Artificial intelligence (AI) demonstrates immense potential in terms of improving society as long it is developed and implemented properly. More specifically, humanity should consider the potential threats of AI creation without falling into a state of paranoia. This area of research has been attracting the interest of scientific, expert, and academic communities in the 21st century. Evidently, the idea of an AI is not a recent concept. However, humanity did not demonstrate the required level of technological development until recently. As new inventions in the fields of computer sciences and cybernetics emerged, many activists voiced their concerns regarding the possibility of a dystopian future. According to such views, humanity risks losing control of its AI technology, thus becoming the victim of its own ambitions (“Is AI a Species-Level Threat to Humanity”). However, one may argue that even the most advanced artificial intelligence remains a humanmade entity. Therefore, it is in the developers’ power to take all the necessary precautions. This essay argues that if the AI-associated risks are taken seriously but not exaggerated, this technology can lead to significant improvements in people’s lives.
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The opponents of artificial intelligence often consider it an existential threat to humanity. Atkinson discusses the risk of the human race extinction at the hands of the machines as one of the most common myths surrounding the concept of an AI (para. 14). In other words, AI-driven robots and appliances are projected to rebel against their creators once a sufficient point of autonomy is reached. Ford also theorizes that humanity will disappear once it attains technological singularity (233). The world’s leading experts in technology warn that the loss of control of singularity is a possibility. However, any transition to the new, technologically advanced form of existence can be expected to be an informed decision for humanity. At the same time, Atkinson artfully refutes less global ideas, according to which the spread of AI-driven technology will lead to a shortage of jobs and poorer quality of life. These claims contradict the core purpose of progress, which is to make life easier, not worse. Overall, as long as scientists take a considerate approach to the development of AI and its control mechanisms, the existential threat will only remain a theory.
On the other hand, the positive side of artificial intelligence development and interpretation deserves more attention in the current environment. Surprisingly, the current expert community is optimistic, believing that a true AI can be developed by 2030 (Ford 231). One crucial aspect of AI creation suggests that it is not done spontaneously or independently. As such, all procedures aiming to create a thinking machine still remain under humanity’s control. Ford notes that “there will be no such monster as the self-replicating mechanical nanobot of your dreams” (245). This idea implies that the fears of AI are highly exaggerated within popular culture. Evidently, a breakthrough invention of this magnitude is bound to entail serious transformations. Ford’s forecasts speak in favor of massive job losses and economic deterioration of developed nations (240). However, this outcome is a matter of attitude and precautions taken by humanity. Of course, the AI is physically capable of inflicting such damage. Nevertheless, the exact outcome will depend solely on the way in which humanity’s policy-makers handle the change.
Ultimately, artificial intelligence is not an inherently negative prospect for humanity. More specifically, the development of such advanced technology requires increased attention on behalf of scientists, experts, and policy-makers worldwide. Indeed, the AI possesses a certain destructive potential that should be mitigated. However, the same can be said about nuclear energy or even gunpowder. Humanity managed to implement effective policies that acknowledged the risks of these inventions while finding ways of utilizing them for the common good. A similar approach is required to make AI advancements beneficial for all while eliminating the risks of extinction, deterioration, and economic incapacitation.
Atkinson, Robert D. “5 Myths About the Future of Artificial Intelligence.” Huffpost, 2017. Web.
Ford, Martin. Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. Basic Books, 2016.
“Is AI a Species-Level Threat to Humanity? | Elon Musk, Michio Kaku, Steven Pinker & more | Big Think.” YouTube, uploaded by Big Think, 2020. Web.
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