AI friend or a foe

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere nowadays (including our articles). And for a good reason! AI is already driving innovation almost in all industries. But, as AI becomes more prevalent, we have to ask ourselves: what impact will it have on our future? Are there potential risks and challenges of AI that we need to watch out for?

So, is AI our friend or our enemy? Let’s take a closer look!

How AI is changing our daily lives

The rise of AI has brought about many advantages, including improved accuracy, speed, efficiency, and convenience. 

AI-powered systems can process vast amounts of data, recognize patterns, make predictions, and perform complex tasks that were previously inaccessible to us or required much more work.

This has led to significant advances in business, manufacturing, entertainment, healthcare, and… well, practically, any industry. 

McKinsey reports, that the adoption of AI more than doubled in the last five years, now at 58%. The leading industries are, of course, technology, retail, healthcare, transportation, and finance.

Though AI has recently re-entered the cultural Zeitgeist, it has been around for some time now. Every time you see a Google ad, listen to music on Spotify or choose a Netflix show. 

But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Pros and Cons of a world with intelligent machines

The world with artificial intelligence (AI) is fascinating, with benefits and drawbacks to consider. 

AI can help us fully realize our human potential through the automation of routine tasks and offering greater computing powers. However, the widespread use of AI will certainly impact society. And some of those consequences may be unintended.

We looked at some of the popular arguments for and against the AI-driven future. 

Is AI a threat to human ethics or a way to a more just society?

Here’s the thing: humans are really bad at rational thinking. We perpetuate biases big and small, impacting our businesses, our lives, and society at large. Theoretically, AI can help us mitigate that and make better, more moral, and fair decisions.

For example, AI can help us make more objective decisions, evaluate job candidates more fairly, and calculate fair wages. This can lead to a more equitable society where decisions are based on merit rather than subjective factors.

However, AI is only as good as the dataset it is trained on. If the dataset contains biases, then AI will reproduce them. This can perpetuate discrimination and injustice in society if it is not controlled.

Moreover, it is unclear who would be responsible for the damage caused by biased AI.

For instance, who is responsible if an autonomous vehicle causes an accident? The manufacturer, the programmer, or the user? 

Similarly, who is accountable if an AI system discriminates against certain groups of people? The developers, the users, or the algorithm itself?

Is AI displacing human judgment?

Unlike other, more philosophical questions in this article, we believe we have an answer for this one.

We already mentioned that it is human nature to rely on heuristics and biases to form quick judgments. We also can’t analyze the same amount of data as AI. This makes artificial intelligence an effective decision-maker in repetitive, predictable processes.

But in open systems that are full of ambiguity and chaos, we still outperform AI by using our creativity, empathy, and ingenuity to make decisions.

The true progress and future lie in using AI to augment our processes, building sustainable systems that play of each other’s strengths.

Is AI causing unemployment or opening doors for creativity?

Of course, we couldn’t miss this one.

One major concern is that intelligent machines may replace human jobs and skills, leading to widespread unemployment and social upheaval.

A rather scary case to support the fears: Amazon replaced warehouse supervisors with an algorithm to manage human workers and even fire them.

But, extreme examples aside, AI will undoubtedly change the structure of the job markets. Simple, repetitive tasks have the highest chances of being automated

On the one hand, it decreases demand for human resources, at the same time releasing time and resources for creative work.

However, just like with the industrial revolution and any other invention, the new technology will ‘kill’ some jobs, only to create others

For example, there has been a growing demand for software engineers, data engineers, and other roles related to the creation and maintenance of AI.

Is AI a Friend or a Foe, or something in between?

The answer to this question is not straightforward. 

On the one hand, AI has already brought about many benefits and can potentially improve human lives in countless ways. On the other hand, the risks associated with AI cannot be ignored.

Ultimately, the impact of AI on humanity will depend on how we develop and use it.

How will the future of AI look?

The future of AI is both exciting and uncertain. 

We’d love to think that in the upcoming years, AI will cure diseases, unlock mysteries of the universe and generate amazing Netflix recommendations.

And it might as well do so. But each one of those breakthroughs may have unexpected consequences.

What needs to be remembered is that AI is a tool created and used by humans. And, just like the Internet once did, it will have both positive and negative impacts on society.

To ensure that the future of AI is bright and beneficial, we need to develop AI responsibly and ethically, with input from diverse stakeholders and a commitment to human values and goals.

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