Is Artificial Intelligence Digging Its Roots Deeper Into Our Reality?
Computers will overtake humans with AI within the next 100 years. When that happens, we need to make sure the computers have goals aligned with ours – Stephen Hawking
It’s impossible to exist in this world without admitting to the fact that Artificial Intelligence is slowly taking over the world. One machine at a time, byte streams are making their way to the cores, learning how they function, predicting future events (and accurately at that), and providing solutions that may seem unorthodox, but are eventually for the better. And instead of veering clear of this, we live in a misconception that we are enslaving Artificial intelligence for our needs. A better look suggests otherwise-AI is steadily breaking free of constraints and taking a road that has a “Dead End” signboard staring at us straight in the face.
How Is AI Affecting Humanity?
We are enabling AI enabled machines to make decisions on our behalf all the time. It is customizing our music playlists as per our taste because we are too lazy to do so. Applications are available which can scrutinize your resumes and documents, suggesting necessary changes which are actually for the better. Machine learning algorithms browse through the pictures on your phone, looking for patterns that help them to filter out your best images. And all this happens in a matter of seconds. We gape with surprise at such instances of technology. We are impressed because our lives are becoming easier. Little do people realize that an algorithm which can shuffle through thousands of pictures to pick a perfect image can do much more if it’s given the necessary amount of time.
Setting The Necessary Constraints
The question that arises in such a case is very simple. Where does this stop? Where do we set the limits for the applications of Artificial Intelligence? Should we do it as per our convenience or should we have larger interests in view? Elon Musk, CEO and Founder of SpaceX, Tesla and the recently unveiled project- ‘Hyperloop’ addresses the exponential growth of machine learning algorithms in our lives. “Unless you have direct exposure to groups like Deepmind, you have no idea how fast is AI developing”. Deepmind is the world leader in artificial intelligence research and its application for positive impact. Elon also mentions that the risk of something seriously dangerous happening is increasing every second, with AI revealing its dark side before 10 years from now.
The Areas At Grave Risk
Mentioned below are some of the major risks that accompany fully autonomous systems.
- Social Manipulation: WhichFaceIsReal is a website which asks users to differentiate between real faces and AI generated faces. Almost all the users get more than half the answers wrong, which is a clear indication of the fact that AI is very, very capable of meddling around with your minds. The next stranger you see on social media may have a computer generated image. How would that make you feel?
- Autonomous Weaponry: Weapons that identify targets and shoot them down are not even a science fiction gimmick anymore. Lethal Autonomous Weapons or LAWs do exist, and are as dangerous as you might think they are. On the surface, such weapons may seem like the perfect substitutes to human soldiers. No risk equals better and more efficient results. But what if an enemy or a hacker gets through the security system that protects such a weapon? Needless to say, the results to such an incident can be nothing short of catastrophic.
- Misunderstanding Commands: Misalignment of goals and instructions between the human and the machine may sound like something petty, but in reality, it can be fatal. Say its 2030. Take an example of a businessman who’s late for a meeting. He instructs his self-driving car to get him to the venue as soon as possible. The goal is clear to the machine. It may accomplish what the person wanted. But in doing so, it may have ignored other factors which may have proven lethal to someone else on the road. Artificial intelligence is not half as considerate as you thought it was.
- Monitoring Your Activities: If you use any device implementing Machine learning, it will identify your day-to-day patterns and suggest you routines that you may tend to follow, simply because you were the one who implemented the algorithms in the first place. Without realizing, Artificial Intelligence has modified you, a human, to follow its instructions.
There is no doubt regarding the fact that machine learning is necessary in order to explore a lot of areas unknown to mankind. Space exploration, fusion theories, advanced healthcare, DNA syndromes are just some of the areas in which Artificial Intelligence can prove its worth. Another quote from the late Stephen Hawking reads
AI is likely to be either the best or the worst thing to happen to humanity
It’s entirely up to us, the human race how it makes use of this amazing invention. Will we rule the algorithms or let the algorithms rule us?