Artificial Intelligence: Humanitys Last Invention

Human beings currently find it extremely difficult to imagine life without technology. Scientists all around the world are trying their utmost best to computerize all aspects of life with the intention of simplifying daily life. The ultimate goal of artificial intelligence is to develop computers that have the ability to educate themselves and perform daily activities for humans. However, it's important to stop and ask ourselves a question: Where does this all end? Unfortunately, as of now, there is no answer to that question. Human beings are starting to lose control of their ambitions and greed, and it's realistic to foresee the takeover of the world by technology soon. The robots created by human beings for their own advantage will be the same ones to lead to their destruction.
Top scientists and businessmen are all in agreement with the CEO of Microsoft Bill Gates, who mentioned in an interview with the Sunday Times that "a third of the jobs in existence today may be replaced by artificial intelligence in the near future" (qtd. in Fortson). As a matter of fact, if one is observant enough, they can easily notice the effect of this already. While self-checkout machines at supermarkets are unemploying cashiers, and online email services are snatching jobs of mailmen; accountants, paralegals, reporters, and nurses are also losing their jobs due to technological advancements that are performing their job for them. A
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scientific journal published by Cambridge University implies that we are, in fact, heading towards an Industrial Revolution, where 47% of current jobs could potentially be overtaken by artificial intelligence (Brougham and Harr 239-257). It would not take an economist to assess the amount of negative impact this will have on the economy as we know it, not to mention the psychological and ethical issues it drags along with it.
Additionally, as technology continues to advance, misleading marketing is compromising people's abilities to make informed decisions. As home automation systems become increasingly popular, people are forgetting the security concerns behind them. Yes, life is getting easier, but at what cost? Renowned user interface engineer Matt Ferrell addresses the risks of voice recognition devices in his video "Alexa is listening to you". Amazon's widely sold Echo and Alexa devices are more dangerous than one may think. All speech by users said after the trigger word 'Alexa' is recorded and sent to officials without masking the users' identities, but any owner of Alexa will be aware of the fact that the device is often triggered accidentally during a normal conversation between people or the television being on. Hence, it is not uncommon for highly personal information to be sent to third-party apps with complete ability to identify the user (Ferrell, 01:48 - 03:27). As an example, two years ago, a user requested Amazon for all of his recorded audio files, and what he received in return were over a thousand audio files belonging to someone he didn't know, which included private conversations and bank account information. The audio files were then traced back to another user, who had no idea of this mishap and blindly trusted his "friend, Alexa". Another instance involved an Echo device recording a private conversation between a couple and "accidentally" sending it to the husband's
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colleague (Statt). It is safe to view them as representations of thousands of other users who have no idea that their privacy is being robbed by such widely accepted devices.
Lastly--and perhaps most importantly--the topic of discussion is the use of lethal autonomous weapons on the battlefield. "Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia but for all humankind," said Russian President Vladimir Putin. "It comes with… threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world" (qtd. in Vincent). In other words, Putin is confident that by the year 2030, the nation with the highest amount of technological drones will be undefeatable. Ironically, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, strongly disapproves of the use of autonomous weapons and anticipated on Twitter that doing so may lead to World War 3 (@elonmusk). These weapons are much more cost-efficient than nuclear weapons, but the real problem lies in the fact that once they start being used, it will only be a matter of time before terrorists and dictators get their hands on them as well. In addition, Gary Smith points out in his book "The AI Delusion" that these weapons may actually not be as effective as we make them out to be since they'll likely lack strategic skills such as [figuring out] "the value of the target, potential collateral damage, and [finding the best opportunities] to attack…" (204).
Moreover, some may point out the benefits of this revolutionary scientific advancement as well, especially in the field of healthcare. A blog published by Harvard University emphasized how the incorporation of artificial intelligence in healthcare can potentially decrease medical costs and make diagnostic tests and treatment plans more accurate (Greenfield). However, it is important to note that a major part of healthcare is psychological aid and the trustworthy
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relationship between a patient and doctor, which will be very difficult to establish if the doctor is a machine. In a research paper published by Science Direct, doctors expressed their concerns regarding the use of AI in areas of the hospital such as the surgery room, where they have to frequently change surgical procedures due to arising problems. Such initiatives may be hard for a device to take unless it has been pre-programmed to do so (Sun and Medaglia).
In conclusion, we are gradually heading towards a Computer Revolution, whose effects solely depend upon the manner in which technology is chosen to be handled. It is indeed too late to turn back, but not too late to assess the risks of artificial intelligence and proceed accordingly. Most of us are addicted to computers, but we shouldn't let that cloud our knowledge of their limitations. It may be tempting to think of computers as much smarter than humans due to their speed and accuracy; however, it's important to remember that they lack the wisdom needed in order to perform inductive reasoning. The real problem lies not in the fact that computers are smarter than us, but that we think they're smarter than us and rely upon them to perform critical functions for us. Computers with the ability to replicate themselves will perhaps be the last invention of mankind, since human beings will still be limited by slow biological evolution and hence superseded. A famous quote by Stephen Hawking might be just what we all need to hear: "Computers will overtake humans within the next 100 years. When that happens, we need to make sure [they] have goals aligned with ours" (qtd. in Hawking). I have used samples found on They have a rich database of social work topics for research papers. I used them to do my own papers.