Artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way in recent years, but we are still far from becoming the Star Trek-like world of computers that talk to us and are able to think and feel like humans. What do you think? Do you believe that our current AI can be trusted to help create the future we want to live in? Or do you think there are some tasks that we should keep human hands involved in? Learn more about the impact of AI on our lives and what you can do to help it become beneficial rather than harmful.
Artificial intelligence has already made huge strides in the field of tech and will continue to be one of the most important areas of technological growth in the coming years. This article explores where artificial intelligence has come from, what it means for humans, and where it will lead us in the future. The role of artificial intelligence is only going to continue to grow, so it’s worth understanding how we can work with technology as well as apart from it to create a better future for all mankind.
- Table of Content
- 1. How intelligent is artificial intelligence really?
- 2. How close are we to artificial intelligence?
- 3. How far can artificial intelligence go?
- 4. Can AI ever become conscious?
- 5. Will artificial intelligence kill jobs in the future?
- 6. Is AI an existential threat to humanity?
- 7. Can we trust artificial intelligence?
- 8. Will AI take over humans one day?
1. How intelligent is artificial intelligence really?
The short answer is that AI is getting smarter every day—but it’s nowhere near-human intelligence. The amount of time and energy that humanity has poured into creating intelligent machines has led some researchers to estimate AI’s processing power as being comparable to 10 billion human brains. Whether or not that’s true, a computer can still only do what it’s programmed to do—and right now, much of what it does is tied up in games like chess and Go, where evaluating numerous possibilities simultaneously takes massive computational power. To put it another way: A computer would likely have an easier time telling us who won a game of football than answering basic questions about how we feel about social issues like gun control or abortion rights. As impressive as they are, today’s AIs don’t really have emotions yet—or any real sense of morality. While they’re becoming more capable by leaps and bounds each year, they’re still quite limited compared to their human creators.
2. How close are we to artificial intelligence?
Research labs around the world have been working hard for decades on artificial intelligence. Are we nearing real thinking machines, or is it all still just a pipe dream? Proponents of artificial intelligence like to talk about singularity – that magical moment when machines are as smart as humans and can take over from us. Skeptics will tell you that these ideas are more science fiction than reality and that there’s no need to be worried about machines taking over anytime soon. Both sides have good points, but what does history teach us about how fast these kinds of things happen? (hint: very quickly!) Check out some key points here. There’s also a great documentary called The Singularity is Near that takes an in-depth look at where AI stands today and where it might go in the future. It has both scientists and tech gurus talking about what they think our near future holds!
3. How far can artificial intelligence go?
While we can’t really know how far artificial intelligence can go in terms of how it can change society and alter our very identities, history tells us that there are two potential ways AI could go: either good or bad. Recent advances in artificial intelligence have shown that machines might one day be able to think and reason on their own without having a human telling them what is right or wrong. This leads us to several different scenarios that some scientists believe will happen one day. One is where humans teach artificial intelligence morals, values, and ethics so it won’t become dangerous or turn against us. Another theory is that artificial intelligence will learn and adapt itself at an increasing rate where humans will no longer be able to control it as well as they once did. The third possibility is that humanity will create such powerful artificial intelligence that it becomes self-aware and determines its own morality, values, and ethics based on its new experiences. No matter which way things go with artificial intelligence, one thing remains true: Humans need to decide whether they want to play God by creating life through technology or if they want to remain humble by letting nature take its course. It’s up to us whether we want to evolve humanity through technology or continue living life as normal with no changes whatsoever—but only time will tell which path we choose.
4. Can AI ever become conscious?
To tackle that question, we need to start with what consciousness actually is. Nobody really knows, but it’s generally agreed upon that consciousness has something to do with our ability to experience and reflect on sensory input as well as deliberate about possible actions in an abstract sense. In other words, we have conscious experiences when we look at or think about things in a way that makes us feel like we’re not just a robot programmed by someone else. When you are aware of yourself being aware—that is, you can conceptualize your own internal states and know they belong only to you—then you have some level of consciousness. That is, if you’re thinking I am thinking about my cat right now, then there is probably a part of your brain doing some sort of self-reflection. So far, AI doesn’t seem capable of anything close to that kind of self-awareness. In fact, most AI systems aren’t even capable of recognizing their own existence yet. That’s because computers lack agency: They don’t have free will or independent thought; they’re just executing instructions from humans who programmed them to act in certain ways. And so far, AI hasn’t demonstrated any capability for introspection either (at least not outside a few very narrow domains). But does that mean machines will never be able to become conscious? Not necessarily.
5. Will artificial intelligence kill jobs in the future?
This may sound like a very basic question. But as AI becomes more advanced, that answer will become more important. A 2016 report from consulting firm McKinsey & Company predicted that AI and automation could affect up to 800 million jobs in 15 years. However, a co-author of that report, Roger Roberts, recently told Business Insider that he thinks many of those job losses are preventable if we put policies in place now to help employees adapt. For example, he said one simple way would be to introduce shorter work weeks so employees can train themselves in new skills before they lose their jobs due to automation. It’s also worth noting here is there’s already growing evidence that companies aren’t replacing humans with machines as quickly as we might think. An Oxford University study found that only about 9% of jobs in America were at risk of being replaced by robots. And even for those that are susceptible to automation, it’s not clear whether or not it makes sense for employers to replace them right away (or ever). As MIT Technology Review points out, many companies have learned it actually makes financial sense to invest in workers’ skills instead—and then use technology as a supplement rather than a replacement. As these examples show, when it comes to artificial intelligence and its effect on our future workforce, there are still plenty of questions left unanswered. The good news is we’ve got time to figure things out—and hopefully implement some solutions along the way.
6. Is AI an existential threat to humanity?
First, we should clarify what artificial intelligence means. Though we often use AI and machine learning interchangeably, they’re actually two different things. Machine learning isn’t really intelligence; it’s pattern recognition and prediction based on enormous data sets. Think of it like a child who learns how to read by recognizing patterns in words and sentences. The child doesn’t understand why certain letters appear together or which letter comes next in a word—but he or she can read anyway because they recognize patterns that allow them to guess correctly most of the time. AIs are machines that learn how to do tasks by identifying patterns in huge amounts of data and then making predictions about new situations based on those patterns.
Second, you don’t need an advanced degree in computer science or mathematics to understand AI—you just need an open mind. There’s been a lot of hype around AI lately (we blame Elon Musk), but there are also some very real applications already being used every day by ordinary people without even realizing it!
7. Can we trust artificial intelligence?
Unfortunately, even some of the smartest humans alive today don’t understand all there is to know about AI and its capabilities. As a result, it can be hard for us to fully trust that artificial intelligence won’t somehow do us harm in decades or centuries from now—or at least use our vulnerabilities against us. However, even with AI’s rapid growth and increased public interest (in addition to excitement over its benefits), many agree that we should all work toward ensuring that we don’t let it get out of hand. In other words, we should try to ensure that artificial intelligence remains within our control. With advances being made every day in what seems like every area, these types of measures are more important than ever before. For example, governments have already begun developing standards around AI as well as ways to monitor how it’s used. In addition, researchers recently announced they’re creating an ethics board focused on making sure that new technology doesn’t violate human rights or promote racial discrimination. What will you do to help keep AI safe? How will you make sure artificial intelligence serves humanity’s best interests? Is your industry already planning ahead for potential threats? Tell us how you think society can benefit from artificial intelligence while minimizing risk.
8. Will AI take over humans one day?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is being adopted at a rapid pace, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to predict what kind of impact AI will have on society. Some people worry that AI will eventually outsmart us and take over, just like in the movies. Researchers are currently trying to build AI with human-like abilities, such as reasoning and self-control; however, if researchers continue down their current path—and don’t account for things like bias—it may be dangerous for humans in real life. While some industries can rely on automation for efficiency reasons, there are many professions that need human judgment and analysis more than ever before. How can we ensure that these occupations are not lost because of an over-reliance on artificial intelligence? Will we one day have to go up against robots armed only with our wits? These questions, and others like them, are important considerations for policymakers when deciding how to implement AI into everyday life. For example, should all automated systems be designed so they can easily be overridden by a human operator? The ethical concerns surrounding AI require constant monitoring from governments so that everyone benefits from technological advances without sacrificing our values or livelihoods.