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Artificial Intelligence (AI): The Future or the Paradoxical "Beginning of the End?"

The current increase in the momentum of AI adoption across sectors and everyday life has been met with mixed reactions. There are fears concerning the strides and exponential advancement of AI technology, its acceptance, and how it currently affects or will affect humanity and society in the future. Conversely, there are also some levels of acceptance and open-mindedness toward AI, which is perceived as futuristic.

With change being the only known constant to man, the world and everything within it are susceptible. However, it is ironic how often humans are afraid of change, considering how it is enduring.

The topical development in artificial intelligence is novel, causing apprehension. It is worth wondering if the fear is justifiable or not. Furthermore, if AI happens to be the future, what does that say about the future fate of humans?

While we can only speculate at this point, a debate will be put forward for both viewpoints. In this post, we will discuss two diverging perspectives concerning AI, its current advancement, and its adoption.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

It is worth noting that the term AI and innovation itself are dynamic. What was at some point described as artificial intelligence, like the ability of a computer to perform a human task like calculation, for instance, is now considered an inherent computer function and not artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence, or the more popular acronym, AI, is the ability of a digital computer, a computer-controlled system, or a machine to perform tasks associated with human intelligence: their ability to reason, make deductions and inductions, discover meaning, and learn from past events or experiences. AI technology is remarkable because it can perform cognitive tasks independently of human intervention and at a speed that exceeds expectations.

Today, there are five essential subsets of AI: machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, computer vision, and robotics, with machine learning being the most popular and widely adopted.

AI as the Future or the Beginning of the End?

If not all, a reasonable amount of people have at some point read a book or seen a fictional movie about how robots or other artificial intelligence systems created by man turned against humanity. These horrid fictional movies and books saw the shift of power from humans to one of their creations: AI robots. However, this should be taken only at face value; it is fiction. Nevertheless, the subtle warnings and dangers shouldn’t be ignored.

On the other hand, AI technology has become a large part of millions of people's everyday lives, drastically improving daily activities, including simple and complex tasks. Some might even argue that we cannot do without it. Today, many industries and sectors have adopted AI-powered tools, with a high-expected future adoption. AI in healthcare, finance AI, education AI, marketing AI, retail AI, and e-commerce AI are some leading AI adopters. In addition, it can also be found in home devices, including personal assistants on smartphones. The continuous evolution of AI means no sector will be left out in its adoption, as its applications are endless.

It is difficult not to see the advantages that come with AI. Those who refuse can be termed myopic. With it, the world can be changed for the better if it is used ethically and fairly. World hunger and poverty can become history. The mortality rate can be drastically curtailed. The futuristic invention might as well be termed the "future" if it can solve all humans' underlying problems.

Despite the perceived benefits of AI, there have been concerns about over-reliance on it to the point of complacency. For instance, the rave of the moment, ChatGPT, which has elements of AI, is an AI chatbot users can interact with in a conversational way to solve problems seamlessly. To put it into context, it can write an article (without considering the quality) around this topic in seconds, whereas it will take the author hours to develop their first draft.

The efficiency of AI in improving human experiences, products, and processes cannot be overstated. Nevertheless, it is a double-edged sword. We already highlighted how humans can become overly reliant on AI and how that can lead to complacency. It can also lead to a decrease in creativity, and cognitive ability when such tasks are given to machines or AI tools are used to solve them.

Undoubtedly, AI is changing the world, for the most part, for the better. It is more than just a buzz. Today, various industries see the need to adopt AI tools due to their efficiency. But will a time come when AI won’t be as beneficial? Also, one can’t help but ask, at what cost will AI adoption come, both now and in the future?

There are arguments about how the current breakthrough in artificial intelligence in most industries, their dependence on it, and the increasingly high population of humans put the populace in a bleak and uncertain future. Questions such as how people will make a living if machines take up many available jobs are at the forefront.

A contentious concern with AI is its integration into various professions and how it may affect employment. This effect of AI has been in motion, with jobs threatened across sectors and industries and more of the human workforce expected to become obsolete. Inteng AI into drives and automation of specific employment and processes have been the concerns of industry leaders. The intended or unintended effect is that people are pushed out of the workforce, with machines replacing human labor.

A relatable example of this is self-driving cars. Self-driving cars, such as those from Tesla, are incorporated with AI, which allows them to drive efficiently. However, this implies that driving skills are no longer required. If self-driving cars become the norm, driving skills will become obsolete, and consequently, there will be no need for drivers.

Furthermore, the fear of AI autonomy and takeover isn’t only prospective; evidence of it has recently appeared. In 2017, news broke out about Facebook’s AI chatbots being shut down over fears of going rogue. The negotiating chatbots, Alice and Bob, were reportedly shut down after they started communicating in a unique language humans couldn’t understand. However, a fact check by USA Today (2021) reported that, while the event did happen, the chatbots weren’t shut down because of their communication in a unique language but rather because "Facebook directed them to prioritize correct English usage." 

Nevertheless, the fears are valid; they provide a glimpse into the horrifying potential of AI to advance independently of humans, becoming more efficient and self-supervised. This is horrifying, considering globalization and how technology and AI play a significant role in interconnectedness. Let's imagine for a second that AI becomes independent, self-supervised, and able to figure out global interconnectedness. What is to say there won’t be a collaboration with other AI systems and a purely logical conclusion devoid of emotion reached about humanity being a threat to the world? What will be the fate of humanity? Will it be Armageddon, just like in the movies? However, these are, at best, mere speculations and not possibilities.

We shouldn’t beat ourselves up over a phenomenon that might not happen. The world needs AI, and considering how we have come to depend on them due to its efficiency, it will be nearly impossible to eliminate them.

AI comes with limitless possibilities, making it all the scarier. It is a field that shouldn't be dabbled in carelessly. Caution should be exercised, with close monitoring and understanding of AI robots, systems, and tools. Lastly, there should be control, which should be exercised when needed. This can come in shutting down, disabling, or reprogramming.

Final Thoughts

The debate over whether AI is a threat to humans or beneficial and whether its pros outweigh its cons will rage for decades. Stephen Hawking, an eminent theoretical physicist, warns that artificial intelligence could end humanity. In an interview with the BBC in 2014, he said that “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” He continued, "It would take off on its own and re-design itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete and would be superseded."

While Hawking believed humans had benefited immensely from the primitive forms of AI developed so far, he nonetheless feared the consequences of advancements in AI that can match or surpass humans.

To avoid singularity, a hypothetical moment in time when AI and other technologies become so advanced that they cause a dramatic and irreversible change in humanity, AI safety and control are crucial. There should be a limit to how AI and technology are incorporated into professions to keep the human workforce.

To sum it all up, while we keep enjoying the benefits of AI in our daily activities and professions, there should be control and safety. AI companies around the world should incorporate control and safety into their creations and make AI tools and machines safer for the populace.


Whether AI is the future or the beginning of the end cannot be sufficiently answered for now. It has proved to be futuristic so far. Nevertheless, there are valid concerns and fears surrounding the field. If anything, when the world finally ends, I hope it isn’t because of advanced AI. It would be shattering, even in my grave.


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