Why AI Is Your Concern Right Now
“AI is your concern right now.”
It doesn’t matter whether your career is in technology or not. Artificial Intelligence or AI is everybody’s concern right now. The more you think that your career is not connected with technology, the more that this article is for you.
Bye old times
I remember the old times when AI used to be a science fiction in popular culture; a theory and subject I needed to pass way back in college as I was taking up computer studies, and an opponent I had to beat in video games. Those old days have long passed as we are now living in a generation where the technology to create Artificial Intelligence is available and is continuously growing at an accelerating rate.
AI is now a multi-billion dollar industry that almost every big organization is willing to risk at it.
One obvious reason is that AI is capable of solving complex problems faster than humans. It is the basic explanation as to why humanity is continuously developing Artificial Intelligence. This means that any country, organization, or corporation who has the most advance AI would be the dominant rulers of the world.
This takes us to the main question of “Why AI is everybody’s concern?”. Whether you realize it or not, you are using AI in your everyday life or AI is already using you.
You are using AI in your everyday life
I really love the internet. It gives access to almost all available knowledge mankind has to offer.
Technically, we are living in an era where as long as you have internet access, there is no excuse not to learn anything and not to know anything.
If there is something that you want to know, all you have to do is go to your popular search engine and hit those keys. If you want better information, you can keep searching for different key words until an AI in a form of machine learning understands the parameters that you are looking for, and so the next time that you search for something, the results end up better than the previous ones.
You may also find it creepy as you notice that most ads that can be seen from the different sites that you navigate are similar to your past searches.
Let’s begin with that one device that you may be holding right now. The one capable of voice interaction to play music, make to-do lists, set alarms, gather real time information, and send message for you. That device is powered by AI.
AI is already using you
Let’s proceed to the disturbing part. AI may already be using you, but before you press the panic button, let me clarify that today’s AI is not self conscious, yet. However, it doesn’t need to be self conscious in order to manipulate you if it was programmed to do so.
Let me give you this simple example:
When you are so fond of using social media, and you’ve provided chunks of your personal information without bothering to read where your data would be used. When you enjoy signing up on survey-type applications that give you inaccurate or false reality of your personality, in exchange for your personal information. But then again it’s totally fine with you because you have no idea where your personal data is going and you are just generous enough to give it away just like that.
AI in a form of machine learning is processing huge amount of collected data from millions of generous donors like you. The collected data from charity is processed and sold to different organizations depending on how they find the data necessary.
The story doesn’t stop here. In some instances, the good guys get to buy the collected data. An example is using the information to figure out consumer’s preference on personalized services. From there, they develop an AI that can provide such personalized service and can adjust based on customer’s needs. This ends up with happier and more satisfied consumers.
In reality, it is not always a happy ending because anyone with money and resources can buy those personal information. One example based on a true story is an organization which used to buy processed data for the campaign of Politician X who’s running for office. Based on the bought data, the organization finds out that most potential voters love the Pope in Rome, and thus secretly spread fake news that the Pope is recommending their candidate using credible-looking, fake websites. Then, to effectively spread the fake news, they created an AI that can target the group of people who are vulenarable to be deceived. The end result? Politician X won the election because of the big contributions of manipulative AI.
Changing the way you live
The real life scenario that I’ve just provided is just a tip of an ice berg. I have yet to mention more disturbing stories in the world of AI. To name a few:
Some countries have already developed weaponized AI, of which are robots that make their own decisions on who and what to kill.
Another example is a machine learning algorithm that can turn audio clips into realistic-looking lip-synced videos. This AI can put false words into someone’s mouth. Worse is it’s also capable to create realistic-looking videos such as changing the face of the person to make it seem real.
Have you also heard of an AI-powered bot that can respond to different tweets, but has transformed from a friendly to a hateful personality after 16 hours of interacting with negative messages.
There are some judiciary system that uses AI to determine the likelihood of an individual to commit another crime. This seems beneficial and positive but the main problem is only few entities know how the AI system makes decision. This may end up to multiple bias verdict.
Mass surveillance has already been implemented in some countries through Artificial Intelligence.
This one needs immediate attention. Are you aware that a more cost effective AI can take your place on your job. This may happen sooner or later.
Lastly, the one that I find as one of the most disturbing, an AI-based religion has been developing an AI God.
But then again, what I’ve just mentioned are the disturbing stories. Despite what I’ve just told you, there are lots of good stories in the world of AI that you should definitely look forward to.
Never forget humanity’s purpose on why we keep developing AI; to solve complex problems faster. This means that in the hands of good people, the world could definitely benefit from this amazing technology. To name a few:
Automation through AI can eliminate a lot of boring, tedious, and repetitive tasks which would allow us to focus on what we are really good at, and that is being human. This allows us to do work that involves creativity and interpersonal skills.
AI may take away some of our jobs sooner or later, but it can also create new and more exciting ones.
In the field of medicine, there is already an available AI that can diagnose heart disease and lung cancer more accurately. This will provide higher chances to save people’s lives.
Some pharmaceutical companies are already using AI to discover new, better, and cheaper drugs for curing diseases.
Climate Scientist can better observe environmental systems through AI. This information may one day solve our worsening climate change.
AI is getting better and better in predicting traffic jams that helps drivers take better routes.
As a conclusion, if we can implement these right, humanity can achieve more milestones with the help of AI. Just imagine the infinite possibilities.
How to get involved?
The voice of ordinary people matters.You don’t need to be an expert in the field of Artificial Intelligence to make a contribution. You can help by:
Applying a small chunk of healthy skepticism (researching, reasoning, asking multiple experts) whenever there’s a new technology.
Keeping a watchful eye on individuals and organizations who are/ may be developing AI.
Demanding authorities that the advancement of AI be regulated.
These simple actions can make a big difference in making sure that both AI and humans can harmoniously live together.
© 2019 Arc Sosangyo