How dangerous is Artificial Intelligence or AI?

Artificial Intelligence is the capability of machines to do any task automatically with high preciseness, in simple.  To understand Artificial Intelligence, we need to understand, what is intelligence actually?
Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Intelligence is a measure for this, it can be used both for good and evil. So, could Artificial Intelligence be dangerous for us? Let's see in the following article.

In modern world, dependence on machines is rising exponentially. Today, AI performs important tasks such as management optimization, facial recognition, fraud detection, automated language translations etc. which has transformed our lives by making it easier and our systems more efficient. However, these forms of AI are considered as weak by scientists and researchers, they are now targeting to create a stronger AI which can outperform human intelligence and ability at almost all cognitive decisions. But that can be dangerous for humans.

The Fear of AI

The most sort of interesting fear about AI, is that as it can possibly be smarter than us, it could use this power to take control over us because of a defective programming or because of an emergent bad intention as a system. This idea has been thought again and again by Hawking, some movies such as Ex Machina, Her (in a sense), I Robot, etc.

So, here I am describing some more threats of AI:
(i) Unemployment: Automation is the biggest challenge for humans as it has eliminated human roles in redundant jobs and hence can lead to large scale unemployment.
(ii) Threat to privacy: An AI program that recognizes speech and understands natural language is theoretically capable of understanding each conversation on e-mails and telephones.
(iii)Kill-bots: Many countries are developing autonomous weapons in the form of battlefield robots. These self-improving AI systems can become so mighty that it could become difficult to stop them from achieving their goals, which may lead to unintended consequences.
(iv)Super-Intelligence: As complexity of machines rises, it becomes increasingly difficult to control them. Last year, two artificial intelligence programs developed by Facebook started chatting to each other in their own language following which Facebook shut down the experiment. This shows how fast these machines are evolving.

Most other threats and fear of AI will likely focus on the hysteria surrounding the “terminator” scenario of AI.

Going More Deeper
Okay. So, today in this article I am going to think from a different perspective. To find dangers from Intelligent Machines, first let us know the threats of normal human intelligence.
Here are a few dangers of ordinary human intelligence:

  • criminal activity
  • social dishonesty
  • selfish ambition
  • excessive consumption

Either AI could share those dangers of misbehavior, or it could be programmed to rise above them. Given that AI evolves faster than human, it is optimistic to think they could be more capable, ethical actors than we are.

Now let us look on few threats that human do by using technology, this will help us in understanding that how technology can use itself in an evil manner. Here are a few historical dangers of technology and its application by humans:

  • creating unemployment
  • unbalanced international competition
  • environmental destruction
  • making resources scarce
  • facilitating war
  • domination through propaganda
  • destroying privacy
  • suppressing freedom

These are same dangers of the human race that were faced throughout the 20th century, even when AI was not much of a factor. AI is going to make technology more powerful, and we need to adapt better than before.

According to a report AI has killed a few people. Mainly these were industrial accidents involving human error when setting up or working with robots. These were industrial accidents.
The overall safety record of robots in industry will likely continue to improve due to better design methods for making safer robots.
I seriously doubt it. No sane person actually has the goal of destroying the human race, and there is no benefit to be obtained from it. I think that as AIs becomes more capable, mature, and self-motivated, they will have every reason to be fascinated with biological life and preserve it.
After all, technology and biology are complementary to each other. Silicon is as likely to replace carbon as AIs are to replace human. I believe that is not going to happen.

The End Notes

AI has proved to be beneficial for humans in the past years but it does not ensure the same in future. I think the use of AI should be very well examined. While continuous research can help us better prepare for and prevent any potentially negative consequences, we should be focusing more on inculcating human morals and values in these systems such that we enjoy the benefits of AI while avoiding its hazards.

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