Artificial Intelligence (AI) has grown tremendously over the years. This is because computers are increasing in speed, memory capacity, and communications ability. AI has been very beneficial in people’s daily lives. The growth and universality of Artificial Intelligence have brought about positives and risks associated with advances in artificial intelligence. There have been speculations about a future where AI systems become very intelligent and supersede human beings as shown in the Ex Machina film directed by Alex Garland. Ex Machina portrays how far artificial intelligence has come to what it is today. Human beings are mostly terrified with the imagination of how powerful artificially intelligent machines have become and according to Brooks (79) we must never underestimate the power of technology. New technologies trigger exciting possibilities and at the same time generate new anxieties. The primary challenge is to guarantee that systems through machine learning are accurate and have zero errors. The benefits of artificial intelligence machines, however, outweigh their risks in the end.
Benefits and risks of artificial intelligence machines
Incorporation of artificial intelligence in sensitive roles such as weapons systems in the military and autopilot systems in the airline industry has developed over the years. These systems have nil errors and hence are very accurate. They have revolutionized these sectors in ways that never seemed possible in the last decades. The risk associated with these systems is that they are prone to cyber-attacks as hackers are daily attacking computer systems with malware and viruses. In addition, people with access to such systems may use them for their revenge and may target particular people or installations for their benefit (Sharkey 16). Artificial intelligence systems code is no different from other software regarding vulnerability to cyber-attacks. Though rare, the successful cyber-attacks on AI systems could be very detrimental to systems such as drones and surveillance systems. Governments should provide efficient methods and policies for detecting and defending against cyber-attacks.
Artificial intelligence machines can perform repetitive, monotonous, and dangerous jobs faster than humans can. Their parameters can be adjusted quickly as they are unaffected by factors that affect humans such as sleep or breaks as they function without stopping (Brooks 82). When programmed to perform tasks that may be harmful, the risk to human health and safety reduces. This benefit may also turn out to be a risk in that it will lead lack of creativity. Analytical computers will perform in all the fields and occupy positions held by humans, leaving many people without work. In addition, with machines doing all the work that humans were doing, the physical and mental activities that were done by humans will be far less thus making them lazier and not be able to think for themselves.
Human beings are in nature emotional beings as they can process thoughts and feelings. Artificial intelligence machines cannot handle thoughts and feelings, as they do not have this capability. Machines cannot make judgments unless they are programmed to reason in a certain way, but they may not show any emotion. This is what makes human beings special as they can reason and make a judgment from what they process. Also, machines lack common senses thus if the control of the AI machines goes in the wrong hands, it may cause a lot of damage. Robots will not think before acting thus is programmed for mass destruction. Machines still require human guidance as they cannot work on their own.
Artificial intelligence is also utilized in the medical field where machines help in diagnosis of potential health risks for patients. Some computer devices also have intelligent Smart machines can train medical professionals in the brain functioning and neurological diagnostics. In the film Ex Machina Ava is able to device an escape plan and manipulates Caleb to escape from the lab facility. Machines are also capable of storing enormous amount of data. The extremely large memory capacities enable efficient data retrievals. Machines also perform repetitive tasks efficiently and without getting fatigued. Companies would prefer them because they can work continuously for twenty four hours without requiring a break only maintenance is necessary. Human beings would be preferred because they learn from their experiences and are likely not to repeat mistakes, however the Machines with Artificial intelligence can also discern activities that do not yield productively and cease from conducting these. For example, autonomous weapons systems may not identify whether a target is innocent or guilty and that is why there has AI researchers want a ban on these weapons to help forestall their development (Geist 318). Thus, these systems require regular upgrades to keep up with the changing trends.
The benefits of artificial intelligence machines outweigh their potential risks. The main fear that most people have is these machines taking over the world and causing havoc as portrayed in different scientific movies such as Ex Machina (2015). This idea may not be entirely correct as human beings still control these machines and it is still too early to tell where AI will be in the next few years. This is because development of such smart devices or systems that can differentiate between good and evil has not evolved yet. It will take time before this revolution comes to be.
EX MACHINA. Alex Garland, dir., script. UK: DNA Films, Film4 (prod.) / A24 (USA theatrical release, Universal for most others), 2015.
Brooks, Rodney. “The Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions.” MIT Technology Review, vol. 120, no. 6, 2017, pp.79-86.
SHARKEY, NOEL. “Killer Robots.” New Internationalist, no. 507, 2017, pp. 16-18.
Geist, Edward Moore. “It’s Already Too Late to Stop the AI Arms Race—We Must Manage It Instead.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol. 72, no. 5, 2016, pp. 318-321.