Are we creating a Frankenstein with AI?


God made man. Man made machines. And now man is making a machine with Artificial Intelligence. And isn’t it ironic that man always complains how he hates being controlled and yet now he is making a machine that may not only control him, his life, but also to some extent his livelihood.

The machines haven’t taken over, at least not yet. However, they are definitely becoming a part of our world slowly but surely.

They are affecting how we live, work and entertain ourselves. From voice-powered personal assistants like Siri and Alexa, to self-driving cars, to drones used in surveillance, to gaming options on your smart devices, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is progressing rapidly.

I remember having checked into a fast food chain some time last year in the US. Instead of standing in a queue at the counter to place my order, I was directed by a worker to place my order at a self-ordering kiosk. I could select my food and beverage, pay the price and then either wait for my order being called out or have the option of having my food delivered to my table.

Agreed it gave me a few extra minutes to customize my order, but it also left me thinking if this is going to be the future of the fast food industry, a lot of people will be left without jobs. Because from where I saw it the reality is that automation will be replacing much of the human workforce in coming years.

AI would outperform humans at nearly every cognitive task. But that’s just one side of the coin

Looking at the sunny side, advanced AI and automation is already beginning to tackle some of the world’s complex, and dangerous, problems, from illnesses to violence. Researches are developing software that learns to recognise patterns from large amounts of data and finding solutions. Machines are being ‘taught’ to figure out weather patterns, traffic data, crime data, and even diagnose serious health issues to inform the organizations and institutions known to tackle the source and provide adequate solutions to some of them more precisely.

AI algorithms, aid in planning treatments for cancer by identifying areas of healthy tissue from tumours. The system learns how to identify potential tumours and recommend the right course of action to a doctor.

Certain Airlines use AI algorithms to construe customer data to provide customised services to its passenger’s right from check-in to baggage handling.

Or AI can maximise our use of clean, renewable energy to prevent any further damage on our ecosystem.

A Virtual chef, or creating a music album, or even bringing in sunshine on a cloudy foggy day, who can say, what all AI will make possible.

The question here is will society cope with an AI-driven reality where people are no longer needed or used in the work place? What will people do in a daily growing population with proportionately fewer jobs and no income?

From my simple-minded perspective, and very little knowledge on AI, I am trying to connect the dots about the future of the generations to come.

Will we be living in a world, where a machine may be able to handle the emotions, exude warmth and empathy or think and behave like humans do? Or are we creating a Frankenstein with AI?

Only time will tell!!!