Artificial Intelligence (AI): A Threat to Humanity?

Artificial Intelligence

AI or Artificial Intelligence is the great awaking of modern science. Have you noticed the almost flawless translation that Google Translate renders in microseconds? Or, would you be surprised at all if you find the taxi cab at your door waiting to pick you up for the airport, and it does not have a driver? Yes, the sci-fi movies with robots doing amazing stuffs amused you; now, be prepared to see the robots around doing real jobs. Artificial Intelligence or AI is the current buzzword as almost everything, starting with your smartphones at your palm to the refrigerator in your kitchen, has AI or Artificial Intelligence integrated.

The AI Revolution:

The AI revolution started with the Siri and iPhone wedding back in 2011. Siri detects iPhone users’ voice whereas more recent developments of Artificial Intelligence have enabled computers to recognize vision as well. The machine vision technology has almost made the dream of the self-driving car a reality. Siri has come out of the phone and entered the living rooms: Google Home or Amazon Echo are now household items.  Machines can understand your language; it can talk to you; it can drive your car; and finally, it will be able to do many more things for you. Excited? Or Alarmed?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is a branch of computer science that develops computers with highly sophisticated algorithms capable of doing things normally done by people. Stanford cognitive scientist John McCarthy is credited for first using the term in 1956. Computer enabled machines programmed with artificial intelligence can recognize speech, learn certain tasks, plan to carry out those tasks, and solve problems related to those tasks. Machines can act and react if provided with enough information related to a particular knowledge or information. Search engines like Google or online businesses like Amazon have access to so much information on everything that their research on AI is highly advanced.

What is Artificial Neural Network (ANNs)?

This is the experimental stage of Artificial Intelligence where researchers use biology, mathematics, philosophy, behavioral science and many other branches of knowledge to develop a software that would function more or less like a human brain. Billions of neurons in a human brain functions independently with their own programs and make decisions without any authority from outside. On the other hand, Artificial Neural Network works with a data that enters it in a linear way: a data in the ANN first processed by the first “neuron,” and the result determines which neuron would react next. This pattern involves an infinite number of computational “neurons,” and finally a reaction or result is produced. ANN is much capable of solving problems and suggesting probable solutions. Google’s “watch next” in YouTube is one example. Credit card fraud, complex maritime navigation, and many other issues are being successfully handled by using ANNs.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat to Humanity?

Stephen Hawking warns that the development of intelligent machines could pose a major threat to humanity. The new voice synthesizer system that Hawking uses observes his thoughts and suggests words he might want to use next. Hawking, in an op-ed published by Huffington Post, claims that the creation of AI will be “the biggest event in human history.” Unfortunately, it may also be the last, the scientists wrote. The director of engineering at Google, Ray Kurzweil, believes that in near future machine intelligence would surpasses human intelligence. If Ray’s prediction happens to be true, Hawking’s warning happens to be more fitting than ever. As he concludes his op-ed, “All of us — not only scientists, industrialists and generals — should ask ourselves what can we do now to improve the chances of reaping the benefits and avoiding the risks.”


About the author


Business and technology have always been Sam's areas of interest, and he transformed that interest into a passion through his regular contributions on issues related to these. As an IT specialist Sam is well versed in the most up-to-date trends in the field of computer technology. He earned his Master's in Information Science from Penn State University. He writes on technology, science, business, nature, and contemporary issues.


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