Should We Really Be Scared Of AI Technology?

January 10, 2023 by No Comments

As artificial intelligence (AI) starts to become a bigger part of everyday life some are getting concerned. Yes, much of the concern about AI is based on misunderstanding, with many thinking that the technology itself is dangerous. Machines that can think? Like some sort of science fiction nightmare?

Most of these concerns are nothing but ignorance and lack of understanding. On the other hand, there are serious, real problems with AI that can’t be ignored. Job losses, industrial disasters, and AI being used for war are real issues that should deserve consideration.

Job Losses

That jobs will be lost to AI is inevitable, and in fact the problem has already come to pass in some sectors. Simply put; there are certain menial tasks that are much better handled by an automated system. This includes data entry and basic customer support. As it stands AI has penetrated the customer support sector, replacing a good chunk of operatives. But could it get worse?

The answer is unknown. For the most part the AI intrusion into customer support hasn’t been particularly bad, and human operatives are still largely needed to handle most queries. Though, it remains to be seen if AI will intrude into any other areas.

Industrial Disaster

Another major problem with AI is that companies tend to put way too much confidence in the technology. AI introduces the potential for massive cost cutting; a notion that is too good to resist. But to what extent should an automated system be allowed to handle heavy machinery, for example? Letting AI handle Australian Open tennis betting sites is one thing, but what about a massive construction vehicle?

Self-driving Tesla cars have already been responsible for deaths, proving instantly that AI isn’t infallible. Thinking that it is infallible is clearly a big mistake. Should a disaster happen with much bigger, more dangerous equipment, who knows how bad things could get? What if an AI made a mistake at a nuclear power plant?

AI For War

The biggest, most obvious risk of AI is that it lands up getting used for war. A truly outstanding AI system fitted into an attack drone, for example, could be the most horrific thing that humanity has ever seen. Imagine a silent, soaring drone that could aim and shoot within milliseconds, without ever missing the target. It is almost too terrible to imagine, especially if that drone ever happened to make a mistake.

It gets worse. If AI was put in charge of larger, more complicated systems the damage could be catastrophic. Of course, it stands to reason that militaries would never take such ridiculous risks, but the possibility does exist.

A Growing Concern

As it stands it is job losses that are most concerning. There has only been very limited use of AI in real warfare, but the situation is still developing. Hopes are that governments around the world will take steps to keep the technology within reasonable limitations, especially when it comes to AI being used to take lives and jobs.