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Why we should (shouldn’t) fear artificial intelligence?

With Artificial Intelligence (AI), we’re summoning the daemon.

Elon Musk once said, “With Artificial Intelligence (AI), we’re summoning the daemon”. Bill Gates also voiced concern about the dangers of AI. There was a similar prediction by Stephen Hawkins. He went as far as predicting that AI “could spell the end of the human race”. Most of us hold a similar fear in our minds.

There has always been opposition to new technologies by some people.

During the early 19th century, William Blake wrote a famous poem “Dark Satanic Mills” which tells about the destruction of nature and human relationships due to the Industrial Revolution. Not only William Black but other people like William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor, and John Keats were critical of the industrial revolution. Similarly, some people were critical of the digital revolution as well. The digital revolution started with the globalization of computers during the early 20th century. Authors like Chellis Glendinning and Kirkpatrick Sale consider themselves Neo-Luddites and hold that technological progress has had a negative impact on humanity.

But our civilization; not only supported industrial and digital revolution, we are now experiencing an age of an information revolution. We have been very much accepting towards new advancements in technology. So, why do we fear Artificial Intelligence? Why are we reluctant and hesitant on embarking on a journey to an age where human and humanoids live?

We all are unconsciously setting a welcome stage for AI!

In my opinion, although we are reluctant to welcome AI, we are already seasoning ourselves to assimilate with AI in future. By the time AI advances into intelligence just like a human, we will be more compatible and comfortable with AI.

Let’s pause for a second, and think. How machines, information, and data are driving us from morning to evening. Most of us wake-up to a mobile alarm every morning. Google Map tells us an optimal route to our office. We go office and turn on our computers only to provide the password (take permission) to access our own computer! We talk more to Google Assistant and Amazon Eco than to our personal assistant or a maid. We chat more on Facebook and Whatsapp then to our friends and family during a union. We appreciate videos and photos on YouTube and Instagram more than appreciating the real people in front of us. We are already living in a world where our life is too much influenced by machines, technology, and information.

A timeline of Artificial Intelligence development

The blurring of the line between who is dictating whom. A machine or a man?

Have you heard anybody talking to a robot in their colloquial language? What if I say, “Dude! Let the cat out of the bag”? We cannot talk to a robot like this and therefore, need a standard or a formal language to communicate with them. We now know; holding an icon on mobile screen opens up more options related to it. Similarly, no one uses five fingers to scroll-up a webpage. Becuase, we all know our mobile won’t allow this. Don’t we know what does it mean ‘swiping up’ on Tinder? These are some unnoticeable instances in our life where we have standardized our communications and interactions with machines.

We have also started accepting commands from machines! Doesn’t our smart bracelet tell us when to stop eating? Doesn’t it tell when to stop walking? Do you ignore notification floating on your mobile phone? We have actually let machines manage our lives which in turn has blurred the answer for who is dictating whom. Artificial intelligence (AI) promises to revolutionize our lives, drive our cars, diagnose our health problems, and lead us into a new future where thinking machines do things that we’re yet to imagine. This will make our lives more predictable, systematic and streamlined.

The fear of losing the job and the fear of slavery humanoids.

There are numerous things where AI will make our life easy. But, it is feared that AI will eat our jobs. In fact, AI and automation will not snatch our jobs instead it will leave the least option for human interference for work. So the counter question comes as, “who would grow food for us”? The lurking fear is; either there will be a shortage of food or human will be forced to work in the fields. It will be like slavery and Apartheid of Africa during the 19th century. And, no one would like this be repeated again; that too when they are at the receiving end.

Luckily we would not have the shortage of food! If industrial revolution could increase per hectare of production of cereals 3.2 times during early 19th century so, it should not be hard to believe that AI assisted automated machines will be producing ten times of what we produce now out of a hectare. Hence, the fear of hunger and salary should not be the main reason for hating AI. So, what do we fear about? Will they snatch our homes? Nope.

The fundamental fear of Artificial Intelligence.

In reality, our fear is, AI will kill us. And, we don’t know how to convince them not to kill us.

In reality, our fear is, AI will kill us. And, we don’t know how to convince them not to kill us.

To better understand how the artificial intelligence will be interacting with the human race, one needs to realize that the thought process of AI will be similar to a human being. So let’s assume you are an AI (or, maybe you are indeed an AI robot and don’t know!). So what is your current thought process? Would you harm someone just because he is similar to you? Would you harm someone because he is the reason for your existence? Ideally, no one does that. The only reason that people pitch against each other is food – the source of energy.

Energy enables us to walk and move around. We not only need energy for doing things but even for thinking. So AI would need energy too. Thanks to the mighty sun we have an abundance of solar energy. As of 2018 countries like Norway, Albania, Iceland, and Paraguay are drawing all of their energy needs from renewable sources. They are using energy for driving cars, plow a field, irrigation, and running computers and factories. By the time AI-powered humanoids develop into beings like human; we will be drawing all of the energy from renewable sources, mostly solar. Since there will be no scarcity of energy there will be no war. No hunger. No pain.

What a time to be alive!

Man is mortal so is Artificial Intelligence.

The main driving force of AI is data. Data is used for machine learning as well as deep learning which are essential for AI to be creative and make decisions. More is the access to data, more accurate AI predicts and more efficient it becomes. According to IDC the amount of digital data created worldwide was 4.4 zettabytes in 2013 which could grow to 163 zettabytes by 2025. But this growth of data cannot be eternal.

The world around us with AI-assisted technology and automation will try to restructure and streamline everything. They will try making everything efficient and even try to systematize our daily routines. Since, most (or all) of the people will have the same energy requirement, similar houses, similar routines; it will cause the data generated more and more redundant thus limiting variance. Once the data become redundant and monotonous the ability of AI to grow will start to subside. AI will have nothing to do (except managing different automation) and so the people (except thinking). Thanks to 100% automation in our lives.

This might be the point where the growth of civilization and artificial intelligence will stop. This might be the time when everything will be done just by thinking! Thanks to 0% reproduction rate. There will be fewer people or maybe only one person left in the world! With fewer people, fewer data, everything organized in the most efficient way, every process automated and every machine powered by the sun; what would be left for AI to do? AI will loath and die.

4 thoughts on “Why we should (shouldn’t) fear artificial intelligence?

  1. Amit says:

    Very nice and expressive article about AI.
    I have a same thoughts which you have regarding AI. AI will take over every thing and human will do nothing.Now a days AI can do most of the task even now AI can book a resturant table compose a mail.

  2. mzquadri says:

    Yeah! You are right Amit. Google Duplex is one such example.

  3. Gourab says:

    Current world is based on nation and state. And it works on taxes. Tax collection works when people works. If everything will be automatic it can not sustained. But Many will be automatic. Good article. Keep up good work.

    1. mzquadri says:

      Thank you so much for sharing such a intriguing thoughts ☺.
      For AI our planet will be a nation and AI will be a system to manage this nation. You can pay tax to a government. But, how would you pay to a system!

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