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Artificial Intelligence: Apocalypse waiting to happen?

The field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has gotten contradictory reactions from members of the scientific and political communities. Experts debate whether AI will be the science to save us all or if award-winning director Steven Spielberg was right in his portrayal of the future of AI.


Advancements in AI: 


Is AI more advanced than society is led to believe? In 2011, Watson, from IBM, beat the best players in Jeopardy, and in November 2022, Elon Musk’s company OpenAI launched ChatGpt. A project by DoNotPay, led by CEO, Joshua Broder, has launched the first AI lawyer. The AI lawyer won 2 million cases for clients against organizations in a range of complaints.


Big companies such as Boston Dynamics have opted to use AI-powered robots for the completion of dangerous manual building tasks. AI is everywhere in the daily lives of society, even if we do not realize it; from courthouses to operation rooms, some form of AI has a role in almost any industry.


DeepMind trained an AI named Alpha Go to compete against the world's foremost Go player and won. Even Microsoft joined in the fun with a chatbot of their own named Tay, whom they set up on Twitter to learn the common speech of teenage girls and accurately predict their speech patterns and train of thought until she met her untimely end at the hands of rogue hackers.



The dangers of AI?


The big question remains: what does the future of AI hold for society? Opinions on the matter are running rampant, from chat rooms to news outlets. But what do the experts have to say?


In an Open Letter, prominent names such as Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and countless other industry experts from all corners of the world  warned against the dangers of weaponizing AI or creating AI armies to replace global troops. They believe so strongly in this that they signed a petition to make the act illegal.

"Thus the first ultra-intelligent machine is the last invention that man needs to make," said I. J. Good in his 1965 article, Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine. Good believed that the rise of AI would lead to a decline in human necessity.


An interview was taken by actress Gemma Chan with Martin Ford from DP World, where Martin stated that his concern is the loss of human jobs and the economic downfall of the world. He used two articles as a example , one was written by a human journalist and one was written  by AI. It was impossible to extinguish the AI from the human, both articles where written displaying human insight and emotion, giving cause to his concern that almost no job market will be safeguarded against AI infiltration.


The biggest warning against AI comes in the form of its lack of morality. Take the following example: A building is set for demolition, but a family of stray dogs has made the building their home. A human operator would postpone the demolition and have the dogs removed before continuing. However, Prof. Nick Bostrom from Oxford University theorizes that due to a lack of natural values, the AI operator would continue with the demolition, not seeing the dogs as a necessary obstacle to postponing the demolition. AIs are programmed to complete their goals without hesitation. Could this mean that humans might one day be seen as an obstacle to achieving their goal? 

The positives behind the development of AI 


The team behind the company DeepMind believes in building AI that can solve problems, learn from past mistakes, and thus develop strategies that could mean the end of medical fatalities due to human error. They aim to create an AI that can see patterns that human experts have missed and hopefully save lives. 


The medical field is a major player in the AI market, and the latest development in R=Ai Radiology could save many more lives. According to a Stanford University study, AI radiology can accurately read scans at an 81% success rate compared to a human's 79% success rate.


Apart from the medical field, the economic effect could be just as great. If a balance could be made between human employees and AI assistance, almost any economic sector could maximize its profits and limit liability. 


AI is also currently used in multiple other sectors, such as

  1. Financial fraud detection

  2. Virtual Customer Assistance

  3. Software malfunction and virus detection 

What is the point of AI? 


The main focus of the AI development industry is to create a machine that is not only super intelligent but also can develop strategies, identify patterns, and create solutions. Essentially, science wants to create a machine that can think and learn. Scientists believe that AI could very well mean the end of human error and the start of a whole new world. The most important role of AI in the future of humanity is to process complex data and make a decision based on every possible outcome. 



Actress Gemma Chan, who portrays Mia in the Netflix series Humans, decided to put AI to the test, by creating an AI version of herself in 2016 to determine how far society is from humanoid AIs. The documentary concluded that we have approached a tipping point in our journey with AI, which requires society to decide where we stand on the matter and evaluate if the risk outweighs the reward.


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