Living in the age of artificial intelligence
THE EDITOR, Madam:
The letter published in The Gleaner, titled ‘AI (artificial intelligence), friend or foe’, seemed to have ended a little undecided as the question itself. The letter cited examples why being conservative and balanced in any field is usually the best approach. No one can fault the writer, since several of human creations can and are often used for good and evil. AI, as he cited, could be one such.
AI, or artificial intelligence, is actually the simulation, or approximation, of human intelligence in machines. The GPS could be considered a form of artificial intelligence, since it uses stored maps and advises on best routes while using the roads. (Maybe the only drawback is that there are no Patwa words/instructions on these GPS guides, which would actually add some much-needed flavour and dynamism to travel).
Word editors could also be considered another form of AI – which you may notice if you ever try to text a message. The electronic editor anticipates your next word and fills it in based on your preceding wordings. Again, the disappointment is where limited artificial intelligence does not recognise Jamaican Creole in its assistance. Some answering services uses AI, too, with the advantage of being less irritated and just plain and more factual than a human customer service person may be.
However, artificial intelligence goes much deeper and more far-reaching . Here are a few examples – robots in manufacturing, self-driving cars, smart assistants, healthcare management, automated financial investment, virtual travel bookings, social media monitoring, and marketing chatbots. These are just a few of the many that we have to confront in today’s world.
The fear of machines replacing human usefulness may be real among several people. But, any disquiet or apprehension that raw artificial intelligence will take over the world like some modern-day Frankenstein may be a little exaggerated. However, it does prove that cold, impersonal intelligence is not a panacea, but shows that a role for artificial morality is equally critical to balance a civilised coexisting among others. Yet, it’s a human problem – for many will still ask, “What is morality?”