Real or Imagined: Our Fears Regarding AI

Whether you realise it or not, artificial intelligence (AI) is going to be a huge part of humanity’s future. In fact, it’s already having an impact on our lives in many ways. Have you ever used a virtual assistant, such as Siri or Alexa? Did you know that those systems use AI in order to improve their voice recognition capabilities? It’s also why you barely get any spam in your inbox, and why Netflix is so darned good at recommending shows for you.

The fact is that AI is everywhere; and that trend is only going to continue. While there are many obvious positive effects from the proliferation of AI, many people, including business magnate Elon Musk are also concerned about potential negative outcomes. But are our fears regarding AI real or imagined?

Elon Musk believes AI might be dangerous

Will AI Take All Our Jobs?

This is one of the most cited reasons for us to all be afraid of the oncoming wave of AI Implementation. If artificial intelligence is too good, won’t it just eliminate the need for humans in the workforce? And if you no longer have a job because a computer can now do it better, what are you going to do for money?

This concept has been around for a lot longer than AI. In fact, people have been afraid of technology replacing them in the work for hundreds of years. This was one of the motivations for many people acting during the Luddite era in the early 19th century. They felt the machines were diminishing their value to the workforce, which is certainly a valid concern.

It’s no secret that AI will be able to perform repetitive tasks better than people. That’s exactly what it’s designed to do. The real question is if AI is actually going to take all the jobs. This doesn’t seem like a likely scenario in the long run. Even if AI replaces every job currently available today, that doesn’t mean it won’t create just as many new ones—and even entirely new industries.

Is It Dangerous to Let AI Access Data?

Some people might worry about potential drawbacks from letting AI access sensitive data. Data security is essential to all people. Businesses hold an immense amount of corporate and personal information. Despite this, you don’t need to be super concerned about using artificial intelligence business analytics. AI is capable in many ways. Therefore, it can keep data safe by continually growing smarter, and adapting to evolving IT threats.

Pros and cons of AI
Photo Credit: O’Reilly Conferences/Flickr

Will It Provide Positive ROI?

For business owners, implementation of AI needs to be looked at from more than just an ethical or moral standpoint. It also needs to be able to improve profitability for it to make sense for organisations. It certainly hasn’t been easy for humanity to produce the research necessary for something like AI. Regardless, it’s still providing companies with positive ROI. In fact, 90 percent of C-level executives say they’ve realised gains from introducing AI into their organisations. Business owners have little to fear when it comes to the financial benefits of implementing AI.

Can AI Take Over Maliciously?

This is sort of the doomsday scenario that’s in the back of a lot of people’s minds when it comes to AI. Is it possible for it to do a malicious takeover of our systems? While this might be an existential threat facing humanity at some point in the future, it’s not a danger right now. Current AI platforms aren’t built to facilitate the sort of things you see in the movies. They’re just here to make our lives easier.

It’s perfectly natural to fear the unknown. That’s just part of being human. AI is a vast technology category that will affect our lives in many ways. However, many of the concerns involving AI are in reality not a big deal.