AI is Not Taking Over the World

 

If you were to listen to the doomsayers and pessimists of the world, our ever-growing reliance on AI-led software and technology is leading us toward oblivion or at least a future where robots rule the world. No, this is not the screenplay for a “Terminator” remake, and we are not living in fear of Skynet. The truth is that artificial intelligence is a huge boon to humans and one that will never take over.

And to prove our point, let’s look at the biggest uses of AI in tech now. Siri and Alexa are the standout candidates that come to mind and with good reason. They play an integral role in the lives of millions (it couldn’t be billions, could it?) of people and yet the worst thing they can do to us is forgetting to remind us that we have a meeting or a dental appointment. Can they start a war? Perhaps one with your neighbor if the music too loud but that’s about as hard-hitting as it would get.

So, what about autonomous cars? Now, this is a bit more serious because there are, of course, lives at stake, which is why it is taking Tesla and other motor companies so long to perfect their systems. You can’t rely on a machine to protect people unless you are sure that it will react in the right way 100% of the time. But even with this tech, there are fail-safes in place to limit its use. AI can potentially take control of a car to avoid a collision, but it won’t have the capacity (or desire) to drive you to Mexico on a whim.

Of course, these are simple examples that we come across in everyday life but what about when it comes to the military or even our jobs? Well, the odds that a machine will take your job are small enough, but it does depend on your career. Those that work in factories or that drive is most at risk due to the relative ease with which AI can perform certain types of tasks. On the other hand, jobs that require certain levels of human interaction or emotional decision-making will likely never become automated. There’s also the belief that as the tech industry looks to create more AI controlled hardware, more jobs will become available.

When it comes to the military, though, this is where we’ll need to be extremely careful particularly when it comes to weapons control. There are currently military robots in use, but again, as with AI used for driving, their capacity for decision-making is limited so that they can only perform certain pre-approved tasks. The same is true for guidance and security systems. The fact is that the developers of this kind of technology have all seen those apocalyptic Hollywood movies and they’re not going to let it happen to them or us.

Yes, it’s true that it seems like artificial intelligence is taking over the world, but it really isn’t. Sure, AI is taking control of many of the menial tasks in our lives and some of the more important ones, but it is there to assist. Technology is evolving at an incredible pace, and we’d be foolish if we didn’t take advantage of it, particularly in the workplace. Embrace AI and use it for what it was intended: to help you. And stop worrying about Skynet, we have Arnold on our side anyway.