Artificial Intelligence: A Boon or a Bane.

Artificial Intelligence: A Boon or a Bane.

Humans and Robots- Friends or Competitors.

 

Abhishek Dhawan

When I sit to hear stories from my parents and grandparents it makes me realize how generation after generation, we, as a race, have advanced in terms of so many things especially in the field of computer science & technology. It was not so long ago that having a telephone landline at your residence, owning a black & white television-set & travelling in your own four-wheeled vehicle would bracket you as elite & superior. As time flew by, the advancement in technology drastically changed the lives of people from all fields – be it a student, a teacher, an entrepreneur or an industrialist, everyone became fast paced to cope up with the developments in technology around us. The archaic way of communicating messages from one part to another through pigeon post has today been replaced by a click of a button on the internet is one of the most relevant examples to help understand how technology has changed and revolutionized the way we walk and talk.

Utilising “Siri” or “Google assistant” has made our life much easier, making everything a click away. This and many other such technological advancements fall under what is known as Artificial Intelligence or AI. Also known as Machine Intelligence, artificial intelligence is the intelligence displayed by machines as against natural intelligence of humans and other animals. Artificial intelligence as against the popular belief is beyond just robots taking over the world. AI involves an array of activities that are performed by machines that have made our lives easier and faster today and include but are not limited to an Internet Search, CCTV footage, Barcode Scanners, Online Shopping, Photos, Google Sheets & much more. There is a multitude of benefits that one derives from the applicability and usage of Artificial Intelligence such as reduction in error, increased speed, higher accuracy levels, uninterrupted flow of work, application in medication and other such fields. However, along with the benefits that one can derive from AI, there are certain disadvantages or drawbacks that come along such as High Installation & maintenance costs, Risk of unemployment and a machine does not have original creativity. To help understand better, machine intelligence goes miles to help us achieve our goals and make our work more effective but restricts a human’s scope for improvement, creativity or learning. A human while performing a task undergoes different experiences, reacts both mentally and emotionally to different situations and comes out with a better solution thereby picking up things along the way but that is not the case with a machine. A machine is designed to do what a human can do till he is re-designed or updated with new functions and abilities hence always being restricted to the data that is fed into its system.

Recently, a few developments clearly highlighted the pros and cons of Artificial Intelligence. Amazon.com one of the most popular and the largest Internet-based retailer of our time which sells items right from books and house appliances to being on the verge of creating a new online “automotive community” recently conducted a droned delivery of one of its packages. In a Public Demonstration conducted by the company, the package instead of being couriered through different sources and utilizing manpower was successfully delivered through a programmed drone. This is no doubt a faster mode of delivering packages but will materialize at the cost of employment for many. Further, in Saudi Arabia, a robot by the name “Sophia” was granted Citizenship. This certainly is extremely advantageous to the country as the machine can function round the clock and would be much more productive as compared to a human. However, this move has created an outrage amongst the women in Saudi Arabia. The fact that the Government declared an invention of the man as a citizen but makes it a compulsion for its women to wear a hijab that covers their hair and is stringent on them to be accompanied by a male guardian in public comes out as ironical. There are some, like Elon Musk, who fear that the greatest threat that exists today is Artificial Intelligence and not any country, which might be the reason for the third world war.

Artificial Intelligence, if utilized in the right quantity and correct purpose, is something which that can create miracles and help revolutionize many. On the other hand, there is a certain usage of this technology that is frightening and double thought should be given in its utilization in areas such as military where Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWs) or Killer-Robots are designed to select and attack military targets without human intervention. But then, how cool would it be to be on an aircraft with no human pilot actually flying the plane?

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