Artificial Intelligence: The Pros, Cons, and Everything Else

Manya Kidambi ‘18
EE Co-Managing Editor


Is Artificial intelligence the future of science? Can robots take over the world?

Artificial Intelligence. When we hear the term, some might think of robots controlling the world, while others may think of computers being virtual geniuses and making our daily lives more efficient. In truth, artificial intelligence (AI) is truly an amazing discovery by scientists that exhibits a huge step in innovation and technology.

In short, AI can be defined as a machine performing a task where a human would need to use his or her own intelligence.

For example, an AI program developed by a researcher from New York City, Brenden Lake, can identify handwriting at the speed of humans, and all this skill requires is an algorithm.

Even more importantly, intelligence can help save lives. There have been algorithms used to help detect cancer, and one involves one of the most famous systems of AI, IBM’s Watson.

Interestingly, Watson has the ability to create treatment plans for patients, especially due to the fact that it can pair certain mutations with their respective treatments, which significantly eliminates that time block required to come up with the plan.

If, based on these reasons, AI seems to be the most innovative idea in the universe, why do so many people have a problem with it? The answers are clear: AI is not always as accurate as we expect it to be. Unfortunately, people can also take advantage of the massive technology behind AI and use it for ill will.

AI needs to be regulated in such a way that it can be safely used, but with little to no errors. To solve the problem, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk along with Sam Altman, the creator of the Y Incubator, created a plan known as OpenAI in an effort to give more freedom to AI. This project’s goal is “[to develop] AI that will benefit humanity.”

With the use of OpenAI, this could mean benefits for everyone, and could be done at a low cost. Moreover, researchers could gain a greater amount of insight into the issue. As a result, the public would be more informed about AI, and more and more information could be released.

In an interview with Elon Musk, he mentioned that, “I think the best defense against the misuse of AI is to empower as many people as possible to have AI. If everyone has AI powers, then there’s not any one person or a small set of individuals who can have AI superpowers.”

The organization is also nonprofit, and will turn its attention to helping the public more than anything.

As said by the OpenAI group, “We believe AI should be an extension of individual human wills and, in the spirit of liberty, as broadly and evenly distributed as possible… It’s hard to fathom how much human-level AI could benefit society, and it’s equally hard to imagine how much it could damage society if built or used incorrectly.”

Without a doubt, the public’s awareness of AI keeps more positivity in the community, rather than suspicion over what people may be doing with this technology. Having it out in the open helps to ensure that no secrets are being kept, and no evil is being done.

Truly, Musk and Altman can be considered heroes for founding this project, and are working towards developing this technology in a few decades.

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