given up making way for such advances in artificial intelligence.