Weighing the pros and cons

Published On: November 8, 2019 09:12 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

How do you think AI will affect our future?

We have been speculating what the developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI), the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems, will mean in our lives. Everyone has different opinions about it – some think it’ll be advantageous while others think it’ll be disastrous, and then there are some who believe it’s imperative to find a healthy balance. Henry Kissinger, American politician, diplomat, and geopolitical consultant, recently said that AI will fundamentally alter human consciousness. The Week spoke to a few people to know their thoughts on the matter.

Abin Bho, filmmaker

I want to give my thoughts on this topic from a filmmaking perspective since I work in this field and have seen how advantageous the developments in AI can be for the future of this industry. I believe filmmaking is something that has stayed the same since its inception – only the tools used for it have changed and advanced. And I think all of this development has made this craft easier. It’s already being used to create 3D, 4D and other higher dimensions, and things that were filmed with handheld camera previously now utilize mechanical arms that make it more stable and efficient. Earlier people had to either build sets or shoot at locations suitable for the content they wanted to create. But these days, all of that is done through green screen. It has gotten to the point that instead of editing the clip later and adding effects, the screens already have a very realistic footage of the backdrop that changes sensing the actor’s movement. If all of this has already been done, I can only imagine that whatever comes next will be better and make things easier for us filmmakers in the long run.

Ashutosh Shilpakar, Student

It’s human intelligence that made AI possible and AI has been used for making advanced robots. A lot of discoveries have been made that way and in the future I believe that will continue. But I fear AI will be more powerful and conscious than humans which can be quite disastrous. I watch a lot of science fiction movies and most of them portray how the creator is destroyed by the created. This fictional situation can actually come true in the future which is why I wish for AI to be developed in a way that it cannot overpower humans. 

Nrepesh Thapa, student

When it comes to AI technology in Nepal, we don’t have to worry that much. The closest thing we have to an AI is the robot at KKFC, so it’s safe to say we don’t have much going on. One thing that I would like to see AI be used in are games. It would be really nice if, with the help of AI, video games could be simulated in real life and gamers could play them in the actual physical world. And as humans are the ones creating AI, the entire concept of self-awareness or world domination by AI and robots seems a little far-fetched to me. 

Tshering Tsomo Gurung, student

Technology has influenced human life a lot till date and as AI is the most advanced form of technology obviously it will play a significant role in impacting the future. In the future, there is no doubt that AI will become more advanced and that, in turn, might decrease human creativity. As far as I can see, we are overly attached to our computers and phones and it’s almost impossible to imagine our lives without it. If we find a robot that will complete all our chores, I fear we will be lazy and unproductive. For now, I can only think of AI as an aid to human life. Beyond that, we will have to wait and watch. 

Jenny Sherpa, entrepreneur

I think the advancement of AI will bring both good and bad changes in our society. One of the best examples that showcases this is how the use of AI will be effective while implementing rules and for tricky decision making situations as it’s neither biased nor can it be emotionally manipulated. But some cases do need the involvement of emotions and are in the moral grey areas so using AI here seems unfair. Some things that we will benefit from because of the advancement in AI are timely completion of tasks and easy translation of languages among other things. However, this doesn’t discount all of its cons including its effect on the environment, increase in unemployment rate, how it’ll make humans more uncreative and lazy, how expensive it is to operate and fix, and how it only carries out tasks that it is programmed to and never goes beyond that on its own accord. I sometimes also think advancement in AI can actually wipe human existence from earth altogether. This scenario, as ludicrous as it might seem to us now, is quite plausible if you think about it.

Aakriti Adhikari, student

AI could be a boon as well as a curse for humankind. My biggest fear is that in the future, like in the film Wall-e, as AI does all the work, we might turn into a lazy, unhealthy and extremely AI-dependent race. If that happens, it’ll probably be a little too late to save humanity. To prevent this from happening, I think we should give all the dangerous, physically draining work to AI while humanity can take a step back and do more of the creative and less-draining works. Even then, how a person decides to use the given AI probably depends entirely on him/her and that is a very powerful position to be in, one that must be exercised with control.

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