In the summer of 2017, two behemoths of technology had a very public debate over whether Artificial Intelligence – or AI, as it is popularly known – could spell doom for humanity.

Elon Musk of Telsa and Space X has pontificated that AI needs an “alarm bell” and proves an “existential risk for human civilization.”  As such, Musk is calling for proactive regulations so that AI doesn’t destroy humanity  — such as AI-powered robots killing or enslaving humans or, at the very least, replacing human jobs.

This bleak attitude toward AI prompted Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to retort that Musk’s view is “irresponsible” and accused (Musk’s) doomsday fears as unnecessary negativity, according to The Atlantic Monthly.

So, the question, stands:  Is Musk right that AI has the potential to destroy the human race?  Or is Zuckerberg’s view that fearing AI is irresponsible?

The fact is that Musk is not the only one warning against the potential harm of AI – other tech and science giants such as Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking have also expressed concerns. These apprehensions echo 100 years science fiction depicting various scenarios where humanity loses out to AI (HAL, Skynet, and even the Borg).

The Future of Life Institute, founded by MIT scientists, writes, “Because AI has the potential to become more intelligent than any human, we have no surefire way of predicting how it will behave….if we’re (humans) no longer the smartest, are we assured to remain in control?”

AI Today:

While the popular “Hollywood” notion of AI today is often humanoid robots bent on world domination, the truth is that AI is a fascinating technology propelling great advances in healthcare, science, education, and more.  AI already serves an important role in our culture from SIRI to self- driving cars to Google’s search algorithms.

  • TechTarget defines AI “…as the science …of creating intelligent computer systems that are able to perform tasks without receiving instructions directly from humans. These computer systems use a number of different algorithms and decision-making capabilities… to provide a solution…”

 AI in Healthcare:

One of the most important areas where AI is making notable advances is in healthcare.  Forbes writes that AI algorithms “…are showing promise in performing medical work which until recently was thought only capable of being done by human physicians.”

These algorithms, which apply machine learning, can scour multiple databases and analyze complex data to make better and faster diagnoses than humans.

Forbes also reported that AI was used to detect spread of breast cancer into lymph node tissue on microscopic specimen images with “…accuracy comparable to (or greater than) human pathologists.”

AI in the Government:

AI has impacted the government in multiple ways including increasing efficiencies and enhancing public services.  According to a new report by Deloitte University Press and reported by State Tech Magazine,  “…by automating many of the simple and repetitive tasks government employees perform every day, (AI) automation could save 96.7 million federal hours annually.”

At the municipal level, AI advancements have been indicative in such cities as Los Angeles, with “smart parking meters” that can alert drivers of free spaces and when their parking may expire, according to State Tech Magazine.

AI in Schools:

TeachThought writes that AI will impact students at all grade levels with such “adaptive learning programs” that specialize in  individualized growth.  The education industry is just starting to scratch the surface with AI, including educational software and online learning games that can be tailored to each student’s specific needs.

Likewise, Forbes reports that AI in schools can help both teachers and students such as “…to build school-specific predictive models…as well as …providing adaptive learning programs that respond to students’ emotional reactions.”

Time to Shape Our Future – Responsibly:

AI is such a vast and complicated topic and, that like any great technological advancement, has great potential, but also comes with serious risks, such as replacing human jobs.  So how should we think about AI?

  • “Everyone in society has an obligation to ensure that people are educated for a future in which AI touches every aspect of work. But it’s up to those of us who build technology to ensure that it augments human workers, not replaces them,” writes Fortune.

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AI offers incredible potential in multiple technologies.  DiamondIT can help your organization understand how AI-powered technologies can be safely incorporated into your IT infrastructure.  For more information, contact us at 877-716-8324 or www.diamondit.pro.