Business magnate Elon Musk has come out with harsh criticisms for AI and called it “the biggest existential threat.” Artificial intelligence is spreading its wings across all the industries making automation an actual thing. Artificial intelligence, deep learning, machine learning, and other technologies have proven beneficial for all industries.
The Covid-19 pandemic made the contribution of AI in healthcare more visible. AI has reached inside our homes, making them smart homes. Is the interference increasing? Is AI taking over humanity? Fear of artificial intelligence has a lot to do with fiction and movies. Several Sci-Fi movies like Terminator portrays AI and robots as villains mercilessly hijack the human race.
The truth remains that these are just fiction, stories that sprung from human brains. The artificial intelligence we are using now is not capable of behaving like a human.
What is AGI and Narrow AI?
Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) would be capable of doing tasks like humans. It will think and reason like us to understand the world. This theoretical concept has made way for many movies like Startrek. This machine is understood as a threat to human lives because it carries reasoning abilities like humans and also owns machine intelligence and computational powers. They might outdo humans and end the need for human labor. AGI can pave its way towards attaining superintelligence.
There is no need to worry about them since the AGI remains a concept. It might take hundreds of years to become a reality.
Narrow artificial intelligence enables machines to perform a single task. The existing AI-driven technologies use narrow AI. They use machine learning and datasets to acquire information and do the limited tasks assigned to them. These machines do not possess human intelligence and thus should not be feared. The voice assistants and automatic self-driving cars use narrow artificial intelligence. However, they work at a faster pace than human brains and produce more accurate insights.
Common Fears Related to AI
Other than the fear of evil robots taking our space, the existing AI has also been under the radar of human fear. Let us look at some of the reasons.
• AI has faced the question of taking up jobs ever since it came into existence. Fear of losing jobs is a reality. AI has taken up a lot of tasks that were earlier carried out by people. This enables humans to focus on more rational tasks and alleviate the overload of repetitive and mundane jobs. AI does not terminate jobs as a whole. It cuts down some unproductive job categories and tasks.
• Arriving at biased decisions is another fear. AI works on datasets and algorithms which are created by human beings. These datasets might carry the biases of their organization or creator. AI analyses them to provide insights and predictions. This can be rectified with proper governance of algorithmic data and corrections in case of wrong information.
• The fear of AI reaching in the wrong hands is also prevalent. Misusing technological advancements have been there in human history. AI cannot explain why it arrived at an answer. It cannot reason nor think rationally. Once it archives the human intelligence, humans might use them to cause a negative impact. AI’s black box has been in discussions for a long time. This caters to another fear – fear of the unknown.
How far are the fears turning from fiction to reality?
A progression towards artificial general intelligence and terminators are not in the foreseeable future. It will take time to arrive at such advanced technology. To incorporate human intelligence into machines, there is a need to understand the human brain completely. It is a very complicated strategy. Hence, the solutions are far away.
For the time being, existing AI is not a threat to humanity. It might take over some jobs but also provide a new set of jobs. Dealing with these systems seem easier and achievable with improved human governance.