Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat for Us?


Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat for Us?

Why artificial intelligence makes people stressed or even scared? We discuss a few reasons why people feel uneasy about the whole concept of AI.

Artificial intelligence is no longer a concept that is present only in science-fiction movies. This technology is now broadly implemented across various sectors, from the economy through marketing to medicine. For the past few years, artificial intelligence (AI) can be considered to be in the latest technological avant-garde.

It has already introduced some major changes in our lives and still holds the promise of tremendous opportunities. This vast change, caused by constant improvements in the AI field and a more frequent application of AI-based technologies across multiple sectors, is a bit threatening to a number of people.

But why would something that holds enormous possibilities cause people to feel stressed or even scared? Let’s discuss a few topics that might be the reason that makes people feel uneasy about the whole concept of AI.

1. Growing human dependence on machines and technology

This concern comes from the fact that technology and machines more and more often replace us at tasks that have been reserved for humans for centuries. Thus, making us dependable on the functionality and reliability of the technology.

However, this relates to the entire high-tech field and not only AI. Going that road, we should have stayed in the stone age in fear of every innovation as it would make us dependable.

Of course, there is no denying that dependence on AI is threatening. Artificial intelligence shows that it might become the most powerful technology we have ever dealt with.

The growing popularity of AI will just mean that we will have to take the right steps to protect ourselves as much as we can from dependence on technology.

2. Increased unemployment as a result of AI being omnipresent

Artificial intelligence already replaces some simple tasks performed by humans or does them with human assistance, but how does it look long term? Will AI be the cause of massive underemployment? Current predictions show that AI will actually generate more jobs than it’s going to cost, which means that the fear that AI will be the cause of growing unemployment is not entirely correct.

According to a 2018 report from the World Economic Forum, the expansion of AI is expected to generate 58 million new jobs by 2022 (having 133 million created and 75 million displaced).

According to a Gartner report, by 2022, 1 in 5 workers will work with AI technology and rely on it to get their job done. These predictions are made primarily because the AI-based technology will not only replace routine tasks but also be used as assistance to humans working on non-repeating assignments

Joining human and machine capabilities is showing promising outcomes, and this cooperation hopes to generate much better results than individual work of either. This means, that this fear is only partially justified. Yes, there will be people who will lose their jobs and will have to go through a massive change in their lives. However, looking at the whole picture, world unemployment will actually decrease as AI-technology will increase the number of jobs available.

An innovative view on this issue is presented in the 2020 Deloitte report “Global Human Capital Trends”. The authors note that replacing human workplaces with the machines is not the only possible scenario. More and more companies are moving towards AI Human Collaboration. Such cooperation can bring many benefits — both for individual employees and for entire organizations.

3. AI-based technology turning against humanity

This question has been put in our heads be movies such as Terminator or Matrix. AI-based technology there has turned on humanity and caused immense, world-wide destruction.

Nick Bostrom is an Oxford University Professor and the author of a best-selling book about AI: “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies”. He has raised this existential question in his book published in 2014 and later in an interview in 2020 with Bernard Marr for Forbes. His views have significantly shifted between these two time-periods.

In his book, he compared AI to a bomb that is being tossed around and played by little children and could set off at any moment. However, as Bostrom explained in the interview, there has been rapid development in the AI field since that time. By seeing that progress, his views have changed. He now sees AI as more of an opportunity rather than a threat:

“I think of it [artificial intelligence] as a kind of portal through which all the really great trajectories to a fantastic future will have to have passage at one stage or another.

There will be risks associated with this transition, including some existential risks. Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to try to avoid developing it, and our focus should be on putting ourselves in the best possible position.” – Nick Bostrom

To sum up

In conclusion, there are still many uncertainties regarding AI. We cannot know precisely to what extent it will change our lives in the future. It has already introduced some significant changes, and all of them are rather good ones.

The future will always hold a thread of uncertainty, but as of now, there is no need to fear AI taking over the world. This scenario is highly unlikely with our current technology, and if anything, it should raise concerns in a very distant future.

We might be experiencing a significant change concerning the job market, but that’s unavoidable in the time of superfast development. The only thing we can do is be optimistic about it and try to adjust as well as we can. Therefore, we should keep an open mind and not worry ahead. As for now, AI is showing rather a promising future.

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