Artificial Intelligence - A “Help” or “Hindrance”?
From asking Siri to perform a Google search to asking Alexa to play your favorite song, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used daily. It has several application uses, both personal and business related.
In simple terms “Artificial Intelligence” refers to modeled algorithms software's which tries to establish decisions which are similar to human brain’s decision mechanism. AI is the general field that covers everything that has anything to do with imbuing machines with “intelligence,” with the goal of emulating a human being’s unique reasoning faculties. This is achieved by using algorithms that discover patterns and generate insights from the data they are exposed to, for application to future decision-making and predictions.
There are two divided sides when it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI): those excited about its possibilities and those scared by its potential.
By 2038, a personal digital assistant will be trained to anticipate our needs, help manage our schedule, prepare us for meetings, assist as we plan our social lives, reply to and route communications, and drive our cars.
Beyond our personal lives, AI will enable humans to make breakthrough advances in areas like healthcare, agriculture, education and transportation. We’re already seeing this begin in impressive ways.
Artificial intelligence coupled with robotics has opened opportunities for streamlining not only production in manufacturing but improving the customer experience as well. With the continued development and integration of AI, unforeseen opportunities and industries could arise to benefit all of humanity.
Here are few Helpful benefits & Potential hindrances of AI as the industry continue to evolve aggressively -
Helpful Benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI): –
Reduced cyber-attacks and hacking – According to McAfee, cyber-crime costs the global economy $600 billion. Artificial intelligence has been used by companies to reduce cyber-attacks. Artificial intelligence helps to detect such hackers before they commit such crimes.
Making truly autonomous processes possible – While most AI technology for businesses still needs a substantial degree of human supervision and intervention, companies are working to develop technology with human-like cognitive ability, enabling AI systems to truly be trusted to take on autonomous tasks with minimal supervision. This technology has long been a focus of research in the world’s most cutting-edge research programs.
Steering in the era of “big intelligence” – Using AI, High performance computing (HPC), Real Time Processing (RTP) and big data, computers can now crunch a massive amount of data and produce useful, actionable business insights. It helps optimizing business decisions by constantly providing better information, better recommendations and more predictive power.
Can endure in any environment – Physical state and functioning of artificial intelligent agents are not affected by a hostile environment and they can be of use in overcoming the limitations that humans may have. For instance, the intelligence of robots can be harnessed to explore space, or to dig for fuels, or to perform other dangerous tasks, and /or to endure through problems that are tough for human beings. Countries have embraced such technology to test dangerous weapons, to survey territorial boundaries as well as attacking terrorist groups.
Pattern recognition and fraud prevention – The ability of AI to sift through massive amounts of data and identify patterns that might elude human observers is one of its greatest strengths. One area where this capacity is particularly relevant is in fraud prevention. AI and machine learning solutions are being deployed by many financial service providers to detect fraud in real time. An additional benefit of improved fraud prevention technology is that legitimate activity is flagged as fraudulent less often. According to Tech2, Mastercard was able to reduce “false declines” for its customers by 80 percent using AI technology.
Automating lead generation – The cost of customer acquisition via lead generation is a critical part of every business. For many businesses, customer acquisition requires extensive cold-calling, trial and error and exploration of multiple channels. AI promises to not only increase the relevance of lead-generation campaigns, but also dramatically reduce their cost, in both time and money, by automating, learning, and continuously producing better and more relevant results within seconds.
Improved monitoring process – Through AI, most companies will be able to improve the quality of information and monitoring process. Coding and programming of the task helps AI enabled machines to give consistent and accurate information. This helps to reduce data duplication and other errors which cost organization finances.
Accuracy – With AI, the chances of error are almost nil and greater precision and accuracy is achieved while carrying out repetitive, painstaking activities and time-consuming tasks.
Human Perspective – Emotions that often intercept rational thinking of a human being are not a hindrance for artificial thinkers. Lacking the emotional side, robots can think logically and take the right decisions. In addition, machines do not require rest or breaks and are able to function without stopping. They can continuously perform the same task without getting bored or tired.
AI in Medical Field – Algorithms can help the doctors assess patients and their health risks. It can help them know the side effects that various medicines can have. Surgery simulators use machine intelligence in training medical professionals. AI can be used to simulate brain functioning, and thus prove useful in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological problems.
Potential Hindrances of Artificial Intelligence (AI): –
Changing Environment and Cost Implications – One of the main disadvantages of AI is the cost incurred in the maintenance and repair. Programs need to be updated to suit the changing requirements, and AI enabled machines need to be made smarter. In case of a breakdown, the cost of repair may be very high. Procedures to restore lost code or data may be time-consuming and costly.
Adaptive Learning through Experience – AI enabled machines may be able to perform repetitive tasks for long, but the adaptive learning “capability to act any different from what they are programmed for” is yet getting explored. AI enabled machines may not be as efficient as humans in altering their responses depending on the changing situations. Human Intelligence (HI) can shift gears and perform as needed when a situation demands to act in different way from the usual.
Could be destructive if thorough analysis is ignored – This is the case when the AI is programmed to do something beneficial, but it develops a destructive method for achieving its goal. This can happen whenever we fail to fully align the AI’s goals with ours, which is strikingly difficult. If you ask an intelligent car to take you to the airport as fast as possible, it might get you there chased by helicopters i.e. doing not what you wanted but literally what you asked for.
Lack of judgement calls – Humans can take unique circumstances and judgement calls into account when they make their decisions, something that AI may never be able to do. For e.g. In 2014 during Sydney hostage crisis, people made numerous calls to Uber to escape from that area. The result was that Uber’s ride rates surged based on its supply and demand algorithm – there was no consideration involved for the circumstances in which the riders found themselves.
Overly Dependence may shrink Human Intelligence – With the heavy application of AI, humans may become overly dependent on AI and therefore, human mental capacities & thinking abilities may gradually decline due to the reduced need to use their intelligence, lateral thinking and multitasking abilities for day to day tasks.
Programmed / Hacked for Unethical Cause – If the control of AI enabled machines goes in the wrong hands, it may cause destruction. Machines won't think before acting. Thus, they may be programmed to do the wrong things, or for mass destruction. Automated machines may not understand ethics & moral values and so, they could be adversely programmed for destruction.
Care & Compassion – The idea of enabling AI machines everywhere sounds wonderful and world of AI appears to save us from all the pain. However, they will always lack the human touch and a sense of belonging. For e.g. do you imagine robots working in hospitals, showing the care and concern that humans would? Concepts such as care, understanding, and togetherness cannot be programmed into machines.
Critical Thinking Needed: –
Two decades from now, what will our world look like? We may have a future powered by computers that behave like humans, it’s important that we address these challenges head on. But as we’ve witnessed over the past 20 years, new technology also inevitably raises complex questions and broad societal concerns.
How do we ensure that AI is designed and used responsibly? How do we establish ethical principles to protect people? How should we govern its use? These are important issues that require conversations that include not just those of us who create the technology, but people in government, academia, business, civil society and other stakeholders.We must also pay attention to how AI will impact employment and jobs? What jobs will AI eliminate? What jobs will it create? If there has been one constant impact of ongoing technological change, it has been the impact on jobs — the creation of new jobs, the elimination of existing jobs, and the evolution of job tasks and content. This too is certain to continue.
AI technology has helped to reduce security issues in an organization by establishing strong monitoring and evaluation system. This makes company data as well as individual information to remain valid and protected. As result, firms can sustain their competitiveness in long run. The potential for human resistance and conflict won’t necessarily be a direct result of Robot’s ability to speak five languages, solve complex problems and operate at super speeds.
AI will increasingly impact human livelihoods, business bottom lines and social interactions. Its benefits and risks should be carefully weighed before the integration of AI and the machines into our workplaces.
AI may be more a help than a hindrance, and the benefits of its use will undoubtedly grow as systems develops further. Love it or hate it, it’s going to be part of our day to day life in the years to come.
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Photo-credit - Andy P.