What could be the ramifications of Artificial Intelligence? Weighing the pros and cons of AI
Artificial intelligence is the next big thing that is set up to take the world by storm. There will be innovations, tech enhancements and humans, for the first time, will be able to expand their capabilities by simply installing a piece of software into their day-to-day lives. Take for example a situation where you are returning late from work and have no time to order food, the AI technology implemented in your home or any close device would be able to adjudge the pattern and order food in time for you to reach home.
Now, there will be displaced workers as is with any platform innovation, but these workers can be empowered with other skills to get them back onto the factory floor. There are primarily two main aspects of debate when it comes to AI – the economic shift and the potential dangers associated with AI.
Let’s look at each side of the argument.
#1 Shift in economy
There will be large and over-reaching changes in the economy as and when AI gets embedded in our daily lives. AI hasn’t really shown its true potential yet and there are many misconceptions that stem from ignorance. If you remove irrationality, the need to eat and sleep and other key factors that make us human, AI is simply there to make our lives better. Thus, when smart cars, smart homes and robots are introduced in to the economy, it will displace low-labour jobs such as maid, helpers, gardeners, delivery-folks, etc. Anything that requires little computational energy will be replaced in the near-future. Thus, these low-skilled workers will have to move towards other skill areas such as tech-repair, AI related secondary economies, etc. This opens opportunities for other entrepreneurs to satisfy this market demand and open up new areas of innovation.
One of the overwhelming cons would be the massive job displacements across multiple sectors, which would mostly affect the blue collar workforce. Thus, the concept of basic universal income comes in, where the government can provide basic income to all citizens.
#2 Technology Scope
Here is where Musk and Zuckerberg differ in their opinions. Elon Musk is extremely wary of the power of this technology, stating that AI can essentially program itself out of control and create havoc.
Here’s what Elon Musk has to say about it in a recent letter that he wrote, “Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare. Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend. These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways. We do not have long to act.”