Artificial intelligence: Its Merits and Demerits

Artificial intelligence Its Merits and Demerits

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  • Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) a delusion or a necessity for human life?
  • How has AI modernized today’s world?
  • Do humans need to be afraid of the rapidly developing AI-based machines?

What is meant by Artificial Intelligence?

  • Artificial Intelligence is the ability of a system to think, learn, and perform tasks.

What are the Merits of Artificial Intelligence?

  1. Upgrading the field of medicine
  • Improving diagnostic imaging
  • Promoting personalized health monitoring
  1. Augmenting economy
  • Increasing labour productivity
  • Making inestimable calculations
  1. Increasing national security
  • Protecting critical cyber networks 
  • Ameliorating defence strategies
  1. Reducing the impacts of climate change
  • Helping the detection of deforestation using satellite imagery
  • Monitoring coal plant hazardous emissions during energy production
  1. Increasing the yield of agriculture products
  • Using agriculture robots
  • Exploiting crop and soil monitoring

What are the Demerits of Artificial Intelligence?

  1. Invading human privacy
    Social media algorithms have substantial control over people’s engagements
  1. Leading to unemployment
    Replacing manual work with machines
  1. Overpowering human beings
    Making it impossible for humans to control machine damage
  1. Accelerating hacking and terrorism
    Introducing robotic swarm to attack remotely
  1. Changing the perspective of decision making through automated advisors
    Making decisions based on analytical considerations without any emotional involvement.


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Artificial intelligence (AI) – the simulation of human intelligence in a machine – has long gone from delusion to necessity in today’s world. It has been the most progressive development in the last few decades, intruding into every known human field. Although AI is not a futuristic vision, it underpins present-day life in several disciplines, including health, finance, national security, environment, and agriculture. From helping healthcare professionals to spot potential anomalies to identifying criminals, AI has proved itself out and out miraculous. Likewise, its use is equally significant in augmenting the economy, detecting erratic climate changes, and increasing the yield of agriculture output. However, despite its splendid rewards in every walk of life, AI has become a controversial arena on account of the threats it poses to human beings. Apprehensively, the predominant perturbation is that a machine would not need to be smarter than humans, or it would pose a critical risk. For instance, in the case of social media, the algorithms have substantial control over what people choose to engage with, thus, invading the privacy of its users and exploiting their information. Another biggest fear is the idea that AI is going to overrule the human world. In other words, AI would eventually replace human beings because of its overpowering nature, competing with comparatively weaker human capabilities, thus, increasing unemployment and laziness. Hence, despite valid concerns, the effects of AI on the world are undeniable, and it keeps developing every day. However, precautious severe steps must need to be taken to use the positive aspects of the invention to create a better world.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a term used to describe machines performing human-like cognitive processes such as learning, understanding, reasoning and interacting. In fact, it is a scientific field that uses a computer to store data and responds to robotics and machines for specific commands based on stored data. In simple terms, AI is the ability of a system to think, learn, and perform tasks based on the instruction it is fed with. However, AI that has started engulfing every walk of human life comes with its merits and demerits.

To begin with its merits, artificial intelligence has revolutionized the field of medicine. It has been beneficial not only in diagnostic but also in therapeutic treatment. For instance, through very accurate diagnostic scans like mammography, computed tomography, echocardiography, etc., AI helps predict if a patient is susceptible to breast cancer, brain injury, or stroke. Moreover, machine learning enables individuals to monitor their health through personalized medicine devices such as smartwatches, android phones, walking bands, etc. The more personalized data the devices’ algorithms are fed with, the more accurate they can understand a user’s profile, enabling health care to spot potential anomalies on time. The electronic health record, in fact, is an electronic version of a patient’s medical history that may include all of the key demographics, progress notes, problems, and past medical history. Briefly, AI has transformed the same approach toward the medical field.

Furthermore, AI plays the role of diesel to drive the economy worldwide. Rapidly advancing computing capability with accuracy has made it attainable to assemble, calculate, and transfer large volumes of data in no time. Moreover, AI has also increased labour productivity and a virtual workforce capable of solving problems and self-learning. In a journal published by European Parliament, Accenture forecasts that AI could double economic growth rates by 2023 by increasing labour productivity and diffusion of innovation. Cutting it short, AI has imposed unprecedented impacts on various production sectors because of its ability to generate new revenue, thus, accelerating economic growth at a prodigious rate.

Additionally, the recent breakthrough of AI is gradually reaching a point where it can be used in military applications. For example, intrusion detection-an important part of cyber security to detect malicious network activity before it compromises information availability, integrity, or confidentiality- works on the principle of AI to protect critical cyber networks. Another area where AI helps to increase cyber security is penetration testing. The penetration testing network is often represented with attack graphs or trees that depict how an adversary can exploit vulnerabilities to break into a system. Other potential AI applications that strengthen defence strategies are reconnaissance using partly autonomous vehicles and sensor systems, threat evaluation in air defence systems with high temporal requirements, intelligence analysis of emerging patterns, command and control systems, and education and training.

Moreover, AI has proved beneficial for reducing the impact of climate change. For instance, it has helped detect deforestation through satellite imagery or aerial imagery, including gathering data about where buildings and infrastructure used to stand in the past. Such a move is essential for policymaking to deal efficiently with the erratic weather changes, which are caused mainly due to deforestation. Researchers from the Carbon Tracker- an independent financial think tank- are working toward the United Nation’s goal of preventing the operationalization of new coal plants by monitoring coal plant hazardous emissions with satellite imagery. The gathered data is then used to convince the energy production industry to stop installing carbon energy plants due to their dangerous environmental impacts. So, AI may prove drastically beneficial in reducing the risks involved with fast climate change.

Lastly, the agriculture industry has made tremendous progress with the use of AI. Companies are already developing and using autonomous robust to handle essential agriculture tasks such as crop harvesting on a huge scale and faster pace than human labour. In addition, many companies now leverage computer vision algorithms to process data captured by drones to monitor crop and soil health issues. The gathered data can also be used to detect soil deficiencies, plant pests, and crop irritants to extract data needed for proper treatment, thus, increasing the yield of crops worldwide.

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Despite all the benefits, AI also poses severe challenges to humans in the shape of demerits. As Elon Musk aptly says, “Artificial intelligence would undermine our security and be detrimental to the survival of the human race in the not so distant future.” Firstly, AI is invading human privacy and exploiting information. For instance, in the case of social media, the algorithms have substantial control over what people choose to engage with. In other words, social media algorithms exploit the users and propagandize them in target marketing and selling. The case of the UK’s Brexit vote illustrating AI power for social manipulation is one such example in which AI has been used destructively. Briefly, AI has proved detrimental to human privacy and personal identification information.

Secondly, since machines are taking over most manual work, the excessive dependency on AI-based devices leads to massive unemployment. It is already happening on an industrial scale, where AI-based systems and chatbots take the e-commerce industry by storm. It may seem an exaggeration, yet AI will play an important role in executing tasks and processing in a better way than that of humans. Therefore, AI is steadily and inevitably taking over large workforce sectors and causing mass-scale unemployment, resulting in social unrest.

Thirdly, AI pictures possible worst-case scenarios, including a complete overtake of human affairs and the incapacitation of human abilities. Experts, researchers, and scientists often warn that human beings are creating a new god that can be merciful or evil. According to AI researchers, machines are predicted to be better than us in translating languages in 2024, driving a truck by 2027, writing a bestselling book by 2049, and doing surgery by 2053. Hence, it is likely that AI-based machines will overpower human beings shortly.
Fourthly, AI-operated systems are likely to be used for nefarious acts, such as delivering viruses to soft wares, manipulating systems, and hacking sensitive projects. Since AI is way faster and more capable than humans reach, it would be almost impossible for man to control the machine-based damage in a short time. Similarly, there are many AI-enabled forms of terrorism to deal with due to the introduction of robotic swarms to attack or deliver disease remotely. Hence, to deal with AI-initiated terrorism, more AI-based technology would be needed to adjust the potential threat.

Last but not least, the increasing penetration of AI into numerous aspects of life has drastically changed the perspective of decision-making through advanced robot advisers that make decisions based on analytical considerations without any emotional involvement. Resultantly, the machines perform multiple tasks and execute critical decisions, either with or without human supervision. Thus, it is feared that AI would also outstrip humans in analytical learning and critical decision-making.

In a nutshell, AI is machine learning that has resulted in a human thrust of technological advancements. Man has reached the era of industrialization and computerization, but he has not sopped here. Instead, he is trying more and more to advance in science and technology. The idea – a product of computer science and its applications- AI has brought improvement and up-gradation in various disciplines, including medicine, economy, security, transportation, astronomy, environment, and entertainment. Further, an AI system has developed automatic driverless commuter trains, robotic pets, and motorized assistants. However, as stated, with the perks come to the perils; the biggest dilemma people face is the machines dominating human beings, leading to unemployment and terrorism. Invading people’s privacy and exploiting their personal information is another considerable problem human beings face owing to AI. Nonetheless, regardless of constructive and destructive consequences, AI has taken us where humans are between the devil and the deep sea. Therefore, it is high time researchers and AI professionals limit their goals of AI-enabled systems to control the ensuing issues before computers overtake humans.

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