A.I. Artificial Intelligence – Do we have anything to fear???
For some time now I have been monitoring developments in this sphere and trying to make up my mind whether A.I. should be regarded as being a good thing or not and here is my dilemma. I am very much of a progressive person by nature, always looking to improve and willing to try something new, so it is with some trepidation that I now say there is much that we should all be concerned about. My reservations are not with the subject of A.I. itself nor any of the actual core technologies, such as the recent advances and triumphs with Virtual Reality, no my concerns come from what I see on the news channels and read in the newspapers.
Throughout the ages there has always been some form of extreme modernisation, industrial revolution, or office automation to contend with and people for the most adjusted themselves accordingly while a few vigorously opposed such change – so why should A.I. this latest incarnation of technological advancement not be any different? In my own opinion I see A.I. as a threat to the integrity of the ordinary worker who is regrettably being abandoned wholesale by a relentless wave of job losses in once thriving industries, most notable in the banking sector! One can take it upon themselves to improve as a person and increase their skills, but surely all of that goes out of the window if the supply of jobs is severely diminished – and for what you might ask?
Greed! No one can take a hostile view of the actions of any company struggling to survive when faced with crippling costs and a volatile market, such as that currently happening within our own UK steel industry, but I have huge misgivings with a now seemingly mindless free for all where a company operating even with an increased profit beyond predictions can still announce a future round of redundancies. I personally do not see how this can be anything other than excess corporate greed where the expectations for the remuneration of senior executives and shareholder dividends take precedent over all other concerns. Somewhere along the journey down this bleak ‘Road to Hell’, as profoundly expressed in music and song by Chris Rea, many companies now systematically fail to recognise the value of having the higher numbers in employment and the affordability of their products; after all you do wonder where the next increases in sales will come from with the less employed and I cast my mind back to a famous quote from Henry Ford when he says that his cars should always be within the reach of his own workers.
So there you have it. It is not the A.I. itself that we should really be concerned about, more how some would choose to deploy it in the furtherance of their own greed. I have also recently come across several articles where they try to predict how many jobs will be lost to A.I. by say 2025, and how safe your own job is from automation by job function and industry type but this by itself without the greed element is just part of natural evolution. As an IT Professional, I welcome the many advances in any technology and firmly believe that this should also be true of A.I. but I am also among the few who do now wonder how much of a say we will have when push comes to shove!
!!!STOP PRESS!!! [14/05/16] Have just located this fine article in response to those who said they wanted more > > Should we be afraid of AI?
Machines seem to be getting smarter and smarter and much better at human jobs, yet true AI is utterly implausible. Why?