There are many fears out there when it comes to artificial intelligence – some rational, some irrational. Here’s the truth.
By now, most people have integrated some form of artificial intelligence (AI) into their daily lives.There are many fears out there when it comes to artificial intelligence – some rational, some irrational.[/caption]
For example, if you use Alexa to check the weather or ask Siri to tell you jokes, that’s AI.
However, despite the widespread use of such technology around the world, people are still concerned about AI.
While many fears are valid – such as AI taking over certain jobs, or making humans lazier – others are unfounded.
Here are four myths surrounding AI.
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AI can make sense of any and all data
Many people believe that AI is the end-all-be-all of data computation, however, this is not the case.
Users cannot simply load an AI algorithm with any data to get desired results – it can only work with the right data.
Experts from American technology company TTEC defined this as “data that is relevant to the problem being solved and specific to a set of use cases and a domain of knowledge.”
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“Many in the technology industry erroneously claim that an AI solution can just be pointed at data and that the right answer will be produced by powerful machine learning algorithms.”
AI is conscious
Because many AI technologies are considered ‘cognitive’, some people believe they can function in the same way human brains do.
The truth is, ‘cognitive technologies’ can not solve problems they weren’t programmed to solve.
Furthermore, most AI is labeled as ‘narrow’ or ‘weak’, meaning that it can only apply its knowledge to one or a few tasks.
AI is going to take over the world
The fear of AI taking over has developed from the idea that machines will somehow gain consciousness and turn on their creators.
In order for AI to achieve this, it would not only need to possess human-like intelligence, but it would also need to be able to predict the future or plan ahead.
As it stands, AI is not capable of doing either.
When prompted with the question “Is AI an existential threat to humanity,” Matthew O’Brien, a robotics engineer from the Georgia Institute of Technology wrote on Metafact: “The long-sought goal of a ‘general AI’ is not on the horizon. We simply do not know how to make a general adaptable intelligence, and it’s unclear how much more progress is needed to get to that point”.
AI systems are inherently biased
A recent study from John Hopkins University and the Georgia Institute of Technology found that some AI algorithms can display signs of racism and sexism.
These biases could prove to be extremely harmful to the groups of people affected, experts have claimed.
However, these unfair biases are not a product of the AI themselves.
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Instead, they come from “human decisions about how an AI application is designed, tested, and deployed,” experts from Google said.
“There are many instances where human decision-making — from employment decisions to credit allocation — results in unfair outcomes for vulnerable groups, and if AI is trained to mimic the behavior of those human decision-makers it can also reflect those biases.”