Global Engineering

Should We Be Concerned About the Progress of Artificial Intelligence?

When you hear the term artificial intelligence, often the first thing people think of is sci-fi movies depicting robots taking over the world and other horrifying situations of the sort. While this is, admittedly, a rather terrifying prospect, is it really something we need to be afraid of or have we simply been watching too many movies?

What Exactly is Artificial Intelligence?

Essentially, artificial intelligence, commonly abbreviated to AI, refers to the idea of technology and computer systems being able to perform tasks that normally require specific types of human intelligence. That is, being able to replicate human intelligence – that special quality that we can’t quite explain.

This includes things like being able to translate between languages, decision making, recognition and understanding of speech as well as visual perception. In other words, it is the ability to perceive, synthesize and infer information.

What are the Risks of Artificial Intelligence?

Discussing the risks of artificial intelligence is very much a subjective discussion, based completely on opinions. However, that doesn’t mean these risks should be ignored.

  • We Lose Control Over What They Can Do and Learn

Sure, this is the plot from loads of early-2000’s sci-fi flicks, but it’s still something to be aware of. AI is all about enabling systems and programs to develop human-like intelligence, but what if humans, as their creators, lose control over what they’re able to learn?

Well, in theory, they could potentially have ability to ability to learn whatever they need to gain control. And that leads us to our next point.

  • They Become Smarter Than Us

This certainly is the ultimate fear – that machines and computer systems are able to develop in such a way that they actually end up being more intelligent than humans. If they can do that, humans would, in theory, lose control and we’d be at the mercy of robots, which is a rather frightening thought.

  • They’re Used for Nefarious Purposes

Of course, something to consider is always the potential of humans taking advantage and using computers to achieve their own goals. This could involve political issues and so on – for instance, getting involved in elections and even wars.

From a practical standpoint – with regards to things control and even legal issues – who knows where we’d even start!

  • Humans Become Lazy

Unfortunately, a very real concern is that machines and robots becoming highly intelligent and capable will mean that they’re able to do things that only humans were capable of before. That being jobs and other important tasks.

The natural progression seems to be that it’s very likely that humans would simply stop working and putting in the effort, and just leave it to the machines. Nobody really knows how this would end, but it seems fair to hypothesise that this wouldn’t have great repercussions for human intelligence and the progressions and development thereof.

So Should We Be Concerned About AI?

Unlike with racing betting offers, it’s a bit harder to predict what will happen in the future. However, although these things don’t necessarily seem to be happening anytime soon, we should probably maintain awareness. With controls in place, hopefully we’d be able to prevent anything crazy from happening.