Artificial Intelligence or AI is one of the leading emerging technologies today that most people talk about in the tech world. In essence, it tries to simulate human reasoning with dedicated digital systems. The term itself (Artificial Intelligence) was first used in 1950 by John McCarty.
Back then he stated that any feature of intelligence or learning, in essence, can be described in a way that a machine can be able to simulate it. He predicted that humanity will attempt to find ways to make machines form abstractions, create concepts, use languages and solve problems that back then, were only reserved for humans.
A lot of time has passed since 1950, and AI is now an actual tangible thing with computer programs learning and thinking more or less for themselves. We can now consider everything as AI as long as it involves a program doing something that normally would involve (or rely on) human intelligence.
It goes without saying that the already existing and possible advantages of the technology are immense and can revolutionize not just industries but our entire existence.
Some experts say that the topic of AI is a double-edged sword and that the technology should be handled conservatively because, apart from the obvious cons, we can already see some possible drawbacks as well.
The Pros of AI
First off, let’s start with the pros of the technology that can revolutionize entire industries and can bring improvements to human life.
Eliminating or Reducing Human Error
You’ve heard of the phrase “human error”. We are all living beings, which also means that will make mistakes from time to time. Properly programmed computers, on the other hand, do not make mistakes. With the power of Artificial Intelligence, several decisions are taken from the gathered data pool and applied in specific algorithm sets, reducing errors and improving the degree of precision greatly.
For example, AI has managed to reduce human error in such segments as weather forecasting.
While an average human would work for 4 to 6 hours in a given workday (without taking breaks into account) a machine is available 24/7.
Simply put, humans require some time off to refresh themselves and get ready for the upcoming workday and often need even more time off of work to keep their private and work-life in balance (not to mention, to keep their sanity).
AI, on the other hand, enables machines to work around the clock without any breaks.
A good example of this would be customer service chatbots that will always respond to our queries no matter how late or early we contact them.
Utilizing the advantages of AI alongside other technologies can make machines faster decision-makers than humans and they might even carry out the necessary actions a lot faster.
While making a decision, humans will generally analyze a myriad of different facts both practically and emotionally, but with AI-powered machines, the decisions are solely based on pre-programmed practicality which drives results faster.
A great example of this would be playing a simple Chess game virtually. Trying to beat the CPU in hard difficulty can be quite challenging even for seasoned chess players, mostly because of the AI behind the CPU’s steps that are always relying on the algorithms that always look for the most effective path to beating you.
AI Taking Risks Instead of Humans
Most experts will agree that this might be one of the biggest advantages of Artificial Intelligence. Humans can overcome a myriad of limitations by developing AI robots that can do these risky things instead of us. Just think about things as going to Mars, exploring the deep oceans, defusing bombs, and other risky actions that would otherwise endanger human life.
Just think about how many human lives would have AI-powered robots saved following the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion three and a half decades ago? They would have helped humans to minimize the effects of radiation by being able to control the fire in the earliest stages.
They can Make Daily Life Easier
Just think about Windows’ very own Cortana, OK Google (from Google), or Apple’s Siri. These are all frequently used devices in most homes nowadays, for simple daily tasks, like making phone calls, searching for different locations, replying to emails, and more.
20 years ago, you didn’t have this kind of luxury at your fingertips. To find a location, you usually used maps (because of the lack of reliable GPS systems), and actually, you had to ask others for directions. Now, you just ask OK Google, and it will fetch you to locations with the coordinates and will even guide you through the shortest path as well.
Helping in Repetitive Jobs
In any given area of expertise, you will find yourself performing a myriad of repetitive tasks, from sending thank you emails to going over several documents to catch any potential errors. With the help of AI, we can simply just automate these mundane and repetitive tasks, enabling workers to concentrate more on the creative aspects of their work instead of focusing on the “boring stuff”.
A good example of this would be the usage of AO cognitive automation in banks where document verification processes for loans can become repetitive and mundane very quickly. With a faster, fully automated process, both the bank owner and the clientele are more satisfied with the outcomes.
Some of the most successful and advanced organizations use digital assistants to interact with their users to save time and the need for human resources.
They are also used in many websites to help the user find what they’re looking for. Everything from chatbots to marketing automation processes, they’ve helped in areas such as marketing, brand development, customer support, and much more.
For example, lots of leading organizations use AI tech to help them with customer support.
With the help of AI, humans are powering many new inventions in almost all industries. They help scientists and engineers overcome complex problems.
For example, AI-based technology can help in the medical field, helping doctors predict breast cancer in certain patients at earlier stages.
The Cons of AI
In almost all cases, every coin has two sides. AI is no exception under that rule. Below, we will list out the possible disadvantages of relying too much on Artificial Intelligence.
High Production Costs
AI is a rapidly developing technology which means that companies also need to keep updating both their software and hardware to be at the forefront and to meet the latest requirements. AI-driven machines also need proper maintenance and repairs which can drive costs upward. Just the production costs of these machines can be enough to make a few companies think twice about investing in the technology.
Lack of Emotions
Machines are a lot better when it comes to working efficiently and with precision, however, they cannot replace the “human factor”, human emotion, and the connection that makes a team a good team. Machines are unable to develop emotional bonds with each other and with humans. And the development of such bonds is usually seen as an essential attribute when it comes to successful team management.
While algorithms can help with making swift decisions that are able to solve the vast majority of production problems, machines will still only perform those tasks which they are programmed and designed to do.
When a company needs truly out-of-the-box solutions, only human creativity will be able to find something that will resolve the issue.
AI also has the potential of making humans lazy as the applications are automating and doing the majority of the work. Humans, by nature, tend to get way too reliant on these inventions and processes which has the potential of causing serious problems for future generations.
As AI is more efficient and better at performing most repetitive tasks and other processes with robots, human work power is becoming less and less important which can lead to major problems when it comes to employment standards. While organizations are looking to replace minimum qualified individuals with AI robots, the surge of unemployment can lead to major economic disturbances and may do more harm than good.
Putting it Together
On this list, we just covered some of the possible disadvantages and advantages of Artificial Intelligence and AI-driven processes. Every new breakthrough and tech will have these two sides and it’s up to us to nurture the positives and try to handle the negatives as efficiently as possible to create a better world. Without a doubt, AI has massive potential and the key thing for humans to focus on is not getting too reliant on AI technology to ensure that the “rise of the machines” does not get out of control.
That being said, some even believe that AI could lead to the destruction of human civilization as we know it. While these apocalyptic predictions might be far-fetched, still, AI needs to be kept under control to make sure it always serves the betterment of humanity.