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AI: Boon, Bane or the Inevitable Future?

Arya Sharan

With the recent advancements and some precisely futuristic inroads into 2018, Artificial Intelligence has paved its way into the popular culture. It has been almost more than 60 years since John McCarthy first coined the term “artificial intelligence” to describe the discipline and mechanizing of making our machines intelligent enough for them to have a reflective mind and assessment of their own capability of perceiving its environment well enough to take actions accordingly, thereby increasing the chance of achieving what is asked of it.

 

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The field of AI has gone through phases of rapid progress and insurgent hype in the past, quickly followed by a decrease in investment and significance, often referred to as 'AI winters' but the current developments in the field suggest that the once ‘fictional and only limited to superhero movies’ dream is almost a reality now.

The technology claiming to be the actual AI today is still in its primitive stages. A true artificially-intelligent system is one that can train & assimilate on its own.

“The development of full artificial intelligence”, Stephen Hawking has claimed, “could spell the end of the human race.” Elon Musk, the billionaire founder and chief executive of SpaceX and Tesla has suggested that “we are summoning the demon”.

We have definitely heard from all the popular names of the concerned field but how does AI really affect our future? Let’s find out:

 

Risks:

# 1) As smart systems become involved in ever increasing decisions in areas varying from healthcare to finance to employment to criminal justice and military affairs, there is a threat that important parts of our lives will be decided without sufficient human scrutiny.

 

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# 2) Since AI are systems supposed to work on the data that we feed to them which can be prone to errors and exceptions, so we should not expect perfect answers all the time. Decision-making processes built on top of AIs need to be made receptive to repeated inspection. Since we are the ones building artificial intelligence, it is likely to be both as efficient and as faulty as we are.

# 3) While the future of this technology might be able to solve many of the world's problems, it still runs a high risk of powering all the A.I. systems on earth making it dangerous to be held in wrong hands.

 

Benefits:

# 1) AI is expected to change the hiring and recruiting practices in the near future, by making the process faster and more efficient, by reducing bias or by shifting the traditional role and duties of hiring managers.

# 2) Artificial intelligence can also help us manage highly complex systems such as global shipping networks and in financial and banking institutions to organize and manage data.

 

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# 3) Artificial intelligence helps us in reducing the error with a greater degree of precision and can prove to be accurately obliging while used in various studies of exploration of space.

# 4) AI stands to assist healthcare diagnostics by helping detect small variations within patients' health data, comparing variations among similar cases; and tracking the occurrence of diseases to help check and contain the spread.

 

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All consequences considered, in this age of possibilities we must keep learning and seeking new opportunities while being completely attentive and perceptive to how we create the minds of our future AI systems. With a thought of creating a fuss-free and technologically advanced world tomorrow, we must be willing to do whatever it takes, while still believing our basic human instincts.

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