Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a machine’s ability to demonstrate intelligence comparable to that of humans. The AI algorithms are developed for a specific task, and they imply that a device can scan its environment and perform actions for achieving a set goal. The use of artificial intelligence suggests both improvements in various domains of human activity such, as medicine or manufacturing, and dangers connected to the loss of jobs and unknown implications of AI’s advancement.
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AI is a technology that was first introduced in 1956 and has overcome several transformations over the years, including skepticism towards its capabilities and lack of appropriate hardware to support AI’s work. The current stage of AI’s development is innovation, meaning that different AI algorithms are being introduced to the market. Jennings states that “today, you will find Als in factories, schools, hospital banks, police stations” (1). Learning from the given information or the environment and solving problems are the two critical characteristics of AI. With AI, its rapid development and improvement, many aspects of people’s lives are at stake, including millions of jobs and the way individuals receive services in healthcare or education.
Pros and Cons
Since AI can be applied in different settings, the stakeholders of this technology are all people. The main conversation surrounding the increasing popularity of AI its the safety and reliability of the algorithms. Another aspect is the impact of AI’s use on the prospects of employment in many industries, including logistics and manufacturing. The positive effect of AI that some sources cite is connected to the superiority of it problem-solving and the ability of analysis. AI can produce better analysis and lower costs associated with manufacturing. Makridakis states that AI will help companies make better decisions based on data analysis, which will create an additional competitive advantage (46). Hence, AI will help reduce costs and make more efficient decisions based on the algorithms’ analysis.
The financials available to companies because of improved efficiency will be invested in further development, which will lead to an introduction of better products and services. Jennings states that AI has already allowed many companies, more specifically, auto manufacturers, to minimize the number of people engaged in production by applying this smart technology (2). Another example is Amazon Go, which is a fully autonomous grocery store in Seattle that does not have cashiers or sales representatives. Moreover, AI is used in medicine to analyze photographs and detect skin cancer or help medical professionals diagnose conditions (Jenkins 2).
This improves the quality of healthcare since people receive a better diagnosis more quickly. Wilson et al. argue that although AI already disrupts the workforce, it will create a substantial amount of jobs because the machinery will require maintenance and programming (14). The authors argue that newly created positions will require people to work with AI to produce better results for their companies.
The arguments supporting AI and its implementation in different domains highlight the positive impact that it will have on companies and people. These sources provide information that is connected to the prospects of AI, meaning that they focus on how the benefits will outweigh the negative impact. The reason why these stakeholders choose this approach is that AI will disrupt many aspects of people’s life, most notably by eliminating millions of jobs. Hence, by focusing on the jobs that will be created due to AI to maintain and support the technology and other positive outcomes, these stakeholders can highlight the need to address the immediate issues that will arise soon, such as work shortage.
While currently, AI has capabilities of performing varied tasks, this technology will continue to evolve as new computers and other advanced hardware will be introduced to the market. In his interview with Bill Gates, Holley discusses the potential dangers of AI and the destruction that it can cause if not managed properly. Gates states that in the following thirty years, the technology industry will undergo rapid development and progress, making accurate vision and speech recognition with AI possible.
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Holley references the opinion of scientist Stephen Hawking, who stated that AI could end the human race. Other well-known technology experts and entrepreneurs, for instance, Elon Musk, voiced a similar opinion. The latter stated that people should be “very careful about artificial intelligence” (Holey). The main argument is that it is unclear how AI will develop in the future and what capabilities it will have.
If AI surpasses human’s ability to think and solve tasks, it is unclear how it will interact with people. The common element of the argument against AI is the fact that they are presented as warnings. The reason why technology specialists choose this approach to discuss their opinion on AI is that it is rapidly developing, and no governmental or international regulations are present. This reasoning is the most evident in Elon Musk’s commentary on AI, in which he states that regulatory oversight should be introduced to contain and oversee the development of AI.
The previous paragraph focused on stakeholder’s opinions about the future of AI. However, there are several ways in which AI currently affects people’s day-to-day life in a negative manner. Knight and Hoa (2019) cite the crashes of self-driving cars that occurred in recent months and the various manipulations of information done by bots as examples of AI’s misuse. The recent Cambridge Analytica case, which was a data-collecting scandal, revealed that news feeds of individuals could be manipulated to display particular information. This can potentially have an impact on opinions regarding significant social and political problems.
Finally, both pros and cons AI stakeholders note that once the technology is advanced enough, it will be used in some of the significant domains of people’s life. For example, Gates states that once robots are capable of moving things appropriately, they will be used in hospitals to help patient transportation (Holey). Similar applications will be possible in warehouses and other facilities that have a lot of inventory. Jenkins states that self-driving trucks and other AI-supported technology will eliminate one-third of jobs in the United States (2). Similarly to the previous argument, these concerns are voiced as a warning for politicians and organizations developing AI.
Overall, AI is a technology first introduced in 1956, which mimics human thinking and task solving capabilities. The main stakeholders of the debate are all people since AI is already used in different domains, for example, healthcare or education. The main argument supporting AI is the efficiency and the capabilities of this technology, which surpasses human’s abilities. However, the arguments against the uncontrolled development of AI presented by technology specialists and scientists argue that it is unclear how AI will develop in the future and how humanity will interact with it.
Holley, Peter. “Bill Gates on Dangers of Artificial Intelligence: ‘I Don’t Understand Why Some People are not Concerned.” Washington Post, 2015. Web.
Jennings, Charles. Artificial Intelligence: Rise of the Lightspeed Learners. Rowman & Littlefielf, 2019.
Knight, Will and Karen Hoa. “Never Mind Killer Robots—Here are Six Real AI Dangers to Watch Out for in 2019.” MIT Technology Review, 2019. Web.
Makridakis, Spyros. “The Forthcoming Artificial Intelligence (AI) Revolution: Its Impact on Society and Firms.” Futures, vol. 90, 2017, pp. 46-60.
Wilson, James et al. “The Jobs That Artificial Intelligence Will Create.” MIT Sloan Management Review, vol. 58, no. 4, 2017, pp. 14-16.