By Chris K.
It is as though we stand in front of two doors, behind door number one is technological stagnation and lack of innovation, behind door number two is continued improvement to our intelligent machines. You would be hard pressed to find a system, practice, or even an ideology that stands to transform the world in a more powerful way than artificial intelligence (AI). We must take into consideration the economic effects, ethical implications, and the current extent of AI’s application and what the future holds for it. I think unleashing such an unbridled system of machine learning can either benefit the world or contribute to its demise. It is imperative we responsibly and properly design computer systems that augment human capabilities and usher in the new era of technological innovation.
In the ever-evolving digital age we live in, technology has enveloped us and become a way of life. Artificial intelligence is poised to create more advanced and prosperous times, it is the next wave in data computing and will undoubtedly lead to major transformations in society. AI is advanced computer systems carrying out tasks and behaviors such as critical thinking and reasoning as well as demonstrating automation, these systems are used in all facets of society and are continually improving. Without further application of data computing systems, the advancement of humanity from a scientific and technological standpoint could come to a screeching halt.
There are major economic implications saddled to building the ultimate labor saving technology which could transform the way the world works. Creating devices that can learn, problem solve, and do all human labor could potentially end poverty. Matthew Scherer with the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology points out that even intellectual disciplines will be affected by automation “defining AI often tied the concept of intelligence to the ability to perform particular intellectual tasks” (Scherer 360). In the right society and political system this technology could almost completely eliminate the need for people to work. Then people would be free to pursue their true interests and passions without the need to put them on hold to work for a living.
Data computing systems analyze bits of information millions of times faster than people can which makes them highly more effective at doing many jobs people now do. Machines are already in use that perform at a level of super intelligence and have the ability to think flexibly across different domains. Currently even the stock market relies heavily on AI to analyze algorithms and project profitable moves for shareholders. Global markets will exponentially grow as economic efficiency is at its peak potential which could help create economic freedom all over the world.
Equally important are the ethical consequences that need to be taken into account. With the ability to do tasks better than humans, the country that creates AI has the massive responsibility to do so with humanity as their central concern. Newton-Thomas an independent consultant on robotics says that “the problems we face from technology and AI are not a point on the horizon – they are starting now – and the issue is not the technologies themselves but the inability of our current systems and ideologies to adapt to them ethically” (Newton-Thomas 27). Through legislation and constructive debate, it will be necessary to create legal systems and institutions within our government and societal infrastructure that can properly interpret the law regarding such new innovations.
The integration of AI will need to be checked by political and legislative due processes to ensure that it is being used ethically and in ways that align with our interests. There are already many institutions that work to promote peace globally through interconnectedness of nations. I think with global cooperation this technology could help solve many of the problems the world faces today. AI can improve world relations through the ability to better connect world leaders, bridge linguistic gaps, and help make ethical decisions by processing statistical data at lightning fast speed.
The current application of AI is all around us, there’s a chance you have a device that utilizes artificial intelligence in your pocket right now. Nick Bostrum, at the University of Oxford claims “Your phone has more computational ability than all the equipment and systems used to put a man on the moon” (Bostrum). AI is used in almost every industry to interpret data and aid in application to solve problems, from the medical field to finance and transportation. The future of AI will push scientific limits to new levels creating more sophisticated ways for people to understand the world we live in. The sky is the limit for AI, its abilities can be harnessed and used to further knowledge and education, which sparks innovation and fuels change.
Education is one of the most important fields in regards to planning for the future, if people understand AI and its benefits there will be more seamless integration. Through the collaboration and exchange of ideas between people and machines we are able to better develop purpose-built solutions to a myriad of problems. Modern day problems caused by human activities can be mitigated with the use of advanced computing systems, by effectively applying answers to serious issues extrapolated from cognitive based computer systems. Tackling these problems from a global perspective will be necessary and with its power to unite people and knowledge there doesn’t exist a better way to do it than AI
We have the ability to create machines that are better than us at completing certain tasks and can even make refinements to their own source code improving their power and capabilities. This isn’t just in the future as Johnson, professor of applied computer science at Virginia University states “presently there are machines in development or already in use which are able to decide on a course of action and to act without human intervention” (Johnson 708). We are at the beginning of a revolution in our digital age where knowledge and using it in the most efficient way is the name of the game. Computer systems that interpret data at staggering speeds that offer help in developing plans to properly apply the information are the technological oracles that increase our standard of life. There are many obstacles and questions to AI’s usage and valid apprehension because of the power and far-reaching abilities of such a technology. However, there is more to be lost if we don’t continue implementation, AI can enrich our experience and help us reach the pinnacle of intelligence in the cognitive revolution.
Bostrom, Nick. “What Happens When Computers Get Smarter Than Us?” TED. Apr. 2016. Lecture.
Johnson, Deborah1, dgj7p@Virginia.EDU. “Technology with No Human Responsibility? .” Journal of Business Ethics 127.4 (2015): 707-715. Education Source. Web. 2 Feb. 2017.
Newton-Thomas, James. “Technology’s Slippery Slope.” Issues 98 (2012): 27-30. Education Source. Web. 9 Feb. 2017.
Scherer, Matthew U. “Regulating Artificial Intelligence Systems: Risks, Challenges, Competencies, And Strategies.” Harvard Journal Of Law & Technology 29.2 (2016): 353-400. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 Feb. 2017.