Feeling a bit apprehensive about new technology is entirely justified. After all, we humans don’t exactly have the best of records when it comes to handling tech breakthroughs. But, the clouds of doubt around AI research feels different.
Some of the smartest, most successful minds in the world have raised serious concerns about the future of employment, the society in general, and even the very survival of the human race once True AI is created.
The question is: how valid are these concerns? Are we headed for a dystopian future as warned by Messrs. Gates, Hawking, and Musk? There are too many unknown variables for us to know for sure. But there is always a flip side to everything, right? Here are the major compelling reasons to argue that humanity can and will coexist alongside AI in future:
Narrow AI is Not That Smart
What everyone is getting worried about is Strong AI or True/General AI, the class to which virtually all memorable robotic movie villains belong. What researchers are developing at the moment is much, much weaker and restricted Narrow AI or Weak AI.
Though advances in AI research are coming thick and fast, we still do not have a reliable timeline for the development of General AI. It could even take centuries! In the meantime, we can safely say that Narrow AI will not be the vanguard of the rise of the machines.
Machines are Not (Truly) Creative
AI can do some things a lot faster than the brightest humans, no doubt. We even have software that can beat the best human players at very complicated games like Chess, Go, and even pro-level DOTA. But a lot of that has got to do with brutal levels of number crunching.
When it comes to actually creating new stuff like art, AI has made some strides, but there is still a long way to go. More positive thing is that artists are already using AI to create some amazing content. If that is not a sign that humans and AI can coexist and do meaningful stuff, then what is?
We Still Need the Human Touch
We are already using AI chatbots and cute robots for human interaction tasks like customer care. However, AI can never truly replace humans in this field. In fact, human interaction will probably be one area which will accommodate a lot of the jobs that are lost due to AI in future.
Take the example of a medical setting. We are already creating AI that can diagnose illnesses better than doctors. But imagine having to receive bad news from a machine, even the one that is good at simulating human emotions. It can be safely said that the majority of us would prefer dealing with a real, live doctor. The same can be said about many other situations in life.
We still don’t have much of a clue how the human brain works. It would be preposterous to assume that we can create machines that are more intelligent than we are, when we don’t even know how our own intelligence ticks.
General AI may or may not pose a threat to us when we create it sometime in the future. The more pressing concern though is the prospect of limited, yet highly capable Narrow AI taking away a lot of low-level jobs.
However, the economy and us humans have always adapted to the sudden changes brought by technology in the past. There is no reason to assume that we will not make it this time either.
AI is still not good enough to replace humans entirely. They can and will take over the more mundane tasks, leaving us humans with time to focus on more creative and fulfilling jobs.