Artificial Intelligence vs Humanity13/11/2018
Last week, China’s new state agency Xinhua unveiled an artificial intelligence (AI) news anchor, the first in the world. The new ‘addition’ to the newsroom will be able to report 24/7 from any location in the country. As I watched the forwarded video on my phone, it was uncanny how the robot anchor had a surprisingly lifelike image, able to simulate voice, facial movements and gestures of real-life anchors. Got me thinking, how so close technology and in particular AI is, to changing everything about life. Elon Musk and the late Stephen Hawkins both described AI as a threat to civilization and I partly agree.
On one hand, AI, when integrated well, can be super useful in, for example, factories; streamlining production processes and ensuring future growth. On the other hand, AI is a threat to jobs and consequently incomes for people who depend on those jobs.
However, futurist Craig Wing who is also on the roster for African Speakers and Artists put an interesting perspective on AI. In a recent tweet, he asked, “As #AI becomes more pervasive are we aware of the limitations of #algorithms and the inherent #biases in the #data sets? Must think carefully lest we create further divides”
Going further to read the article that he referenced from, the author Sandipan Deb says that “AI is only as good as the data that is fed into it. These masses of data are fed into the system by humans. And as humans, we all carry prejudices, consciously or unconsciously. This may colour the data we give the AI to crunch.”
And as such, the AI is bound to spew out results that carry those inherent biases. We do need to embrace AI with a pinch of salt and one thing I will say is that no matter how advanced AI gets, it cannot replace the emotional intelligence that is of a living, breathing human being. Human touch, empathy, emotion, feelings, love, are just not replicable.Read more Read less