Artificial Intelligence: Benefit or damage?

by Clara Preve

Artificial Intelligent technologies surround our daily life in a natural way and just like every new technology, it has become a controversial subject because of the different and diverse points of views that emerge from society. Many of the new machinery is seen as a threat to people because of the unknown situation and the fear it brings with it. On the other hand, another group of people, which includes scientists, academics, among others, consider them as a proof of an advanced society. In the following paragraphs I want to highlight what exactly is an Artificial Intelligence, providing its advantages and disadvantages, and where does it come from. Artificial Intelligent technologies, a term not used among people, are common in our daily life without us noticing it.

Alan Turing’s question

Alan Turing, a British computer scientist, and mathematician is known as the father of the Artificial Intelligence. In the 1940’s he made to himself the following question: “Are there imaginable digital computers which would do well in the imitation game?”. With this in mind,  he created a test in order to evaluate if a machine has a similar intelligence as a human’s mind. This test included human tester, who judged the responses of a machine and a human but did not know who wrote down each answer. If the tester could not tell who’s answer belong to each one of the participants, then the machine proved to have a similar intelligence to a human. Turing introduced this test in 1950, in his paper, “Computing, Machinery, and Intelligence”.

Since 1950, this has become an important concept and highly influential among scientists and academics. Besides this, since Turing’s discovery, society has worked and developed Artificial Intelligence, becoming now, something natural and common in societies daily life.

What is Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is a computer programme that has been designed to perform determined operations that are considered strictly proper of human intelligence. As well known, humans have rejected new technologies since decades behind. For example, at first, the writing was considered a threat to memory and a promotion of negligence. Nevertheless, once the technology is inside society, the process of naturalization starts. This consists of it being such an important and common part of a person’s daily life, that no one is aware of its effects. This is why we are not used to noticing all the Artificial Intelligent technologies that surround our lives: for example, the conversion of a voice becoming text, Facebook recognizing a person’s face on a picture and automatically tagging them, autonomous cars, among others. Artificial Intelligence is all around us and year after year, it keeps expanding and providing new solutions for human’s necessities.

Advantages of Artificial Intelligence

In my opinion, Artificial Intelligence is bringing great advantages to society especially, into companies. Today, a computer can detect patterns and predict situations, as well as increase efficiency in marketing, security, sales, financing, among other areas. One of the best advantages that Artificial Intelligence has provided to society is in the field of medicine. Now, diseases can be detected at an early stage because machines have the ability to distinguish certain patterns of cancer detection or other diseases. This, of course, provides more opportunities to save a person’s life and to find the cure for certain illnesses, which were some years ago considered chronicles. Another example is security technologies, that provide more confidence to people than human’s intelligence. Security cameras, antivirus, software programmes, among others, are more effective to fulfill the need of security among society. The lastest Artificial Intelligent technology is a toilet which was made in order for people not to use paper anymore and, besides that, it provides a fragrance that avoids the smells in the bathroom.

These are just to name a few, but Artificial Intelligence has made our daily life easier and instead of humans performing the tasks, new technologies are created to do it for them. For example, Siri has the ability to answer questions, as well as calling whoever you want to talk to just by saying their name. Another example is Google Maps, which replaced traditional paper maps and can guide a person to their destination.

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Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence

Most of the times, Artificial Intelligent technologies are programmed to perform tasks which would usually be done by humans intelligence. With this said, Artificial Intelligence can sometimes escape from our control and with no human intelligence controlling it, it could develop a disaster. For example, some artificial intelligent weapons, which should only be used by experienced people, could provoke a tragedy if someone not qualified uses them.
Artificial Intelligence entails that a large part is no longer under our control and because of this, a naive technology could easily provoke a disaster, because of flaws in their production, usability, natural factors, among others.

Apart from this, I believe that, as machines replace human’s work, companies reduce their employees and instead, invest in machinery which can do the same work, in a faster and more efficient way. This has reduced workforce jobs, an opportunity that is no longer available as much as it was before.

Opportunities to improve

I believe that Artificial Intelligence has provided benefits to societies and are a proof of progress. Nevertheless, I consider that it’s not well distributed among countries. Developed and powerful countries have succeeded in acquiring a large amount of Artifical Intelligent technologies, just like autonomic cars, for example, while less developed and poorer countries still don’t have their basic necessities covered. This type of technologies have solved problems among humans since the 20th century but still, there are a lot of immediate situations that need to be solved. For example, food supplies, health, drinking water, electricity, among others. Society has made a huge progression in the last century, but, if we were able to develop Artificial Intelligent technologies, in less developed countries conflicts, then the world would be more equal.

 

By Clara Preve