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Should We Be Afraid of Artificial Intelligence?

Info: 1679 words (7 pages) Essay
Published: 17th Mar 2021 in Technology

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Computer scientists are increasingly developing machines and computing devices that mimic and supersede human intelligence. These devices provide analytical capabilities that replicate social cognitive abilities in extreme environments. Although in its formative stages, artificial intelligence plays a significant role in altering socioeconomic structures around the world. Organizations and industries are increasingly deploying these systems as robots to manage extreme operational activities, as intelligent systems in critical business processing, and as decision support systems in different sectors of society that require intensive and rapid data analysis. From its initial implementations, artificial intelligence systems have emerged as robust solutions that address diverse needs. Research in these systems is still ongoing, enabling them to solve a dizzying variety of societal problems with limited data resources. Through this approach, artificially intelligent systems will effectively mimic human cognitive abilities. The integration of this complex technology will ultimately prove to be extremely useful to mankind.

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Artificial intelligence, the ability of machines and computing devices to think and act like human beings, has significantly evolved from its formative systems.  In the 1940s, artificial intelligence was a theoretical model that provided a learning process for computing systems (Russell and Norvig 16). The AI conference at Dartmouth College in the summer of 1956 was instrumental in developing and implementing AI systems. This conference brought together leading AI developers and theorists at the time. General Problem Solver and the AI system was designed during this period, as well as other systems such as Geometry Theorem Prover (Russell and Norvig 18). However, these early AI systems used problem-solving approaches through search. The emergence of knowledge-based systems in the 1970s ushered an era of domain-specific AI systems. This computing could address new problems based on their past experiences and knowledge. Notable among them were MYCIN medical diagnosis systems. The emergence of big datasets and robotic agents in the 2000s improved AI implementation in society.

Artificial intelligence systems have extensively been implemented in society. AI technologies such as unsupervised learning are used in market segmentation, social network analysis, and clustering product to increase sales and gross revenue (Das et al. 32). This implementation enables companies to increase their market share, effectively target consumers, and increase the profit margins. Additionally, supervised AI technologies are used for face recognition, speech analysis, and fingerprint identification (Das et al. 34). This implementation enables organizations to provide secure access through biometrics. Further, they allow law enforcement officers to investigate crimes, track criminals, and prosecute them in courts of law. The use of AI solutions in law enforcement leads to effective control of crime, providing a safe and secure society. Similarly, AI systems are used in computing to filter spam emails, secure organizational assets, and retrieve information through search engines. Robots and robotic systems are deployed in extreme conditions to enhance the accomplishment of critical production processes in a business environment. 

Artificial intelligent systems have significant benefits in society. First, they provide informed decision-making frameworks that enable companies to develop robust market solutions (Davenport and Ronanki 113). AI technologies such as big data allow firms to analyze large datasets effectively. Through this analysis, the company identifies crucial relationships among the datasets, enabling managers to make sound decisions that reflect market dynamics and business environment. Additionally, AI systems have increased the efficiency, functionality, and performance of products and services (Davenport and Ronanki 113). The implementation of AI systems in the healthcare sector leads to improved service delivery and efficiency of healthcare providers. Similarly, companies quickly develop value-based products that reflect consumer needs and preferences due to the use of AI technologies. Furthermore, automation through AI systems has increased creativity, innovativeness, and reduced employee workload (Davenport and Ronanki 113). Through automation, robotic systems, and other AI solutions perform repetitive tasks, reducing the overall workload assigned to employees. This situation increases their creativity and innovativeness. Lastly, AI systems are deployed in warfare, increasing the precision and reducing potential casualties from such operations. For instance, the use of drones in warfare enables the military to understand the terrain and location of combatants effectively, reducing civilian casualties.

Despite these benefits of artificial intelligence, there is genuine criticism regarding its role in society. Extensive implementation of robotic systems in the community has possibilities of taking human jobs and increasing unemployment (Kile 108). Increased automation reduces the need for human labor in industries and businesses. Although this situation enables companies to reduce costs and improve their productivity, it increases the rate of unemployment and diminishing a reliable source of income among the public. Further, when these systems are left to be entirely managed by scientists, there are possibilities that they will harm human beings, dominate them, and increase devastation in society (Kile 108). For instance, extensive use of artificial intelligence in warfare increases the destruction and casualties emerging from such operations. Countries could invade others remotely without the need for deploying soldiers. This situation poses significant risks in world peace and provides potentialities of wiping the entire population at the press of a button. Further, these AI systems could become rogue and lead to massive losses in organizations and harm employees working in these settings. These risks in AI systems pose a significant challenge in their progress within society.

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Despite these fears regarding the risks of AI systems, the solution is not to ban such advancements. Instead, governments around the world need to develop robust legislative frameworks that provide mandatory ethical considerations and acceptable use in AI systems (Gurkaynak, Yilmaz, and Haksever 754). These legal structures define processes through which robots and other autonomous systems are to be developed and how they are expected to function in society. This approach reduces the possibilities of rogue systems that fail to comply with social norms. Additionally, world governments need to regulate the cyber arms race, like the war, nuclear arms were controlled (Gurkaynak, Yilmaz, and Haksever 755). This regulation prevents the potential misuse of robotics and autonomous systems in warfare. Through this approach, governments reduce potential devastation that may emerge from such advanced systems.  Further, it needs to set a predefined number of people for organizations to hire alongside the use of robots. This regulatory approach limits the negative impacts of artificial intelligence in employment opportunities. Through these legal approaches, society will enhance the benefits of artificial intelligence while reducing its adverse effects.

In conclusion, artificial intelligence plays a significant role in society since its inception. AI systems are increasingly implemented across all sectors in society, evolving from problem-solving systems into knowledge-based and autonomous agents. AI solutions are deployed in the business sector to improve corporate operations such as market segmentation, social network analysis, and product clustering. Further, they are used in law enforcement to track and prosecute criminals, and in computing to improve search results and secure organizational assets. AI systems provide informed decision-making frameworks, increase efficiency and performance, and reduce employee workloads. However, they pose a risk to employment opportunities, improve the devastation of war, and provide potential harm to human beings. Due to these reasons, governments around the world need to develop robust legislative frameworks that enhance the use of AI systems while limiting their negative impacts on society. Through this approach, society will enjoy the full benefits of artificial intelligence and mitigate its potential risks. 

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