Tech giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and IBM and even individuals like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk think that now is the best time to talk about the almost boundless world of artificial intelligence. This is in many respects a new frontier for ethics and risk assessment just as much as it is for emerging technology. Their concern is not meaningless if you think about it. AI technology and devices are developed by humans which means that they will have the same biases and thoughts as their developers and so they need to be regulated just like Humans. Today, we will talk about the most pressing and frightening ethical issues posed by AI and touch upon the solution.
The risk of job loss or unemployment is the biggest problem that keeps the tech geeks up at night. It is not just the loss of jobs that is terrifying, it’s the issues that come with it. Firstly, in the scenario where all jobs are taken by AI, what will humans do to occupy their time and what will be their role in society. Some people suggest that if their jobs are taken up by robots, they may be too mundane for humans and that AI may be responsible for creating better jobs that take advantage of unique human capabilities that involve higher cognitive functions, interpretation, and analysis.
The point is that a job is not just a way of keeping oneself busy, it also is a way of making a livelihood for humans. This presents the second issue related to unemployment – wealth inequality. Robots aren’t paid hourly nor pay taxes. They can continue to be operable and useful at a level of 100 percent with low ongoing costs. This opens the door for CEOs and businesspersons to keep their AI workforce producing more company profits, leading to a greater disparity of wealth.
Although artificial intelligence is capable of processing speed and capacity far beyond that of humans, being rational and impartial can not always be their inbuilt characteristic. Google and Alphabet are among the pioneers of artificial intelligence who have developed pretty marvelous applications. As seen in Google’s Photos app, where AI is used to identify individuals, artifacts and sceneries.
But it can go wrong, for example when a camera missed the mark on racial sensitivity or when a program used to predict future offenders was showing bias against blacks. We should not forget that AI systems are man-made so they can be biased and judgmental like them. Once again AI can become a force for positive change if used appropriately, or if used by those who aim for social progress.
Whether we realize it or not, people are increasingly engaging with computers to accomplish daily tasks. This poses a question of accountability but also behavioral impact. For example, Google Duplex was recently shown using an AI program that sounds like a live person making restaurant bookings over the phone. The system can answer questions on the fly and is largely indistinguishable from a real individual.
This milestone is only the beginning of an age in which we frequently interact with machines as human beings; whether in customer support or sales. Although humans are limited in their attention and compassion to spend on another person, artificial bots can funnel practically unlimited resources into relationship building. Just look at the headlines and video games designed for click-bait. Such headlines are often tailored to catch our attention by using alpha/beta testing, a basic type of algorithmic optimization for data. This and other approaches are used to make various videos and computer games addictive. This addiction can introduce a new way of human dependency.
Indeed, it is scary to think of ever-increasing AI systems that exceed human intelligence. And the ethical issues that surround the implementation of AI are complex. The goal will be to keep in mind these concerns to examine the broader societal issues at play. The goodness or badness of AI systems can be tested from many different angles without the best being one theory or one structure. We need to continue learning and stay informed so that we can make good decisions for our future.