Artificial intelligence’s impact on the future

Photo courtesy Pixabay

Madeline Miller

Artificial intelligence is more than just a science fiction fantasy. More and more, it is becoming an inevitability, and it goes beyond a bodiless voice used to power up a metal suit or run a company. It probably will not kill us. Instead, artificial intelligence could push us toward the future that humans need to survive.

Artificial intelligence is hard to pin down, but what it is at its core is a computer that thinks functionally like a human, except, hopefully better.

It is not out to steal all the available jobs, unless all the available jobs entail discovering new planets, like Google’s machine learning system did in December 2017, according to NASA. What artificial intelligence can do, along with the prototypes existing today that are sure to be its predecessors, is sift through enormous piles of data to find information that humans just cannot possibly find.

As unrealistic as it is to ask a human being to go through a terabyte of data bit by bit, it is easily within the realm of possibility to ask the same of an artificial intelligence. The work they perform is faster, more efficient and punctuated by limited interruptions. Robots have no need to eat, sleep, socialize or perform other basic human needs. They create the dream employee without all the stripping of basic human civil rights.

Artificial intelligence will also be able to recognize patterns that no human could, creating algorithms in the health industry that could save countless lives and identify new deadly diseases or diseases that disable. Research costs for new medications could be reduced exponentially within months, leading to longer, healthier and happier lives for everybody.

Artificial intelligence will not replace humans. It will augment our lives and make them better, easier and longer. The point of technology is not to eliminate the human experience altogether, but to alleviate as much as possible of the suffering that comes along with it.

“The overarching of AI is to make human life more convenient, safe and affordable,” said UNO professor Doctor Raj Dasgupta. Dasgupta has studied and worked with artificial intelligence for twenty years. “Convenience and safety equate to affordability.”

Ideally, artificial intelligence systems will work for the good of all people. While some jobs may become obsolete, artificial intelligence will free up valuable time and resources to educate people for the industries that will take off due to such momentous advances in technology.

This is not to say that all human jobs will be those requiring ultra-advanced education. Mechanics, for example, will find their jobs augmented by artificial intelligence, but a robot could never truly replace a human in such a career. The careers that are vital to the survival of humanity will still belong to humans. They will just have some extra help along the way.

“Actually, a lot of assembly-line manufacturing has already been automated for several years,” Dasgupta said. “AI has revolutionized health records management, [and] robotic surgery allows much more precision and convenience in complex surgical procedures.”

Currently, artificial intelligence does not exist in its true form. The machines that think today are not quite the sentient computers of the future. Right now, they are learning systems inspired by the workings of the human brain, but they have not yet achieved the independent intelligence that they undoubtedly will. So we will still have some time to adjust to the idea of robots paving the way to the future.