Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence
What is Artificial Intelligence? Artificial intelligence or AI is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. It is also known as machine intelligence, as the intelligence displayed by machines as opposed to natural intelligence which is a feature of human beings. Researchers are aiming to create general AI (AGI or strong AI). While the narrow AI may outperform humans at whatever its specific task is, the AGI would outperform humans at nearly every cognitive task. While AI technology has improved impressively over the last few years, a lot of scientists including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and others have warned us about the potential dangers of AI towards humanity. Why the need to research AI safety? AI research is likely to yield results that will revolutionize the entire society and affect every part of human life. In the short-term, there might emerge an arms race to acquire more AI machines for various uses. However, the more important question is what happens once AI succeeds and becomes better than human beings at all cognitive levels. Such a system could undergo self-improvement leading to an intelligence explosion leaving human intellect far behind. Such a superintelligence might help us eradicate war and poverty, and so the creation of strong AI might be the biggest event in human history. However, it can also become the last event in human history if it is not carefully researched and programmed. While there are varied views on whether humans will be able to come up with such a system, it can be said that at a safe level, such a system will prove to be extremely beneficial. But if it is equipped with technology that makes it superior to human beings in every way, it can very well lead to the extinction of the human race. How can AI be dangerous? AI can be programmed to perform devastating tasks: Autonomous weapons are artificial intelligence systems that are programmed to kill and these weapons could easily cause mass casualties. Moreover, an AI arms race could inadvertently lead to an AI war that also results in mass casualties. AI can also be programmed to do something beneficial, but it may develop a destructive method for achieving its goal. This can happen if we do not fully align the AI’s goals with ours, which is strikingly difficult. Thus, the concern about advanced AI isn’t malevolence but competence. A perfectly programmed AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, but if those goals aren’t aligned with ours then it can cause casualties. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates, and many other big names in science and technology had recently expressed concern in the media about the risks posed by AI, joined by many leading AI researchers. AI researches at the 2015 Puerto Rico Conference guessed that the creation of a super-intelligent AI system would happen before 2060. Since it may take decades to complete the required safety research, one should start now. AI has the potential to become more intelligent than any human hence there is no way to know how it will behave. This raises the ethical question about whether AI can develop the ability to outsmart humans at every level and lead to the extinction of human life? Human beings are in control of the planet as we are the smartest beings here, but what happens when we are no longer the smartest? In such a case, it must be remembered by researchers and scientists that the goal of AI should not impede the growing power of technology but to accelerate the knowledge with which it is used.
Source: https://toistudent.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/top-news/is-artificial-intelligence-a-threat-to-humanity/22841.html

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