Artificial intelligence is a division of science that deals with the imitation of human intelligence manners by machines. The idea began in 1956 after John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky hosted the first conference to discuss the subject. However, the notion of thinking machines was not that original as Vannevar Bush had proposed a model that could embody human thinking before 1956 (Anyoha). Alan Turing then followed up five years later with a paper that discussed the idea of machines that were able to imitate people and had the ability to act intelligently, such as play chess (Turing). Much progress was made between 1957 and 1974, with computers able to store more information and increase processing speeds. Since 1980 artificial intelligence has gone on to achieve most of its goals, most notably in the landmark era that is the 21st century. Artificial intelligence is useful for it creates less room for error, improving productivity. It has, however, increased the dependency on machines and displaced low skill workers. Technology has changed the way we do everything, and that is why almost all professions have incorporated Artificial Intelligence. Although it has helped grow businesses, it has also resulted in various downsides, including reducing human to human interaction in businesses.
Technology has overtaken everything in the world we live in; no matter the industry, there is the use of technology in carrying out various tasks (Tufekci). The accuracy and precision of AI compared to humans is one of the most crucial importance of artificial intelligence since human error has recently been considered the number one cause for production losses. With artificial intelligence, businesses can avoid up to 23% losses resulting from unplanned downtime and production losses (Wright). Artificial intelligence fixes errors related to workers deciding not to follow procedures or errors from poorly written procedures and incomplete instructions.
Artificial intelligence is essential in saving time as AI systems use less time to analyze and identify patterns as compared to humans (Brooks). Although AI systems have no common sense and cannot be able to perform tasks requiring common sense in the real world, it has the ability to go through mounds faster than a person can. Deep learning a more advanced cohort of machine learning applies technological systems to absorb information using history and example. Deep learning technology can concurrently identify text, images, and sound with high-tech accuracy. Deep learning systems become more advanced by the day with their performance improving with the receipt of more data. This means that using AI tools in business streamlines processes saving time and consequently costs.
Examples of areas where AI is applied in a business include but are not limited to the use of chatbots for consumer service, shopping by photo, and streamlining sales. Because many companies have limited resources when it comes to customer service providers, and customers do not have the time to wait on replies to their queries, businesses are using chatbots to provide instant response. According to research by Gartner (2018), by 2020, all customer service communications will be delivered through artificial intelligence, which is a 400% increase from 2017 (Gartner). Amazon has also introduced a system that allows customers to search for items using photos. Sometimes customers cannot remember the name of an item and lose a lot of time trying to remember or scheming through the website with millions of products. A customer relationship management system uses AI tools to gather analytics on sales projections using prognostic lead scoring, profiles, and task references, which saves the sales team a lot of time with the consideration that these teams do not possess these skills.
Today, industries are using AI to perform rigorous human work and backbreaking tasks with ease and without the need for human supervision. This has allowed for industries to run production around the clock without the need for breaks. These AI tools have reduced the workload of humans and operational costs related to manpower (Fei-Fei). Artificial intelligence has liberated people from tedious work and given them the opportunity to work tasks that they excel in. As the machines work on the cumbersome tasks, humans have enough time to concentrate on more creative and interpersonal aspects of life. A good example is the adaptation of AI tools in banking to improve customer experience allowing analysts to get a break from the more demanding part of their job and enable them to focus on more profound research and investigation of the multifaceted consumer experience.
The use of artificial intelligence has reached the point where human beings are no longer using AI tools as passive extensions of them but working alongside as active partners. A hammer or a hoe is an inactive extension of the hand, but a drone dispenses intelligence alongside its operator and is closer to an animal than a tool. These tools can now interact with humans in ways that were never possible to create a combination that results in excellent services such as laying out ideas to a novel or scripting a new sci-fi film. With early instances of unenhanced humans and drones making choreographic moves, it is now obvious that that humans and artificial intelligence will form an amazing assortment of combinations to create new kind of meaning in every aspect of living.
Artificial intelligence has accelerated the process of space exploration tenfold, making impossible aspects possible such as the possibility of mining asteroids a reality. A good example is the Earth Observer 1 (EO-1) satellite, which enhanced the investigation and response to natural disasters such as floods and volcanic eruptions (Proser & Rebolledo). Using AI, EO-1 was able to capture images before response teams on the ground were aware of the occurrence of events. Sky Image Cataloging and Analysis Tool (SKICAT) has enabled the cataloging of objects revealed during the Palomar Sky Survey, classifying thousands of more objects caught in low resolution than a person would.
Although there are many benefits to artificial intelligence, many people have been raising concerns about how the advances in artificial intelligence will affect human identity and how to be productive or exercise free will. Digital life is influencing human capabilities and unsettling eons-old anthropoid activities. Renowned physicist Prof Stephen Hawking has raised the alarm on thinking machines posing a significant threat to the existence of the human race. He goes on to state although the primitive AI tools created thus far have proved useful, he fears the consequences of developing machines that can match or surpass human thinking and abilities. He suggests that this kind of machine learning will enable them to redesign themselves at an ever-increasing rate. Because humans are limited by measured biological evolution, they could find themselves competing with machines and will be eventually superseded. Elon Musk has also raised similar concerns to those of Prof Hawking, saying that artificial intelligence will eventually become the human race’s biggest existential threat.
As mentioned, the increased dependence on artificial intelligence has resulted in individuals losing control of their lives. Although artificial narrow intelligence (ANI) implements such as search engines and digital assistants like Siri are yet to achieve the level of human-like artificial general intelligence (AGI), they are gaining more power thanks to the advancement in machine learning. As a result, they have substituted various human activities that are innate to the identity of the human race. The world is at a point where computers can do almost everything a human can do.
The embrace of robots such as the Samantha sex doll is getting out of hand for replicating the woman’s form and creating a “masterpiece” that suggests men’s ideal features in women alongside other ethical concerns (Hanson). Samantha sex dolls are made as gynoid in every aspect with a fat lower half of the body, wider hips, more fat on the thighs and buttocks. The extent to which artificial intelligence is replacing humans to the level of intimacy is clearly detrimental, and the worst blow to an ethical society.
According to a report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, workers will be significantly impacted by the advancement of artificial technology, requiring them to reinvent themselves on the basis of skill (PriceWaterHouseCoopers). Bank workers, office staff, factory workers are currently facing the possibility of losing their jobs in the near future. Another report by Bloomberg suggests that over 120 million employees will require training in three years to adjust to the needs of artificial intelligence (Hagan). Amazon has factored in its budget $700 million to train over 100,000 employees in the united states to elevate them to more jobs requiring advanced skills by 2025. Amazon is also admitting that the program is necessitated by the fact that automation will handle more tasks that are now handled by these workers.
Oxford academics suggest that 47% of jobs held by Americans will be automated by 2030. Also, about 40 to 160 million women across the globe will be required by circumstance to transition between jobs, especially those requiring more advanced skills. This group consists of those currently working clerical roles such as bookkeepers, secretaries, and schedulers since these jobs are the most susceptible to automation. Also, about 20 million factory jobs will be lost to machines by the year 2030.
Incorporating artificial intelligence among humans could be disruptive. When working machines are made to look and act like humans, they influence the innate human nature of friendliness, love, and kindness. The continued interaction with machines will direct how humans interact with one another.
In conclusion, the need to embrace artificial intelligence is very obvious because if the idea was to be withdrawn at the moment and the human race was left with completely primitive devices and passive extensions such as hammers, the world will stall and chaos will erupt. The cooperation between man and intelligent machines has made activities much easier alongside other crucial perks. Reducing the human workload and exempting workers from tedious and backbreaking work, progressing space exploration, saving time, costs, and improving efficiency more than ten folds. However, there have been pessimistic opinions on the future and ongoing consequences of popularizing machine learning. The consequences are as grave as ending the human race. There is the obvious possibility that workers will lose their jobs even further than they are right now. However, the dependency on artificial intelligence has reached a point where the only solution will be to find the best way to foster machine-human coexistence by incorporating both efforts.
Anyoha, R. “The History of Artificial Intelligence.” 28 Apr. 2017, sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2017/history-artificial-intelligence/.
Brooks, Rodney. “Why We Will Rely on Robots.” TED: Ideas Worth Spreading, Feb. 2013, www.ted.com/talks/rodney_brooks_why_we_will_rely_on_robots?referrer=playlist-what_can_robots_teach_us_about. Accessed 7 Nov. 2019.
Fei-Fei, L. “Opinion | How to Make A.I. That’s Good for People.” The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia, 8 Mar. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/03/07/opinion/artificial-intelligence-human.html.
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