The Rise of the Moral Machines
Artificial intelligence is a constellation of several interconnected concepts and technologies to enable machines to sense, think, understand and act independently or with minimal human supervision. From consumer product lines and services like Apple’s Siri to Tesla’s self-driving cars, AI is advancing rapidly. Although AI has already played a crucial role in almost everyone’s life, directly or indirectly, many industry experts believe that we are still far from reaching the full potential of AI. In other words, AI as we know it today is still in its infancy, and there is more to it.
According to its potential, AI can be classified into three types:
Narrow artificial intelligence or weak AI
We are currently in this phase of AI, where we are working to master the narrow range of capabilities to automate simple tasks or a set of closely related tasks in our daily lives using AI. An example is software capable of analyzing data without human intervention to provide business functions.
Artificial General Intelligence or Strong AI
This is the phase where AI can mimic and match human intelligence levels independently. So far, Fujitsu has succeeded in building a supercomputer (K) that simulates 1 second of neural activity (brain). However, since it took nearly 40 minutes to achieve this feat, it’s hard to say if we can achieve strong AI in the foreseeable future.
Artificial Superintelligence (ASI)
This is the state where the AI is self-aware and beyond the capacity of human intelligence and capability.
For many years, people have always assumed that technology is for the good of mankind and that it is always useful. But applications of artificial intelligence can extend far beyond the trivial use cases we know today and be used to perform and think about independent tasks such as fighting wars, driving us or raising our children. . For this reason, we need to shift our focus from functionality to AI ethics.
Ethical AI is a subset of machine morality, a concept that has been explored since the 1970s. Ethical AI aims to address ethical concerns related to AI technology and its practical implications. Ethical AI also emphasizes questioning, constant investigation and monitoring of AI-powered technologies imposed on human lives. It focuses on highlighting the possible consequences of AI-powered technology in life-threatening situations. How can someone code or install morality into machines or computers to enable them to make better judgments?
We have already witnessed several large-scale events in the past where technology has been used for unintended purposes. We saw the technology used to manipulate and extract emotional biases from users in the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, where millions of Facebook user data were collected and used for political advertising.
The rapid scaling of AI technologies puts more emphasis on applying the ethical aspects of this burgeoning technology. These ethical concerns can range from trivial matters such as who should be given credit for an AI-created work of art to complex and disturbing matters such as a matter of surveillance or national security using AI. These ethical concerns resonate when the use and application of AI expands into areas very different from the originally intended use case of algorithm development for academic and commercial purposes.
In general, several technology ethics, such as access rights, health and safety, digital rights, existential risk, freedom, human enhancement, judgment, precautionary principles, privacy and security , also apply to AI. Enabling transparency and controlling self-replicating or recursive technology are other crucial aspects that need to be considered.
Ethical issues related to AI
Besides the devastating human extinction level issues we see in sci-fi movies, there are several other issues caused by unethical AI that will more likely affect us in multiple socio-economic ways. One of the major problems is unemployment. Robots in the industrial sector are now replacing much of the labor performed by humans. With advances in technology, several other sectors, such as transportation, automotive, logistics, construction, assembly lines and supply chain, will see a potential displacement of the workforce from humans. to robots and machines. There are also inequalities in the distribution of assets or wealth created by machines. Eliminating AI biases, dealing with potential safety issues, singularity, and the loss of human morality and humanity in robots are other major potential issues for AI.
Security and the Future of AI
With the increase in research, applications and the revolutionary promise of AI to make things more efficient, concerns around the world began to mount that AI could do more harm to society than to the world. economic good. Indeed, no governing body such as the national government oversees what happens in private companies that use AI to build apps and machines.
Some industry experts believe that building super smart or powerful AI can help humanity eradicate disease, war, theft or other criminal activities. However, many believe that he can, on the contrary, pose a huge danger to humanity. Given the possible implications of powerful technology like AI falling into the hands of cybercriminals or other evil-minded people, it is high time for every organization and individual to consider the ethical aspects of artificial intelligence when the development of AI models or applications.
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