Artificially Intelligent Products are all around us we are yet to see much more of AI in the future as well. This can be seen by the interest which the tech giants of our century have in the field. From Apple’s Siri to Amazon’s Alexa, Google does have some ‘smart’ products, but wants to step into the field a bit further as depicted by their latest collaboration once again with Nest, CNET reports.
The purpose is quite the same: To enable artificial intelligence to help the mankind. Google plans to do so by incorporating Google Assistant into the Nest’s smart gadgets. Nest isn’t just like any ordinary company but has shipped 11 million devices worldwide. This makes for a strong customer base, which would be beneficial for both Google and Nest. But the question which remains unanswered is whether is it really that important to incorporate artificial intelligence into every gadget around us?
Humans take pride in calling themselves Home sapiens – man the wise – because their ‘intelligence’ is so essential to them. Since the beginning, they have attempted to perceive how they ‘think’; that is, how a modest bunch of grey matter can comprehend, foresee, and control a world far bigger and more entangled than itself.
Their superseding intelligence vastly attributes to the development of technology, complex social organization, and most importantly language. However, Artificial Intelligence stretches beyond: it endeavors not only to comprehend but also to establish intelligent beings.
Today, the modern industrial economy has become dependent on computers in general, and select AI programs in particular (Russel and Norvig 1034). Therefore, as reported in an article in Forbes, workforce participation rate has dipped to its current level of 62.8 % (Mathur and McCloskey).
Furthermore, according to a report, it is forecasted that cognitive technologies such as artificial intelligence will replace 7% of US jobs by 2025 (Forrester Research).
MacEwan in a magazine article mentions the major reason for the eventual drastic decrease in the already declining employment rate “The disruption of human labor across the economy would happen virtually all at once, so adjustments would be difficult—thus, the specter of massive unemployment”.
Together with unemployment, the jobs replaced by ‘smart’ machines would also lead to another sensitive issue: ‘privacy breaches’. With the advent of ‘AI’, these machines would be able to search, store and archive personal records such as telephone conversations and credit card information at a speed far greater than an ordinary human.
In addition to this, “Concerns are raised when parties that are interested in user-data analytics deploy artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, including machine-learning algorithms, to identify target audiences for various purposes, advertisements being one of them” (Rastogi, Gloria, and Handler 2). It is probable that this personal data might be shared with third parties covertly.
Moreover, Joseph Weizenbaum, considered one of the fathers of modern artificial intelligence, claimed that one of the goals of artificial intelligence research was to enable United States’ security agencies to monitor conversations automatically.
Another dimension in which artificially intelligent gadgets might be disadvantageous to humans would be their lack of accountability. A self-driving car which uses ‘intelligent’ systems might not be able to choose wisely between an inevitable accident with a lesser probability but more casualties or another unavoidable one with higher probability but lesser casualties.
Many notable people including the physicist Stephen Hawking, business magnate Elon Musk and Microsoft founder Bill Gates have voiced their concerns about the extent of control over artificially intelligent gadgets. In 2014, Stephen Hawking emphasized that “Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks”
Hence, with this ever-growing intricacy associated with the artificially intelligent systems, it is now crucial to review the concerns that might one day mean the end of human race.