Artificial Intelligence is an emerging phenomenon of Information Technology where the robots and computer aided supports are being made so efficient and intelligent that they may be able to replicate the way human beings indulge in decision making processes. The researches and focus on the Artificial Intelligence and its adjoining areas has increased over the period of time; and it is expected that proper and efficient development of artificial intelligence can change the way human beings work and process in future. This expectation and rapid development in this field is increasing the risk that soon the robots will replace the human labor. This can be very destructive for the overall society as with the unemployment, social frustration may increase and may trigger the global chaos. Several observers have highlighted this threat in their research papers.
The advocates of this technology believe that artificial intelligence has the capability of reducing the workload off the human beings by shifting it on to the automated and robotic supports, thus enhancing its efficiency, effectiveness, precision and reliability. Various researches have evaluated and analyzed the artificial intelligence in various ways to determine their capacity, capability, reliability and future processes. Having some criticism and possible threats in the future, it is believed that artificial intelligence has the tendency to overtake the role of human being and human labor in future that can be dangerous for the survival and sustainability of the human race.
Robot Ethics, Future Issus and Concerns
Critics call the future of world as the mechanized world (Lin, Abney & Bekey, 2010) since it is expected that most of the processes and procedures will become automated and technological. However, these critics are very much concerned about the issues of this mechanized world as well (Lin, Abney & Bekey, 2010). And this issue is of high concern because “If the evolution of the robotics industry is analogous to that of computers, then we can expect important social and ethical challenges to rise from robotics as well, and attending to them sooner rather than later will likely help mitigate those negative consequences” (Lin, Abney & Bekey, 2010). These issues have to be dealt with great care and focus.
Furthermore, the robots are still machines that can make critical and dangerous errors as well on the basis of malfunctioning, wrong analysis and various other internal and external factors (Lin, Abney & Bekey, 2010). Relying too much on them can be dangerous and can make robots out of control as well (Lin, Abney & Bekey, 2010). For instance, recently the robotic warfare aircraft technology was introduced named as drones (Lin, Abney & Bekey, 2010). There were believed to be the most precise unarmed missile launching aircrafts, however, their precision is now being specifically argued and questioned (Lin, Abney & Bekey, 2010). This clearly shows that since robots cannot think and evaluate the conditions and situations critically, they are not able to make accurate judgments and decision making as the human beings can. Replacing humans with such robots can be disastrous.
The identification and prediction of such issues, before time is highly important and essential. Otherwise the rate of negative impact by these robotics will be similar to the rate of its development (Lin, Abney & Bekey, 2010). And there is every possibility that these negative impacts will outweigh the positive or beneficial impacts of the artificial intelligence (Lin, Abney & Bekey, 2010). The authorities and researchers working on the development of artificial intelligence must keep these threats and risk under consideration so that necessary precautionary and control measures can be taken.
Achievement of Singularity and Unbelievably Faster Processing
The advocates of this technology try to justify the replacement of human being with the robots on the basis of efficiency and calculative precision it can achieve and practically establish the phenomenon of singularity. One of the key features of Artificial intelligence is the way it can enhance the productivity, efficiency and precision of the work being performed. According to some researchers, this rapidness and precision will enhance so much, in near future that it will become difficult to distinguish between the processing and accomplishment time of the procedure.
This phenomenon is known as ‘singularity’ and is often defined as “a future time when societal, scientific, and economic change is so fast we cannot even imagine what will happen from our present perspective” (Bell, 2003). Others define this phenomenon as ““the singular time when technological development will be at its fastest” (Bell, 2003). These phrases and descriptions of singularity summarizes the most strengthened feature of artificial intelligence.
The advocates of Artificial intelligence believe that soon automated systems will take exclusive control of the organizational, economic, and social and other decision making procedures that are often prone to human negligence and errors. And this control will be so precise and rapid that no human being will able to compete with it. In other words, due to high precision and rapidness, artificial intelligence will take the control of major departments and organizations away from human beings.
However, some still doubt this much rapidness and precision of artificially intelligent systems and argue for the approach through which this precision can be achieved. The advocates respond to this argument by explaining the theory of Moore’s Law (Bell, 2003). They state that “that the number of transistors that could fit on a single computer chip had doubled every year for six years from the beginnings of integrated circuits in 1959. Moore predicted that the trend would continue, and it has—although the doubling rate was later adjusted to an 18-month cycle” (Bell, 2003). This clearly explains the technical aspect of how the efficiency of these systems is enhancing exponentially over the period of time. And soon it will surpass the imagination of average human beings.
However, the future is not all as pleasant as it appears to be. Some researchers have shown how the ability of automated systems and robots to take over major processes can eventually lead to destruction of human need for processing. In an article by Sun Microsystems, it was claimed that “We could be the last generation of humans.” Joy warned that “knowledge alone will enable mass destruction” and termed this phenomenon “knowledge enabled mass destruction.” (Bell, 2003). This apparently horrifying discovery can be a warning for the advocates of transferring exclusive control to the artificial intelligence.
Rapid Growth of Artificial Intelligence
The news and articles about revolutionary steps and innovation in the field of artificial intelligence have become a common aspect in today’s life. With each discovery and invention, the future is coming a step closer. Researchers are very much focused on enhancing the mechanisms through which the use of artificial intelligence can be enhanced as they believe that “The growing power of computer vision is a crucial first step for the next generation of computing, robotic and artificial intelligence systems. Once machines can identify objects and understand their environments, they can be freed to move around in the world. And once robots become mobile they will be increasingly capable of extending the reach of humans or replacing them” (Markoff, 2013). This clearly shows how the developers and researchers have gain control and knowledge over the aspects of robotics that will help in its further advancements.
Critically analyzing the evaluating the rapid development of artificial intelligence and its possible impacts on the future of human beings, it can be clearly observed that the hovering threats and risks are outweighing the benefits that can be harnessed from artificial intelligent. Even though the robotic technology of such an extent has been developed that can have have an IQ level of certain extent with the capability of making decisions on the basis of its extensive knowledge base. However, this can never be as efficient and precise as a human being can be. Computers can only make decisions on the basis of logic and calculations that can be immoral and unethical as well. These aspects are not recognized by the computers or roots since these are human attributes and can only be understood with the presence of cognitive and judgmental capabilities on the basis of reasoning, intuitiveness and emotions. And these qualities are only present in human beings and n robot can achieve it. No matter how efficient and effective these robots are, they can never make use of emotions and intuitiveness in decision making processes. Hence increasing the risk of faulty or inappropriate decisions that may be challenging from ethical and moral perspectives.
Bell, James John. (2003). Exploring the ‘Singularity’. Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence. http://www.kurzweilai.net/exploring-the-singularity
Lin, Patrick; Abney, Keith & Bekey, George. (2010). Robot ethics: Mapping the issues for a mechanized world . http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1020&context=phil_fac
Markoff, John. (2013). The Rapid Advance of Artificial Intelligence. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/15/technology/the-rapid-advance-of-artificial-intelligence.html?_r=0