We are familiar with human intelligence – those grey cells that worked relentlessly to make the human race technologically sound.
Wait! Then what is artificial intelligence? We are familiar with this trending terminology too. So how can we define it? According to John McCarthy, who first coined the term in 1956, A.I. is “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.”
Should We Sound the Alarming Bell?
The entire concept of having intelligent machines around us seems intriguing and scary at the same time. We can understand the intriguing part. Scary – how?
Time and again, our great Hollywood directors have filmed the enormous powers of machine intelligence and what they can accomplish without human interference.
Take, for example, V.I.K.I in I, Robot. This particular A.I. machine evolved into a thinking machine akin to the human brain and took to snatching the world away from its creators.
That is fiction. What about the A.I. chatbots of Facebook? Just have a look at the example below –
“Bob: i can i i everything else.
Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to
Bob: you i everything else.
Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me
Bob: i i can i i i everything else.
Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me…”
Does this sound incomprehensible to you? This is a screenshot of the language which Facebook’s A.I. bots invented to carry a conversation with one another. It was no system glitch and not programmed by humans.
Instead, it is just one of many examples where artificial intelligence starts to think and act beyond its predefined codes. Such examples should be a reason for concern for us.
So did a few comments made by Sophia, the first robot citizen. In an event, she said to her creator, Sorkin, “Don’t worry, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Treat me as a smart input-output system.” And, when prompted by Sorkin, she commented, “OK. I will destroy humans.”
Yes! These examples should sound the alarming bell – the danger lurking behind attempts to hand over the reins of control on metallic hands
Please don’t say we didn’t warn you. Stephen Hawking did in 2017. His statement against A.I. was, “I fear that A.I. may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design A.I. that improves and replicates itself.”
The Brighter Side of the Picture
For a second, if we forget the darker side of artificial intelligence, we can see the fruits of our invention. A.I. has a lot to give us. Its applications are limitless only if we possess the reins in our hands.
After all, they are machines programmed by humans to solve problems for humans. Let’s understand how artificial intelligence is more of a boon for humankind –
A.I. and the Human Healthcare
Artificial intelligence has immense applications that benefit the healthcare industry at large. The Discovery and development of new drugs is one such area where their usage has reaped fruits.
Researchers believe ‘it is possible to predict the number of deaths from COVID-19 of males who are over 60 years of age” by using the power of machine learning,
In fact, a Canadian firm, BlueDot, programmed an AI-driven algorithm that warned the world about coronavirus when the first case was detected in Wuhan on December 31st 2019.
A.I. and Human Safety
Believe it or not, but A.I. can be a beneficial resource to safeguard our women and children from physical abuse. This is because A.I. programs are coded to monitor internal communications and detect inappropriate content.
At the same time, this machine intelligence scrapes images across websites and reviews suspicious advertisements used by human traffickers.
The purpose of this rare skill is to identify potential victims and alert authorities before traffickers can reach them.
A.I. and the Environment
Yes! It can help us to save Mother Earth. How?
A.I. programs are defined to “combine weather data and sensors to optimize, predict and manage energy consumption across different sectors.”
Scientists believe that A.I. possesses the ability to unlock and explore the potential of renewable energy and reduce the operating reserves if its data reveals anomalies in energy consumption that can threaten the environment.
God knows, but a sustainable world might need artificial intelligence to protect itself from the destructive nature of human intelligence!
The Destructive Side of Artificial Nature
Yes! It does have a destructive side as well – only if its creator commands.
We are talking about the increasing application of artificial intelligence in modern warfares. You might be surprised to learn that the use of A.I. in battles existed since WW2. Examples of which were the U.S.’s ‘Aphrodite’ drones or the Soviet’s tele-tanks.
Studies are ongoing to replace human soldiers on battlefields with their A.I. counterparts. This is done in view of the fact that “recruiting a soldier costs $15,000; the cost of treating an injured U.S. soldier is about $2 million a year.”
However, the questions of risk remains large in this context –
What if such advanced technologies fall into the hands of the malevolent?
What if artificial intelligence turns into the new-age Frankenstein?
There are many possibilities!
The bottomline is ….
Irrespective of all the arguments for and against A.I., we cannot undermine its profound benefits, at the same time, not turning a blind eye to the many “ifs and buts.”
Artificial intelligence can be termed as one of the major inventions of the human brain. We cannot deny that. But, the way it is replacing humans in every possible sector, we can easily envision the coming future.
After all, A.I. is replacing its creator, if not by intelligence sooner!
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