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The Benefits and Dangers of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is usually defined as the science of making computers do things that require intelligence when done by humans. (Jack Copeland, 2000)

Current Benefits of AI

  • Replicate decisions and actions of humans without human shortcomings.
  • Computers don’t get fatigued and tired.
  • Computers are not biased by emotions.
  • Tasks are scalable and can be done very quickly and effectively.

Current Dangers of AI

  • Some decisions require a level of “grey area”.
  • Replacing jobs and roles done by humans leading to higher level of unemployment and poverty.
  • Viruses and bugs in code leading to catastrophic circumstances such as accidents with self driving cars and in aviation systems.

There are many trends currently taking place in the field of AI.

All the large technology companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple are all pushing for their own advancements and they all want to be at the forefront of this next wave of revolutionary computing future.

From companies such as Google and Uber with their Self Driving Cars, to Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure now offering mechanical turk AI computational engines in the cloud. The past year or two has really started the upwards motion of everyone fighting for the top spot in AI as we know it.

A very interesting example of a real world AI that recently took place was a Google DeepMind fruit picking game, where AI competitors had to all pick fruit against one another. The AI opponents got more and more aggressive as the game got harder and the available fruit got picked. With a very high level of base intelligence and the ability to find algorithmic options millions of moves in advance, this could really pose to be a big problem if it had to get out of control in a real life situation against human counterparts in day to day activities. The AI opponents only cared about “the prize”: “forget decorum, focus on the prize, and shove your opponent out of the way to claim your victory”.

“The more intelligent the AI network is, the quicker it is to get aggressive in competitive situations where such aggression will pay off. The behavior raises questions about the link between intelligence and aggression, what it means for AI to mimic human-like emotional responses, and, if you’re worried about potential robotic overlords, what we need to do to keep AI aggression in check”.

An interesting thing was once said that “AI can’t control humans”, but the fact is that “Intelligence enables control”, for example “we control tigers by being smarter”. This is a very important thing to remember when creating our own potential demise by embedding self learning and intelligence controls into inorganic objects that have no emotion to be able to adjust the spectrum of reality and business decisions from one another.

There are many films that depict “robots taking over the world” and tend to do it quite well, such as “I, Robot”, “RoboGeisha”, “Clash of the Titans”, “The Terminator Films” and many others. What they all seem to have in common is that, with computer science and the never ending push we all seem to be making to benefit technology, nobody ever thought about perhaps building in some sort of “control back door” should things potentially one day go too far.

References

“Artificial Intelligence (AI)” (2017) – Available from https://www.edx.org/course/artificial-intelligence-ai-columbiax-csmm-101x (Accessed on 15th February 2017)

“BENEFITS & RISKS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE” (2016) – Available from https://futureoflife.org/background/benefits-risks-of-artificial-intelligence/ (Accessed on 15th February 2017)

“What is Artificial Intelligence?” (2000) – Available from http://www.alanturing.net/turing_archive/pages/reference%20articles/what%20is%20ai.html (Accessed on 15th February 2017)

“What are the advantages of artificial intelligence?” (Unknown) – Available from https://www.reference.com/world-view/advantages-artificial-intelligence-4761cceb94775101 (Accessed on 19th February 2017)

“The top 50 robots and AI computers in the movies” (2012) – Available from http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/19030/the-top-50-robots-and-ai-computers-in-the-movies (Accessed on 19th February 2017)

“Google’s AI got “highly aggressive” when competition got stressful in a fruit-picking game” (2017) – Available from https://qz.com/911843/googles-ai-got-highly-aggressive-when-competition-got-stressful-in-a-fruit-picking-game/ (Accessed on 15th February 2017)