What Do I Think of AI?

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I get this question a lot, and to be honest, I’m not quite sure. I guess I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with artificial intelligence. With that, I mean that I am equally excited and horrified by the speed at which these technologies are developed. What would have been dismissed as science fiction or frankly ‘impossible’ only a couple of decades ago, is now very much a reality. Below I’ve listed the reasons for why I love (and am afraid of!) A.I.

The reasons why I love AI:

  • The first point here would have to be because I’m fascinated by the future. I just cannot help myself, I love science fiction. I have always been fascinated by Nineteen Eightyfour, Blade Runner and other futuristic stories. Have you ever seen Ex Machina or I Robot? Well, that’s the theme! I am excited about AI because I want to see what it can do. In my wildest imagination, I picture the best and the worst of life – but also the best! I mean, the best parts of AI probably haven’t even been invented yet!
  • Medical reasons. I have really high hopes for AI. According to Forbes, it has already decreased hospital stays by 21 per cent. I think that’s incredible and it’s only going to get better. I love the many ways in which AI can help humans recover quicker, determine what procedures to use and what medications to give depending on medical history. Back in the days, no one would have ever wanted to trust a robot to operate on them, but these days robots are even better than humans at performing our surgeries. So I think that’s amazing, and I’m excited to see where it goes.
  • Big data! One of the best developments that tech (or the internet?) has given us is online cloud computing services. I am very excited about how big data can be used to facilitate societal change, and improve the lives of many people at once. For those of you who have read Foundation, I am not naive! I don’t think big data is the solution to everything, but it can definitely help us pinpoint some larger trends and how to fight (or support) them. Actually, I will add cloud computing security services to that as well, I think AI has helped significantly to keep our data safe and keep out the hackers!
  • There are many, many more reasons, but I’ll stop here today. Let’s be honest, you’re more curious about why I’m terrified, aren’t you?

The reasons why I’m scared about AI:

  • Intimacy/ relationships. I know this might sound very cynical, but I am a bit scared that AI or robots are going to replace our most human elements – the relationships we have with one another. We are already so stuck in our own digital worlds, how are we going to cope when the digital worlds become as realistic as the real world? Why would anyone choose to hang out with their friends or family in a boring town, when we could access a whole fantasy world with people that are much more fun or much prettier or much richer or whatever. I’m scared that the entertainment will get so “good” that we won’t want to settle for real life. We will simply live in a game.
  • Privacy. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I’m scared that AI will record everything we do – without us knowing. One part of me thinks this is already happening, even though the big IT companies say it isn’t. Sometimes I think AI is already aware – we just don’t know it yet. It’s bubbling under the surface…