Throughout its history, artificial intelligence has always been a topic with much controversy. Should human intelligence be mimicked? If so, are there ethical bounds on what computers should be programmed to do? These are a couple of question that surround the artificial intelligence controversy. This paper will discuss the pros and cons of artificial intelligence so that you will be able to make an educated decision on the issue.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
The first step in getting anywhere with this debate must begin with defining what artificial intelligence is exactly. Artificial Intelligence, also known as AI, is the area of computer science focusing on creating machines that can engage in the human behaviors of intelligence.
PROS of AI
AI brings benefits mainly to two groups of people: the general community, and researchers in various scientific and engineering fields. This section will discuss the pros of AI, now and in the future.
Using AI, machines will be able to do jobs that require detailed instructions, mental alertness, and decision making. Another helpful usage of AI is the area of robotics. Humans will be able to use robots for heavy construction, military benefits, or even for personal assistance at private homes. One example of a home benefit would be iRobot’s Roomba. (Figure 1)
ArtificialAritficial Intelligence Artificial Intelligence Artificial Intelligence effects our lives in good and bad ways; Artificial Intelligence helps us by causing less work for us to do. A down side to Artificial Intelligence is that it can not think for it self it still has to have some kind of person or other intelligence to control it. The advantages that Artificial Intelligence has are the ...
The Roomba is essentially an intelligent vacuum, or robot. This vacuum has a sensor on it so that is doesn’t tumble down stairs. It will detect the dirt on your floor whether it be carpet, wood, or linoleum. The best part about this robot is that it can tell when it is running low on battery life and it will return to the docking station and charge itself. With the Roomba, you will never have to vacuum your house again. With technology like this there will be less injuries and stress to human beings.
The automobile industry has seen the effects of AI over the years. Car manufacturing is now preformed by robots rather than people, automobiles are now made cheaper, faster, and safer than ever. Jobs have moved from a large concentration in the assembly line to actually maintaining, building, and programming robots.
Field of Science and Engineering
With the introduction of complex medical expert systems, it is becoming increasingly likely that in the future we will be able to predict what diseases people may have or may be at risk from later in life. Many of our health problems now have possible solutions with the use of Artificial Intelligence in studies at universities, hospitals, and research groups. For example, Artificial Intelligence has made the implant of artificial corneas into the eyes of blind people enabling them to see.
* Speech Recognition
– AI is also used in the area of speech recognition. Computers can now understand human speech by using speech recognition programs. This allows users to work on computers by talking to them. This enables computers to be used by the disabled.
AI opens up new and exciting possibilities for the entertainment industry. We now have artificial thinking games such as the Deep Blue (a computer chess game), which analyzes twenty million possible moves per second. (www.aaai.org) AI also makes interactive electronic games more fun by making the computer controlled characters more realistic and human-like. AI in virtual reality enhances the experience of immersing oneself in a simulated gameworld, taking us one step closer towards achieving the ‘holodeck experience’ (or virtual reality) as seen in the popular science-fiction television show ‘Star Trek’.(www.aaai.org)
The era of the First Generation computers began around 1945 and ended around 1957. These Machines featured components such as vacuum tubes, drum memories and had to be programmed in machine code. (That is the 1's and 0's computers understand) The Second Generation computers began around 1957 and ended around 1963. These computers had components such as transistors instead of vacuum tubes, ...
The future benefits that AI will bring look optimistic. Already, AI is being deployed in space exploration missions to planets like Mars. These missions are dangerous and not fit for humans, but fortunately for AI controlled robots, the situation is not as bleak. AI will arguably have a big part to play in future space explorations.
Another future application of AI is in the advancement in education. Researchers are developing new techniques in the field of intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs).
ITSs will offer considerable flexibility in presentation of material and a greater ability to respond to student needs.
CONS of AI
Every controversial issue has its downside. Some of the cons of AI include:
Loss of jobs
Losing social life
Perhaps the single most obvious con is the amount of funding that has gone into AI research. Federal funding is critical because it can sustain long-term high-risk research and provide a collection of technical and human resources. The big question is whether such funding is justifiable. In a world where poverty, disease, and hunger still plague the less fortunate, wouldn’t the billions of dollars be better spent aiding those in need? Why should we worry about the possibility of artificial life when we still haven’t conquered our more immediate problems? Funding is the smallest problem of AI.
Losing Jobs in the Industry
Many people fear that adding AI to industries will mean a decrease in jobs, which it will. Many fields will feel the effect of AI, if not today, in the near future. Assembly lines that once contained humans, now contain robots. Check-out clerks at stores are gradually being replaced with self check-out machines. Bank tellers aren’t used as often because of the ease of automated teller machine (ATM) banking. In fact, some banks charge a fee if you use their tellers for transactions that can be made at an ATM. In the previous section, it was stated that AI could be used in Intelligent Tutoring Machines. The other side is that human teachers could potentially lose their jobs.
Rajpreet Gill-250231288 Philosophy 201 G March 4, 2005 The Experience Machine As humans we are constantly in search of understanding the balance between what feels good and what is right. Humans try to take full advantage of experiencing pleasure to its fullest potential. Hedonism claims that pleasure is the highest and only source of essential significance. If the notion of hedonism is truthful, ...
Some people might also argue that by having machines which think for themselves, we will no longer need to think for ourselves. So rather than improving ourselves, we instead take a step backwards.
Entertainment: The Loss of a Social Life
Many people may prefer the virtual to the real world; this means people will become more self-absorbed and less willing to get out and about. Some parents and communities are also concerned about the current state of their children and their obsession with electronic games. Not surprisingly, the fear is that a complete AI-controlled virtual world, which is indistinguishable from reality, will put an end to all social life as we know it.
In the future, AI machines may have the ability to reason on a level that can match the human brain; are we then to consider them conscious? Then what makes a human being a human being, and a robot a robot? The line between human beings and robots will blur. This goes to the very heart of what makes us human and raises some very ethical and moral issues about the meaning of humanity. AI has been controversial because it challenges the uniqueness of human thought.
Suppose a machine does something wrong or chooses an inappropriate route, which then leads to loss of life; who should be held responsible? We cannot punish the machine itself (or can we?), so should we blame the programmers, the experts, the people who decided to put the system together in the first place? But if we do, then are we not denying AI machines their right as ‘individuals’?
A substantial portion of the Artificial Intelligence funding comes from military resources (DARPA – Defense Advanced Research Projects) ;therefore, it is likely that some of its applications will be for military use. Because history has shown that the military has a tendency to use scientific progress to further the ability to destroy one another, the possibility of misapplication is great. For example, the discovery of quantum mechanics led to the development of atomic weapons.
The cloning of humans is now very close to reality, thanks to the historic scientific breakthrough of Dr. Ian Wilmut and his colleagues in the UK. This possibility is one of incredible potential benefit for all of us. Unfortunately the initial debate on this issue has been dominated by misleading, sensationalized accounts in the news media and negative emotional reactions derived from inaccurate ...
The main problem with AI is the fear that if given too much power, AI may turn against its creators – us. This is the view of AI as a danger, a threat, and part of this paranoia stems from science fiction films which depict AI robots as the enemy.
I feel that technology comes at a price and like anything else, too much of a good thing may have negative effects. Artificial intelligence is just the same; it can be good, in moderation. If industry begins using AI for everything, there will not be any room for human jobs. Therefore, it is our responsibility to harness it wisely for our benefit. AI can assist us in our daily lives and be used to save lives, as long as fear doesn’t get the best of us. After reading the pros and cons of artificial intelligence, I hope that you can make your own decision about it, and decide whether it is good or bad.
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