Artificial Intelligence(AI) is the field that aims at making machines replicate human intelligence and behavior. AI has been around since the 1950s but has become more popular recently due to the advancement in computing technologies and deep learning.
Artificial intelligence is a very revolutionizing field. The fact that computers can replicate human intelligence poses many benefits and risks as well. Like any new technology or science, it holds immense power. But, how it will impact or change the future depends entirely on how we use this. Consider the example of mobile phones. When introduced, mobiles were only meant to enable communication from anywhere. But nobody at that time could fathom the varied applications that we use now with the advent of smartphones. The world is changing rapidly. Ai is a technology which will com[pletely revolutionize our world.
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AI oracle and venture capitalist Dr. Kai-Fu Lee has said that AI is going to change the world more than anything in the history of mankind. More than electricity.
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Various companies are collectively spending around $20 billion annually on AI based products and services. More and more universities are teaching AI and related fields. Big companies are carrying out research in AI. Even the US Defence is including AI in its defense technologies.
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Impact of AI in different sectors
AI has already impacted many industries and fields and is predicted to completely change it. Some examples of impacts of AI in different fields are-
Transportation- AI technology is already being used to predict traffic on certain routes in cities. More sophisticated technology may enable smart cars that ferry people to different palaces without drivers. AI may also help in decongesting traffic and making smart cities.
Manufacturing- AI will replace humans in low manufacturing jobs where a lot of repetition is required like assembly and stacking. Predictive technologies will enable the process to run smoothly.
Healthcare- AI is already being used in healthcare. But with more sophisticated technologies, AI will enable better and more accurate diagnosis, and prediction of pandemic breakouts like in the case of covid-19. AI will improve treatment practices as well. Robots could be used to continuously monitor and nurse the patients.
Education- The accessibility to education will be improved. Books will become more interactive and explain better to students; maybe even customized according to each student’s needs. AI technology will assist teachers in teaching, checking papers, etc. Monitoring of students by gauging facial expressions, etc may also help in remote education.
Media- Robots may be used to report from remote, difficult terrain, or war locations. AI is already being used to make sense of; large data and helps in generating news reports.
Enhance user experience– THere can be many ways in which AI can enable enhanced interaction with humans. Chatbots are already in place. They can become more so[phisticated and customized to the customer’s needs.
Environmental issues– AI with its vast potential can be used to deal with bigger problems such as climate change, dealing with natural disasters, developing sustainable technologies, addressing environmental issues, etc. For example in the case of a tornado, imagine how many lives and property we can save if we could predict exactly the place, time, and intensity of the tornado. It can also help in relief efforts.
Finance- AI can help make predictions about stock prices. It also helps in computers handling the buying and selling of stocks in a fraction of the time it would take humans. They can also help in background checks of a borrower taking loans from a bank, monitor customers, detect fraudulent activity and keep track of all the transactions, etc.
Defense- AI can help in surveillance, detecting terrorist activities, improving defense technologies, reducing human effort, and thus, even saving human lives.
Since warfare depends to a large extent on time-based competitiveness, taking quick and accurate decisions and executing them using AI technologies will hugely help.
Cyber Security– The AI enabled technologies will help in fighting cybercrime as they may detect malicious activities over a network, provide safer cryptography of messages, etc. These technologies can learn faster and keep updating themselves to keep up with the changing malicious attackers.
Criminal Justice– By using AI technologies, many experts claim that criminal justice will become fairer with less human bias. The AI technologies are already being used to monitor people with criminal records, predicting criminal activity and thus, preventing crimes.
AI may also enable people to communicate in different languages. AI will not only translate in real time, but also understand context, nuances, colloquial terms and satire. All this will increase connectivity and make the world a smaller place.
Artificial intelligence technologies enable faster and more accurate actions than humans. They can also work and be available 24X7. Due to this, companies and organizations across all sectors are already incorporating AI based technologies.
However, one major concern of this is also the loss of jobs. IT is predicted that low level jobs or jobs involving repetitive tasks will get replaced by AI. Experts predict that in a matter of 10-15 years, 50% of the jobs will be replaced by AI. Many companies are already retraining employees to help them save their jobs.
AI will result in huge job losses. All the menial jobs will be replaced. This means that in the coming years, employees will need to retrain and learn new skills.
Another major disadvantage of AI is the invasion of privacy. With technology all around us, hackers can even use it to eavesdrop on us. While some experts claim that the users can choose how much AI technology they allow into their lives. But, AI will still be used by malicious hackers to eavesdrop or steal private information of the users.
Another major risk associated with artificial intelligence is the technology getting out of hand. Though emulating the human brain is still a very far-fetched idea, many experts have warned against it. The late scientist Stephen William Hawkings said that if AI begins designing itself better than humans programmers, it could result in “machines whose intelligence exceeds ours by more than ours exceeds that of snails.” Many scientists claim advancements in AI may eliminate human superiority as humans currently control the world only due to their superior intelligence. If computers become more intelligent than humans, we cannot predict how they will behave. There is also the threat of misuse of the technology if it falls into the wrong hands.
Nobody can know for sure whether AI will turn evil or not. But it definitely needs to be used carefully. Ethical issues too need to be addressed. But replicating human intelligence with the current technological capabilities is still not possible for the next few decades at least as the human brain and emotions are far too complex.
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