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Artificial Intelligence

“AI” The scariest technology I have ever seen


Artificial Intelligence is a technology we should be scared off because as Elon Musk said “IF AI HAS A GOAL AND HUMANITY JUST HAPPENS TO BE IN THE WAY, IT WILL DESTROY HUMANITY AS A MATTER OF COURSE WITHOUT EVEN THINKING ABOUT IT…IT’S JUST LIKE, IF WE’RE BUILDING A ROAD AND AN ANTHILL JUST HAPPENS TO BE IN THE WAY, WE DON’T HATE ANTS, WE’RE JUST BUILDING A ROAD.” This statement just gives you a brief idea of how dangerous Artificial Intelligence may be.

First of all if you don’t know what is Artificial Intelligence let me give you a very simple definition of this technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of a computer program or a machine to think and learn. It is also a field of study which tries to make computers “smart”. The smart computers work on their own without being encoded with commands. John McCarthy came up with the name “Artificial Intelligence” in 1955. There are three different kinds of AI technologies:

1.Artificial Narrow intelligence

2.Artificial General Intelligence

3.Artificial Super Intelligence

Currently, we are in the age of Narrow AI where it is simply an algorithm that can learn to get better at a single specific task depending on the data it is given to learn from. This type of AI is used by Uber and Amazon to predict their consumer’s behavior. It can also outperform humans into some specific repetitive functions. We will probably enter the next stage of this technology which is General Intelligence AI by 2040 and this technology will be used to perform broad tasks and improve its capability by the passage of time. It will be able to compete with humans in every aspect and maximum jobs will be at a very high risk. The last stage is Super intelligence AI, where this technology will become a risk for humanity as it will outperform humans in almost everything. It will demonstrate intelligence beyond human capabilities.

Figure 1: Shows different kinds of AI

Now let me give you some real life examples of how AI will be harmful in the near future. According to a Bloomberg news article by Eric, Newcomer Uber is working on an Artificial Intelligence based new fare system called “route based pricing” and it charges customers based on what it predicts they are willing to pay. Uber is using an algorithm called “firehouse” to predict how much someone is willing to pay for a particular ride. According to me it, should be classified as price discrimination but Uber simply claims that it’s a clever use of AI.

In December 2017 Facebook got a patent related to a camera based on AI technology. This camera will be placed in shops and shopping malls, where it will recognize people by their profiles on Facebook. Currently Facebook has 1.62 billion daily active users. Also, the camera will be able to see your search Patterns on Facebook & Google and decide what you like and what you don’t like. Furthermore, the camera will watch consumer’s behavioral signals in the shop and store the information of what we purchased and based on all that information, the price will be customized in the future. So the more you search for something the more you pay for it. The worst part is neither medicines nor medical stores are excluded from it. So if somebody searches for a medicine online and has a Facebook account will end up paying much higher prices than a person who does not have a Facebook account.

It’s not only Elon Musk who is concerned about this technology. Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates, and many other big names in science and technology have recently expressed their concerns in the media and via open letters about the risks involved with AI technology because this technology has the potential to become more intelligent than any human on earth. AI is associated with superlative memory, calculative power, decision-making capacity, high speeds of action, etc. which makes it really dangerous for the survival of humanity in the future.

Now let me tell you more about what this technology will be capable of in the future. Fully autonomous weapons will be used by the countries against each other. These weapons will be fully autonomous and would decide who lives and dies, without further human intervention, which crosses a moral threshold. As machines, they would lack the human characteristics such as compassion that are necessary to make complex ethical choices. The US, China, Israel, South Korea, Russia, and the UK are developing weapons systems with significant autonomy in the critical functions of selecting and attacking targets. If left unchecked the world could enter a destabilizing robotic arms race. The only possible solution to this problem which I see is to ban the development, production and use of fully autonomous weapons using AI technology.

A study carried out by Oxford University found that 45% of the current jobs will disappear in next ten years with most of them being completely automated. Drivers, farmers, cashiers, brokers, pilots, telemarketers, accountants, stock traders, construction workers, manufacturers will be replaced by this technology completely or partially. There are more than 175 million unemployed people in the world already and due to AI technology and automation this number will increase exponentially. We have to do something now to limit the use of this technology otherwise it could be a disaster and a threat for the complete human race in the future. Robots will be intelligent enough to make other robots even smarter than them. Machines will be able to take decisions without any human interventions and will automatically learn from the data gathered by different sources.

Figure2: Dr. Kai-Fu Lee during the Ted talk

Dr. Kai-Fu Lee who is a leading AI expert and has been working into AI research, development, and investment for over 30 years explained how the machines will be able to learn everything from pictures, videos and other data during a Ted Talk in 2018. Machines will be able to learn everything like driving a car, recognize different kind of foods, our languages only with the help of data and also at a much faster speed. So if you want to teach a robot to drive a car you just have to show the videos of how to drive a car and the robot will learn to drive a car within a few minutes whereas a normal human being will take days to learn the same thing.

In the end I hope that this article might help you to get some idea of how dangerous this technology could be in the future and I strongly believe that there should be a treaty just like Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty among the powerful nations to stop the development of AI-based super intelligent weapons and also we need to regulate the use of AI technology before it becomes a real danger for the humanity.