What does the future hold for artificial intelligence? There have been several groundbreaking developments of late. For instance, there’s now an AI that can learn from observation rather than training by humans or machine learning. Furthermore, Japan has developed robots that will act as caregivers for the elderly in the near future. These achievements are beyond impressive.
Naturally, the technology will only become more advanced from here. But as AI gets stronger, more ethical issues come to light. Take a look:
Some think that humans won’t always be the most intelligent beings on earth. Thanks to our ingenuity, we’re currently at the top of the food chain. We have the physical and cognitive tools to reign over the animals. But, in the future, AI bots may have this same advantage over us. It’s not like we will be able to shut them down either. They may have the ability to anticipate our next move and so defend themselves. So, the main question here is, will we be able to retain control over intelligent machines?
The unemployment rate for the US currently sits at 3.9%. Some fear that unemployment rates will skyrocket as AI replaces humans in the workforce. Just think about self-driving automobiles and how many people they could put out of work – taxi drivers, delivery drivers and so on. It isn’t just physical work that AI could take over, but also, strategic and administrative. Anything a human can do, a superintelligent computer can do better. How will this alter the kind of jobs we have in the future?
Hackers could utilize AI to find new ways to attack businesses and financial institutions. But as much as AI could be used for nefarious purposes, it could also be used for protection. For example, some VPNs already use AI-based routing. This means that traffic is automatically routed to the VPN server that is closest to the destination server, which provides a substantial level of privacy. As AI becomes more advanced, cybersecurity will need to progress even further, too.
We will need to consider bias when programming AI algorithms. First of all, humans build AI systems, and we can be biased and subjective. Moreover, an AI is able to process much faster and at a greater capacity than humans, so we can’t trust it to be neutral and fair all of the time. Instances of biased AI behavior have already been reported. One notorious example is when Microsoft’s AI chatbot made racist and sexist comments on Twitter. How can we prevent this kind of thing happening henceforth?
Just like humans, AI systems can make mistakes. This begs the question, what if an AI performing an important function makes a mistake? There have already been fatal errors caused by AI tech. During testing, a self-driving Uber car hit and killed a woman crossing the street in Arizona. Essentially, we need to remember that AI isn’t foolproof.
Whether robots should have rights is a controversial topic. The mechanisms of reward and aversion in AI systems are becoming more complex. So, what if an AI is given negative input? Does it suffer? Some believe that humans and machines are fundamentally the same. Others think that robots should have the right to exist and perform their mission, but these rights must always be linked to serving humans. Will we need to give robots rights down the line?
It’s safe to say that the advancement of artificial intelligence is imminent. This will have thrilling benefits for humans. Yet, AI also has its downsides. We have already seen some of the problems technological advancements can cause. What remains to be seen is our ability to deal with the inevitable ethical issues.