Sanskriti Rijal

Rijal is a Grade 12 student at Rato Banagla School.

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Published On: July 1, 2021 04:52 PM NPT By: Sanskriti Rijal

Is AI dangerous or beneficial for humankind?

Is AI dangerous or beneficial for humankind?

This is a constantly-evolving world and throughout history we have seen a great amount of technological advancement that has benefited humankind. Everything we know about civilization is the product of intelligence, so amplifying humankind with the help of artificial intelligence has the possibility of flourishing our civilization like never seen before as long as we are able to keep the technology beneficial. From simple virtual assistant AI like Alexa to self-driving cars, for the past decade we have seen rapid progress in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). The AI we have today is classified as applied AI or narrow AI which is able to perform narrow tasks such as facial recognition, natural language processing, internet searches. However, the experts in this field are working toward artificial general intelligence (AGI) or strong AI. I believe AI is more beneficial than dangerous. AI nowadays is used to benefit the economy and businesses, enhancing people’s lifestyles, and solving social problems.

It seems that AI has helped us a lot in the 21st century. Mankind can reap a large amount of benefit through the use of AI in all sectors. If we look at the benefits of AI in the economy, business and industries, we can assume that AI will help people perform their tasks better, not take their jobs. With machine learning, AI can become smarter over time thus increasing the business efficiency and also significantly reducing the probability of human error. Algorithms such as facial recognition, pattern identification will be huge while the academic research, health science and tech companies will have enhanced capabilities. The capability of AI to enhance information efficiently, helping people create new opportunities, surely opens up new streams of revenue generation, savings, and jobs.

AI is there to enhance the users’ lifestyles by using search algorithms that are able to provide targeted information. One of the very common examples of this is the Facebook and Instagram ads we see about something we have recently searched. AI will handle all mundane tasks such as data entry and answering emails. For example, Google Duplex is one of the recent projects from Google where AI makes reservations to restaurants or a barber shop for the user. 

The concept of smart homes is getting very popular nowadays. Most households throughout the world own some kind of virtual assistance device like Google home, Amazon echo, home pod etc. These devices are powered by some kind of artificial intelligence. For google, it would be Google assistance, for Amazon echo it would be Alexa and for homepod it would be Siri. These AI-powered virtual assistants can perform tasks such as voice commands, voice search, and voice-activated device control which simply make your day-to-day life easier. AI-powered smart homes can cut down on energy use and provide better security. Throughout the history of mankind, the improvement and the advancement of technology has made it possible for humanity to thrive and evolve. Without technology and inventions, we would still be stuck in the prehistoric ages.

AI has the potential to innovate and help people focus to solve more significant, more complicated social problems. AI can significantly expand human creativity and ingenuity by handling complex and tedious tasks allowing people to have more time to learn, experiment and explore. For healthcare and medicine health care services will be better at diagnostics because an AI wearable can monitor users 24/7. Artificial intelligence can help people extend their knowledge and understanding of medicine. Image-based AI diagnoses can help doctors better treat their patients. Although it sounds crazy, AI has already made it to the criminal justice system. Many police departments and courts in the developed countries are turning to AI to mitigate bias. Artificial intelligence handles profiling and risk assessment. With the use of complex algorithms, the AI is able to look for patterns in criminal records and historical records and it is able to make recommendations. The retrieval of data has become efficient and faster. Lines at the courthouse or police departments will be shorter, putting less strain on police officers and court officials.

All these facts do suggest that AI can be very beneficial for humankind and that is what my opinion leans toward as well. But there are people who are afraid of AI becoming self-aware and wiping out humanity. There have been numerous science fiction movies such as Terminator, I Robot, Ex- Machina which do give a glimpse of what could happen if machines become self-aware. Although the threat is real, there are all kinds of safeguards in place if anything like this happens. In reality, we are far away from achieving a super-intelligent machine capable of self-awareness and emotions like humans, so for now the benefits of artificial intelligence completely outweigh the dangers involved. 


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