The Dawn of Artificial Intelligence?

Imagine a future where machines and software work hand in hand in a way that would make them seem ‘intelligent’. This may be possible in the distant future because of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) which can be imagined to be a virtual brain which is able to learn, reason, and solve problems . According to the famed physicist Stephen Hawking, AI will either be the best or worst thing to ever happen to humanity. If it is not managed properly, it may spell the end of humanity. Thus, should governments prioritise on the regulation or development of AI?

Regulate it

According to Tractica, a market research firm, the annual global revenue for AI products and services will grow from $643.7 million in 2016 to $36.8 billion by 2025. This represents a 57-fold increase over that time period. The long-term goal of many engineers is to create a general AI which can outperform humans at nearly every cognitive task. IBM’s Watson has worked on numerous autonomous weapons.

However, in terms of safety, current ‘narrow AIs’ have minor risks such as hacking. This risk amplifies as the level of AI and autonomy increases. Proper regulation is not limited only to development but also when AI is being applied. The question is what will happen if the quest for general AI succeeds and an AI system outperforms humans’ at all cognitive tasks. This is all thanks to a company’s autonomy to research AI. It would be devastating if AI were programmed by the wrong person to do something disastrous. Autonomous weapons and an AI arms race can inadvertently lead to an AI war that will result in mass casualties. There is potential for an AI system to either intentionally or unintentionally cause great harm to people. Thus, a short-term challenge is to establish regulations to prevent the potential occurrence of drastic consequences in future.

The introduction of ‘Kiva’, an AI robot in Amazon warehouses, reduced operating expenses by 20%. According to Accenture, AI has the potential to double the GDP growth rates of 12 developed economies by 2035. However, the downsides of using AI systems outweigh the profit generated. For instance, integrating AI in the manufacturing industry may cause mass retrenchment. The newly unemployed workers will then experience economic hardship which will hence lead to a sense of worthlessness. To prevent mass unemployment, governments can limit the involvement of AI systems in the labour force.

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AI has rapidly developed and is now applied to situations that humans struggle with such as climate change research and medical life-saving diagnoses. As mentioned, the development of AI might reduce the workforce thus causing humans to be over-reliant on machines. Humans may not be able to replicate manual skills as they did in the past. At that point in time, humans will be habituated towards laziness. They will lack skills and have a limited understanding of machines. As a result of excessive technical dependency, it will be difficult to troubleshoot mistakes made by AI as the task gets more complicated. Consequently, humans will have less control over AI and this may become a threat for humans. This problem can be minimised by monitoring the algorithm to ensure feasibility and legislation of AI.

Develop it.

For the sake of progress, it is better to focus on the development of the AI industry. The introduction of regulations will hinder the development of AI. Countries that prioritize regulations are likely to fall behind others in terms of research and development (R&D). As argued by Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, the development of AI may cause certain jobs to become obsolete. However, it will create new fields which will lead to more highly skilled jobs in the long run. There will be a reduction of jobs in the short term however the welfare of the general public will improve in the long term. Eventually, the workers who have lost their jobs due to AI in factories will be moved into different sectors. R&D of AI should be free and ongoing as it allows the country to lead the pace of future advancement.

AI can potentially speed up and reduce cost during the research and development stage of a project. For instance, AI can be used to optimize the design of an aircraft by decreasing the design time and subsequently the cost. By saving time and money, further improvisation can be done to the aircraft to boost its efficiency. Virtue ethics focuses on the well-being of a professional which supports the act of involving AI moderately and linearly in the design process of engineering. Without the concept of virtue ethics, not only the involvement of AI but all sorts of decision will have to be regulated before the final decision. This will be time consuming and complicated.

ChronologyMD is a project to elevate the efficiency of health communication using AI components for Crohn’s disease patients. The traditional way of health communication was analysed to develop eHealth communication operated by AI. The communication between doctors and patients has improved since. AI health communication can cater for a user-centered design which can be personalised according to different needs for effective health communication. Doctors and researchers can both benefit from this holistic approach thus gaining information and knowledge in terms of social science and design science for maximum felicity. As a result, productivity and efficiency will greatly increase with the aid of AI in our daily life which justify the need to focus on AI development.

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In conclusion, AI has the possibility of assisting mankind to achieve greater heights. However, there is a possibility of AI turning on mankind and bringing destruction. To prevent this, the assertion of jurisdiction can be applied by the government to companies whenever risk is identified during the regulation stage. This is to prevent impeding research and development while maintaining human safety. Proper regulation of AI should only be established by governments on industries that may unintentionally bring great harm to humans.

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12 thoughts on “The Dawn of Artificial Intelligence?

  1. heavy science and engineering calculations are supposed to be done by the human brain, and now the computer not only can complete this calculation, but also faster and more accurate than the human brain, Artificial intelligence needs to make new progress in the future.
    It boosts Economy. So I support developing AI . It also contributed to the development of the computer industry.What should man do?he potential threat of artificial intelligence is directly proportional to its potential interests, So people are afraid of its bad consequences but cannot refuse AL. In order to make good use of this technology,there must be a sound regulatory system or “morality Bound “, which is what is currently missing.Many foreign countries think the future of artificial intelligence is not very “optimistic”, AI will be smarter than human beings and will be above or exceed the man .Bill Gates said: “I am worried about the future of artificial intelligence. At first, the machine will do a lot of things for us, it cannot be too smart. It needs to be well controlled.The development of artificial intelligence is an inevitable trend, we do not want to be ruled by the machines. I believe that it is unlikely to limit development of artificial intelligence as human beings want to progress, Human beings want to have better understanding of the universe and know ourselves. So we cannot stop the technology just because AI has potential threats.

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  2. I do believe that AI is important in the development of technology. Like you mentioned, there is a risk where AI will harm humans and overturn us. It is unlikely but not impossible. Going slightly astray here, taking an example of the movie i-Robot. Even when the robots were installed with Isaac Asimov’s 3 rules of robotics, it still somehow managed to ‘manipulate’ the rules turning it into their favour.

    Recently as well, Google’s AI was found to create a language on its own. This shows how ‘smart’ AI can be and us citizens are worried about what could they do in the future.

    Although it sounds scary, i do think that AI can be tightly regulated. Humans should not depend on AI or machines but rather work together with AI and machines. This would hopefully ensure that us humans wont be over thrown by robots in the future.

    In terms of job opportunities, i believe than implementing machines that ‘does the work for us’ wouldn’t decrease the amount of jobs available. There are still necessities to maintain and repair the robots which humans will do thus an increase in job opportunity. Also, this allows humans to focus on other sectors as machines are performing relatively ‘repetitive’ jobs.

    As Yue Zhao stated, we cannot simply stop the using AI just because it has threats. The presence of danger and threats should be considered as a way to further refine the AI technology.

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  3. Great article where the pros and cons of AI and articulated well.
    In my opinion, the very idea to create an artificial intelligence is to make the lives of humans easier by bringing in the emotional quotient to the machines along with the general intelligence.
    However, even invention leads to additional risk that not only the creator has to face but also the users. Humans can unnecessarily be highly dependent on the machines if the use of artificial intelligence becomes rampant. Not only that, Artificial intelligence (AI) in wrong hands is a serious threat to mankind in general. It may lead to mass destruction. Al these stated above are merely some disadvantages that AI may bring upon.
    Still, the need of having beneficial effects of artificial intelligence on the society has motivated research in many areas like security or control. AI and robotics will not only improve the way we think or live our lives, but also explores new horizons. The Sky is the limit – says Oren Etzioni, every action do comes with an consequences but just how humans handle the problems or risks associated with it.

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  4. Interesting article. There are definitely pros and cons associated with AI but I think it is something that may be inevitable considering the amount of research and advancements taking place already. Although AI has the potential to run certain jobs obsolete, I think this can said in the same way about how the internet has developed. For example, due to advancements of the internet, many jobs or businesses that were successful in the past are now almost non-existent/rare such as newspaper publishers (replaced by e-books), video stores (replaced by netflix/online streaming), taxi drivers (slowly being replaced by Uber), cashiers (replaced by self-service checkouts) etc. Therefore, I think there is a chance that developing AI can also bring about new types of jobs and markets for businesses which will create more jobs rather than increasing unemployment. In a similar way that the internet has brought new phenomenons such as e-commerce and the shared economy, AI may also bring new and exciting things in the future. Therefore, it is important that humans work with AI for a healthy development rather than let it overtake and weaken our capabilities.

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  5. Based on the article, I believe that the development of AI has a huge potential but I just don’t necessarily agree with it. If successful, it’ll cause an even bigger disparity between social classes.

    Something along the lines of the poor will get laid off their daily jobs and the rich get richer. The article mentioned that there’s a possibility that there might be other future job opportunities but I believe that those are linked to more professional roles.

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  6. As mentioned in the article above, AI has its own pros and cons. The development of AI will allow producers or the government to fully utilise their scare resources (money, raw materials etc). This will lead to an increase in the productivity of the country and the GDP of the country. However, because firms are always finding ways to increase their productivity while keeping cost at all time low, it is possible that firms will reduce the amount of labour employed and use more AI since using machineries are more consistent and efficient. As more people get laid off, the unemployment rate of the country will increase and this contradicts with the governments objective for a perfect economy of low unemployment. Due to the getting laid off, the income distribution between the different social class will be greater than before. In crux, I think that the disadvantages of AI outweighs its advantages.

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  7. I think it’s quite difficult to truly categorise and contemplate the use and dangers of artificial intelligence without being directly involved in it and its creation. It’s such a complex matter that the average person’s opinion is very likely to be misinformed or at least heavily biased based on their pre-existing fears or feelings towards robotics and computer software in general, since AI and robotics seem to go together to many people.

    The positives and negatives of artificial intelligence can be debated for any extended period of time, but until we have firsthand experience with true, well-developed AI, it is challenging to truly pinpoint whether allowing something that isn’t ‘alive’ to develop to a high level of intelligence. A lot of the most recent AI experiments have used social media to allow the programs to learn, which has often led to them being cut short or taken out of the public eye (the ‘teen girl’ AI that Microsoft created and released in 2016 is a prime example).

    Essentially, I do think that AI had the strong possibility of going either way. Personally, I don’t believe I know enough about it as someone that isn’t versed in that side of technology and computing, but it’s undeniable that the mere possibilities an autonomous artificial intelligence presents are both terrifying and fascinating.

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  8. Good article on AI. I just want to share my views as below:

    AI, like it or not, its the future.
    20 years ago, mobile phones was something great and expensive with limited functions. It can make and receive calls ONLY. No sms, no games and not even a calculator function in it. Look what we have today. A smartphone which we can’t go out without it. With the smartphones we don’t memorize telephone numbers of others and this has caused us using less brain power for memorizing. Are we that poor in memorizing nowadays as we don’t practice memorizing phone numbers anymore as we use more of the phonebook function on our smartphone?
    During the same time, car manufacturers introduced the auto gear cars instead of the manual “stick” gears. It was a poor decision if we buy an auto car at that time as the auto gearbox is prone to maintenance and it is an expensive and difficult part to procure at that time. If we look on the roads today, we can see more than 80% of the cars are auto geared.
    A smaller version of AI has invaded many of the houses nowadays. As it is smaller version, it is the smart version. Many houses have the robotic vacuum cleaner that vacuum the floor on its own at a preset time (even goes back to its docking station to recharge if the batteries are low) and it can vacuum floors even with chairs, tables, steps. These static obstacles are no challenge to the vacuum cleaners but not dynamic obstacles such as people walking about while it is vacuuming. The next function might be a human sized vacuum which can collect used cups, wine glasses, cutlery and send it to the dishwasher automatically while we are moving around such as in a restaurant.
    On all my views above are about real life past and present experience and if you have read it, you will be able to imagine and feel the situation back then and today especially with the phones. But AI are not be able to have a real life feel and emotions so at certain task or certain point, we as human will need to provide the jurisdiction. If don’t control it, then the movie “Terminator” will be a true future story as machines takes over the world and we as humans just created our master instead of our slave.

    Yes, its the dawn of AI, like it or not, its the future, be ready to embrace it.

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  9. A very interesting read.

    Though it is well known that AI provides a huge benefit to our daily lives, I am currently still leaning to the side of regulating AI. Or at least limit it from the mass public. In my opinion our current general level of technology is insufficient to prevent hacks and invasion of privacy. Privacy is a cost too high to pay for this level of luxury.

    I do however agree that the development of AI will benefit professional sectors, where there exist a very high possibility of an increase in productivity. Though I would like to point out that some workers in the factories which jobs will be taken over by AI may not be suitable for R&D positions.

    All in all, the development of AI can be encouraged but with strict limitation and control. Where its development should be coupled along with encrypting technologies to ensure the privacy of the general public or companies are not compromised.

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  10. Interesting article. I am of the opinion that development of AI should be encouraged with strict control and regulatory measures. And such development could bring great benefits to humanity.

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