What do we think when he hear the words “artificial intelligence?” Maybe we think of cool gadgets, driverless cars, or something like Rosie from the Jetsons. Maybe the more forward-thinking among us see opportunities for advanced machine learning or a complete overhaul of the service industry with automation. Whatever comes to mind, it seems the limits of AI are only our imagination – but it’s more than that. The limits of AI is our responsibility.
Coupling the worlds of precise computing and the ingenuity and intuition of human thinking, artificial intelligence becomes globally invaluable. An incredibly powerful computing tool that helps us with everything from operating machinery to education, in the wrong hands AI can become a terrifying weapon. Even on the battlefield itself, autonomous war is becoming more and more realistic as improved weaponry like self aiming rifles and automated drones and vehicles take the humanity out of warfare and further desensitize us to violence and loss of life.
Less violent but perhaps even more alarming is the potential for mass control with it comes to AI seemingly straight out of a dystopia science fiction novel. Right now in China there are an estimated 200 million active surveillance cameras always watching. Chinese police are outfitted with high tech facial recognition spectacles scanning the faces of citizens, collecting data, and picking out the criminals among them from jaywalkers to smugglers. These automated surveillance systems serve a higher purpose than just enforcing societal safety and “justice,” they also feed into a culture of fear and control and upholds authoritarian regimes, propaganda machines, and politics unrest.
For better or for worse, the way we interact with AI says a lot about us on both an individual level and a societal level. Here’s how AI will help create a better self, a better world, and a better future – and why it’s our job to make it possible.