Why We Shouldn’t Fear Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence generates a lot of controversy and uncertainty. But it shouldn’t. To me, it’s such an irrational fear. Movies and television shows have fueled our collective imaginations with images of killer robots running amok and taking over the world. Films like Terminator and Ex Machina envision a world where the consequences of advanced technology get dangerously out of hand. So it’s little wonder the topic of artificial intelligence is met with so much dread and distrust. 

However, these movie depictions are far from reality. If you step back and look at the bigger picture, artificial intelligence has the potential to change our lives for the better. 

In fact, it’s already doing just that! 

What is AI?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad term used to describe software that can do tasks typically done by humans. Far from the half-human, half-robots monsters in movies, everyday AI is relatively benign. For example, AI is the technology behind Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. It’s what makes self-driving cars possible, and it’s used in many industries from health care to finance.

How AI Works with Machine Learning

The use of AI doesn’t stop there. AI can perform visual and speech recognition, decision-making, and translation tasks. But how does it all work? The key is through algorithms – programs that teach AI machines how to recognize patterns in data and respond in a human-like way. This process is called machine learning. Machine learning gives AI the ability to “learn” and continuously improve with exposure to new data. Thus, machine learning teaches AI to mimic human decision-making successfully. 

Why You Shouldn’t Fear Artificial Intelligence

With all of the advances in machine learning, are AI overlords in our near future? Probably not. In fact, I know not. It just doesn’t make sense. Computers may be capable of “deciding” in human ways, but they’ll always lack the innately human desire for power. Believe it or not, they’re content with (and still stuck with) the power we give them. We don’t have to worry about an all-powerful AI taking over the world because we’re not yet close to building one that great.

But there’s another kind of takeover people are concerned about. Because AI can do human processes in a fraction of the time, there’s much fear and debate over AI taking over jobs and the economy. Again, another outdated and misguided fear. See it from the perspective of opportunity and human evolution. AI can create lots of opportunities for new kinds of jobs. After all, this emergent technology will require great minds and talents to maintain and progress toward an even stronger future. 

How AI Can Make Our Lives Better

AI can help make decisions in everything from health care and policing to retail and education. In almost every sector we work in, we can use AI to deliver better experiences for the people we serve. And in each of these sectors, there’s an enormous amount of data that we can use to train a machine to learn how to provide value — whether by improving efficiency, finding new insights, or just making tasks easier.

AI has already been used in more than one instance to successfully diagnose diseases that would have taken doctors weeks or months to uncover. Advancements in AI have also helped governments research, enact and enforce laws that actually make sense. In some cases, AI even has its uses in therapy. The opportunities are endless, but we’ll never find them by living in fear! 

The Takeaway

Creating fear around artificial intelligence is holding us back from what can be a beneficial tool for all of our lives. As AI develops further and becomes more ingrained in our lives, it’s essential to stop looking at it as a monster but instead as a tool. 

Stop being afraid of artificial intelligence. Embrace it and let it enhance your life!

Here at Boundless Connections Technology Centers, we are committed to harnessing the power of technology responsibly. It’s the utility of the 21st century. We must all become proficient – regardless of age, ability, career path, personal interests or socioeconomic status – to achieve success. Connect with me on LinkedIn to learn more.