Artificial Intelligence is Transforming
At this time the use of Artificial Intelligence became more and more common. If we look around we can notice that we have already surrounded by Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence is transforming the nature of almost everything which is connected to human life e.g. employment, economy, communication, warfare, privacy, security, ethics, healthcare etc. However, we are yet to see its evolution in long-term, whether it’s leading humanity towards making this planet a better place to live or a place which is full of disaster.
Recent technological developments have presented us with such marvels as spacecraft leaving the solar system, instant access to billions of internet Web pages, and diseases cured through gene therapy. At the same time, however, the seemingly inexorable march of technology has produced global pollution, overpopulation, and the threat of nuclear annihilation. On many occasions, technological change has also produced social disruptions, as when automation destroys jobs in a particular industry or a new weapon upsets the balance of power between nations.
And when technologies fail, some of them do so in a big way, as exemplified by the loss of the Challenger and Columbia space shuttles, the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the catastrophic failure of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, and the disastrous breaching of the levees in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Despite all the crises, disruptions, and disasters that have accompanied it, modern technology is still viewed in a favorable light. Although significant minorities of respondents express their disapproval of certain technologies like nuclear power and genetically modified foods, the positive achievements of technology as a whole are seen to substantially outweigh the negative ones. But this support of technology is based more on faith than on understanding. First of all, I would like to consider the positive side of Artificial Intelligence. It is undoubtedly true that Artificial Intelligence is the most reliable solution to many problems.For example, it made contributions in a mass production, space and sea exploration, and made our daily routine much easier. Smartphones are a great example of the application of artificial intelligence.
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How it works
Apps and functions like GPS, Siri, Spelling corrector etc also can be considered as an Artificial Intelligence. For instance, Siri can work as a personal assistant, GPS is able to determine the shortest routes, estimate your ride, and determine the traffic jam, spelling corrector, can predict what the user is going to type, check the whole text, and suggest relevant words. Thus, we see that artificial intelligence has made our daily life a lot easier. Furthermore, with the help of Artificial Intelligence, we are able to work in dangerous zones such as chemical factories or radioactive stations. However, for me, the most significant impact of Artificial Intelligence was done in medicine. Some may doubt the overall benefits of technological advance, but almost everyone would agree that improvements in medical technologies have made our lives better. No one would not want to go back to the days, when vast numbers of people died in infancy, when epidemic plagues wiped out millions, and when pain and suffering were an inevitable part of everyday life.
Many years ago the knowledge base of medical technology was pathetically underdeveloped, rendering the majority of therapies ineffective or worse. As Lewis Thomas describes this unhappy situation:
Bleeding, purging, cupping, the administration of infusions of every known plant, solutions of every known metal, every conceivable diet including total fasting, concocted out of nothing but thin air- this was the heritage of medicine up until a little over a century ago. most of these based on the weirdest imaginings about the cause of disease. (Rudi Volti, p127)
Thanks to rapid technological development we are not suffering from these painful diseases. At this time biotechnology is dramatically increasing, which opens new doors for human exploration. For example, AI aided medical image diagnosis from Beijing-based artificial intelligence high-tech company, Infervison, is being used to improve reading CT scans and x-rays. The technology, which is used in hospitals in China, can detect suspicious lesions and nodules in lung cancer patients. This allows doctors to provide patients with an early diagnosis as opposed to sending tissue samples to a lab for analysis, thereby providing treatments earlier than usual. Researchers at Stanford University have created an AI algorithm that can identify and diagnose skin cancer. This technology, using images of moles, rashes, and lesions, may someday be available as a mobile app on smartphones. (Medium.com)
Another worth sharing invention is online consulting. In this day and age when people expect to get answers instantly, virtual assistants enable patients to get answers in real time. Patients can ask medical questions and receive answers, get more information and reminders about taking medications, report information to physicians, and gain other medical support. Doctors can also take advantage of healthcare virtual assistants by tracking and following through with orders and making sure they are ordering the correct medication for patients. There are plenty more inventions such as new ways of making and sustaining babies or surgical intervention. Each invention has either its positive and negative side.I heard that this year Chinese surgeons made a successful operation of transplantation of human head to another body. For me, it seems scary and funny. Then you can just steal the mind of the successful and clever person and take all advantages of that mind. Furthermore, people will start to take the brain of already died people and embed them to youth. This process would also save the lives of numerous genius that suffer from some incurable diseases, such as cancer by embedding their head into someones body. Actually, I consider this fact negatively, because then the chaos will occur.
Many other surgical interventions such as cloning people, designing people, or people selection can lead to worldwide chaos. From this course, we know some information about Eugenics philosophy. Biologist Paul Knoepfler on a TED talk shared with some interesting facts, and he supposes that genetically modified people is no longer a science fiction fantasy, it is an inevitable future of humanity. He estimates that in 15 years, scientists will be able to create gene editing technology. Since technology is spreading like wildfire we would not even notice how this had happened. This reminds me of Darwin’s theory, many centuries ago the gene evolution made significant alterations in the human body. And it seems like this theory would never stop to work. Artificial Intelligence made significant contributions not only in the medical field, but also in info-tech. Smart houses, electro cars, and many other things that connected with a data science, prediction can be considered as an Artificial Intelligence.
It is undoubtedly true that the Artificial Intelligence made our life much easier and safer. For example, lets consider the functions used in a smart house such as face recognition. I saw a video of Mark Zuckerberg house, where he used the face recognition. The user give an initial start, and according the data he provided machine compare the resemblance of two particular things, and generate the function. Now, we live in such a digital world, where this kind of function can be written in about 50 lines of code, whereas many years ago you had to write a thousands of lines.Computer vision, Virtual reality, Image processing, Handwriting recognition, Speech recognition, Photo and Video manipulation, Artificial creativity, Optical character recognition all of these applications were created by the use of it. However, there are many more negative sides, and the main disadvantages caused by production of AI are replacement of human labor, global pollution, the lack of fossil resources, climate change, and massive generation of trash.
According to Rudi Volti “The use of fossil fuels (petroleum, coal, and natural gas) has vastly extended the amount of available energy. At the same time, cars, power plants, factories, and other sources emit immense quantities of carbon compounds, sulfur, and oxides of nitrogen. In 2010, more than 33 billion tons of carbon fuel exhaust were discharged into Earth’s atmosphere, a figure that has continued to rise, and will certainly do so in the immediate future. The blanket of smog now choking many of the world’s cities makes the consequences of the use of fossil fuel all too evident. Potentially more dangerous in the long run is the accumulation of the main product of carbon combustion: carbon dioxide (CO2) CO2 is produced when the carbon in gasoline, diesel fuel, coal, or natural gas unites with oxygen during the process of combustion.
This creates quantities of CO2 significantly greater than the original carbon; burning 1 pound of gasoline generates more than 3 pounds of CO2. CO2 is a clear, odorless gas that by itself presents no threat to health. It is the normal product of any animal’s respiration, and without it drinks like beer and soda pop would be unpalatably flat. The danger presented by CO2 emerges only when large quantities of it accumulate in the atmosphere along with two other products of an industrial society, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). As light rays from the sun pass through the atmosphere containing these gases, the radiant energy warms the surface of the earth, but most of the heat cannot pass back through the atmosphere. This is known as the “greenhouse effect.” Just as a greenhouse is warmed by the light of the sun on a cold winter’s day, Earth’s temperature begins to rise as greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere. (Rudi Volti, p109) Another global problem caused by technological progress is unemployment.
We know from this course that since technological advances started to emerge in our society, people started to react on this changs negatively. There are several examples that will demonstrate it. In a small town Caliente (Nevada) with many prosperous retail businesses mostly connected to one industry: the servicing of steam locomotives. Caliente was an important division point on a transcontinental railroad, and many of the town’s people worked as machinists, boilermakers, and repairmen. Their incomes in turn supported Caliente’s commercial and civic establishments. Then, in the late 1940s, the diesel-electric locomotive rapidly replaced the steam locomotive. Diesels had many advantages; they were more fuel-efficient, hauled longer trains, and did less damage to the rails and roadbed. They also required less frequent servicing. When servicing was required it took place in large centralized shops. As a result, service facilities were eliminated at many division points, and one of them.
The town lost its economic base, and within a few years, Caliente was it had and shops become a shell of its former self. People moved out, homes were abandoned, were boarded up. The local newspaper sadly noted, “Employees who have given the best years of their lives to this railroad are cut off without anything to which they can turn, many of them with homes in which they have taken much pride; while others, similarly with nice homes, are told to move elsewhere.” The tragedy of this small town has been repeated in many other communities affected by technological change. Many places of employment have closed down as new products and processes have replaced old ones, leaving communities and their inhabitants in desperate straits. Another effect of a massive unemployment were seen in England, which is also known as Luddite revolt. This attacks were toward the stocking frames that deprived manufacture workers from their jobs. However, I consider these changes as a positive impact, because now we are not spending so much time on monotonous routines, we are spending it on more essential things.
The word manufacture can describe these repetitious tasks. Literally it means the production of something by hand. Goods were produced in small numbers by individual craftsmen who relied on his skills and a few tools. Then industrial technologies appeared, which ceased the employment of large numbers of workers, each performing specialized tasks. Moreover, it made the production level more progressive. Because machines can be complex and hard to manage, but people are even more difficult. The ultimate marriage of machine technology and the division of labor is the assembly line. The assembly line allowed dramatic price cuts for two reasons: it drastically reduced the time needed for manufacture, and it allowed the substitution of low-wage, unskilled labor for the high-priced labor of all-around craftsmen. According to Ford :
One man is now able to do somewhat more than four did only a comparatively few years ago. That line established the efficiency of the method and we now use it everywhere. The assembling of the motor, formerly done by one man, is now divided into eighty-four operations-those men do the work that three times their number formerly did. In the chassis assembling [room] are forty-five separate operations or stations. The first men fasten four mudguard brackets to the chassis frame; the motor arrives on the tenth operation and so on in detail. Some men do only one or two small operations, others do more. The man who places a part does not fasten it-the part may not be fully in place until after several operations later.
The man who puts in a bolt does not put on the nut; the man who puts on the nut does not tighten it . (Rudi Volti, p216) According to his description of work in the factory we can notice the new form of manufacture. All of the examples above were written to demonstrate fast technological diffusion and aspiration to progress. Many centuries ago our ancestor even could not imagine about travelling to space, or that they will be able to see each other on a long distances. Even now day by day new innventions and scientific researches are impressing us.During this course I saw Nick Bostrom’s presentation. On the presentation he mentioned that approximately in 2040- 2050 Artificial Intelligence would reach 50% percent of the human mind. Just look how the progress is speeding up.
This and the past centuries are the epoch of innovations, and nothing worthwhile in life comes without some costs attached. Even if technology expanded the human power and made our lives materially richer, the advance of technology has created many problems-environmental degradations, alienation, and the threat of nuclear annihilation. It is a truism that, the development of technology created an enormous damage to our ecology. From my point of view, it is the most concerning anxiety for the whole humanity. Because environmental pollution induces more problems such as physical and mental diseases, deficiency of natural resources etc.
Despite all of these facts I am looking forward to the advancement of Artificial Intelligence because it is going to give us many opportunities. Implants with the use of Artificial Intelligence is on the path of development. Just look at how only this kind of invention will change the life of billion people. With Artificial Intelligence intrusion in the near future, we would probably have the same abilities as heroes own. Although Technological progress is unstoppable we have to keep a balance between them.