AI (Artificial Intelligence) is the ability of a computer or robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. It refers to technology that mimics human intelligence to perform tasks and can iteratively improve themselves based on the data they collect. There have been great advancements in the field of AI in recent years and with those advancements’ fears and anxieties. Let’s talk about the dangers, benefits, present reality of AI and potential future opportunities.
Dangers of AI
AI by many is viewed as dangerous. The field is constantly growing and evolving at a speed that is worrying. Here are the common concerns and fears people have about AI:
Job losses in a wide range of fields
The possibility of AI surpassing human intelligence and becoming uncontrollable
Risk of amplifying existing inequalities and discrimination
Used to spread disinformation and manipulation
Distrust because it’s not obvious how AI make decisions
Potential to be used for malicious purposes
Bias in decision-making and lack of accountability
Dependence on AI leading to a lack of critical thinking skills
Data privacy concerns as AI collects large amounts of user data
The proliferation of Artificial Intelligence is far higher than most of us know. AI is being used in healthcare, finance, retail, transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, advertising, education and security.
Finance – banking fraud detection and analytics as well as in customer engagement through chatbots
Healthcare – disease prediction and most recently pandemic management and minimizing impacts of viruses and pathogens
Sales and marketing– customer engagement and behaviour prediction
Agriculture – monitor soil and crops in order to boost yields as well as to predict price and demand fluctuations
Travel and hospitality – facial recognition at airports and other high-risk areas as well as travel disruption management
music: compose music and generate music through text-to-speech programs while mimicking existing musicians
writing: write a wide range of pieces from blog posts to business copy and even creative pieces as well as help with editing
film: restore old film footage and help with special effects and animation
photography: edit photographs like a pro
fashion: design fashion pieces
architecture: design architecture and assist when it comes to construction
What we could do with AI to reshape society and improve people’s lives is so grand as to be borderline utopian.
Universal healthcare: analyze medical images and patient data to aid in diagnosis and treatment planning. This could help to make healthcare more efficient and effective, and potentially reduce costs. AI can also be used to develop personalized medicine, which takes into account the specific genetic makeup of an individual when developing treatment plans.
Universal Basic Income (UBI): has the potential to automate many jobs, which could lead to unemployment for some people. UBI is an idea that every adult citizen would receive a regular sum of money from the government to cover their basic needs, regardless of their employment status. This could be a way of mitigating the negative effects of job loss due to automation. The Case For Universal Basic Income (UBI)
Freedom from work-work-work-die lives: automate many tasks which could free people from being stuck in the present work-work-work-die framework. This freed time could allow people to focus on more meaningful and creative work, as well as to have more time for leisure, family, and community activities.
Improving social services: analyze data on poverty, inequality, and climate change to identify patterns and develop strategies for addressing these challenges. It can also be used to identify and target individuals or communities in need of social services, such as health care and education, and improve their access to these services.
Improving education: personalize learning and provide individualized instruction to students. It can also be used to analyze data on student performance to identify areas where improvements can be made.
Addressing societal challenges: analyze data on poverty, inequality, and climate change to identify patterns and develop strategies for addressing these challenges.
Disaster response: analyze satellite imagery and other data to quickly identify the extent of damage and prioritize aid efforts.
Assistive technology for the disabled: develop technologies such as speech recognition and text-to-speech systems that make it easier for people with disabilities to access information and communicate.
Scientific discovery and research: analyze large amounts of scientific data and identify patterns that can aid in the discovery of new drugs and therapies, as well as in research fields such as Astrology, Biology, and Climate change.
Creativity: looking at what is happening where AI is being used in creative fields to create new content, work on sculptures and art pieces among other things it is clear that AI will play an important role in the creative industry. This is a very controversial subject as people are saying it will replace some creative jobs that are currently there. ChatGPT for instance is being used to automate content writing and it is also being used in code creation. There are now AI influencers who are being used for brand campaigns. It will be interesting to see how AI will be used in creative fields over the next couple of years.
The case for public-ownership of AI
A utopian future with artificial intelligence is only possible if the AI is publicly owned. As long as tech billionaires and the elite own the developments, the benefits will not be available to all people. Making AI publicly owned will have the effect of:
Democratizing access to AI
Ensuring transparency and accountability
Encouraging responsible development and deployment
Improving AI Research and Development
There’s still a lot to figure out but one thing’s certain, we have to being to imagine the kind of world we want and fight for it, otherwise, we’ll end up in some elite dystopia with tech billionaires owning AI and calling all the shots.