Significance and Challenges of Artificial Intelligence(AI)

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Synopsis: Artificial Intelligence(AI) has the potential to widen the social and economic divisions in society. That will lead to discriminatory outcomes at a global level.


In the last ten years alone, AI has seen exponential growth. AI-based systems are now defeating human champions in games and decoding complex proteins in labs. But the exponential growth of AI has to pursue with caution.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is intelligence demonstrated by machines. Unlike the natural intelligence present in living things, the AI will develop its intelligence based on the data. In simple terms, the more we use AI, the more data we generate, the smarter AI gets.

AI is everywhere in today’s world. For example, using shopping sites, Using GPS mapping technology,  predicting texts in messages and emails, etc.

AI is predicted to leapfrog human intervention in eradicating hunger, poverty, and disease. Further, AI is will help in climate change mitigation, education, and scientific discovery in the future.

Benefits of  AI Artificial Intelligence?:

AI has helped mankind in many ways. For example,

  1. In the field of Agriculture, AI has helped in increasing crop yields by analyzing farm data, tackling labour challenge, etc.
  2. Similarly, the AI will act as an enabler in the economy. For instance, AI has raised business productivity, improved access to credit, etc.
  3. In the field of Medicine, AI made cancer detection faster and more precise by spotting even a subtle challenge in the gene.
  4. Robotics and AI companies are building intelligent machines. These AI-based robots perform tasks typically carried out by low-income workers like self-service kiosks (replace cashiers), fruit-picking robots (replaced field workers), etc.

Global studies on AI Artificial Intelligence:

  • A global study has predicted that AI can contribute more than $15 trillion to the world economy by 2030. This is an addition of 14% to global GDP.
  • A study published in Nature reviewed the impact of AI in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The study found that the AI can act as an enabler on 134 SDGs. That is 79% of all the SDGs.
  • Further, Google has identified over 2,600 use cases of “AI for good” worldwide.

The challenges with AI:

Despite having many advantages, AI also has an equal amount of challenges. For example, In 2016, it took less than a day for Microsoft’s Twitter chatbot, “Tay” to start spreading racist content based on Twitter messages.

  1. A proper AI-based system requires a massive computational capacity, which means more data centres have to be created.
  2. AI will increase digital exclusion in all spheres including the exclusion of societies, nations. Further, global Investment also likely to shift to countries where AI-related work is already established.
  3. Apart from that, the AI will reduce desk jobs, such as accountants, financial traders, and middle managers.
  4. The most important concern with AI is the concern of data privacy. The AI algorithm will improve only with access to more data. It will lead to the constant utilization of our digital footprints with or without our knowledge.
    In time a situation might arise where the algorithms know us better than we know ourselves. Scandals like Cambridge Analytica are an example of such a violation of privacy.

Suggestions to improve AI:

The fact is, just like AI has the potential to improve billions of lives, AI can also enlarge the existing problems and create new ones.

  1. Countries have to develop broad-based ethical principles, cultures, and codes of conduct in utilizing AI-based systems. The principles not only include the “whole of society” approach but also include the “whole of world” approach. For example,
    • The UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap on Digital Cooperation. This focus on multi-stakeholder efforts on global cooperation.
    • Similarly, UNESCO also developed a global, comprehensive standard-setting draft Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence to the Member States.
  2. In India, NITI Aayog’s Responsible AI for All strategy aims to strike the right balance between AI promotion and AI governance. The Indian government has to adopt the strategy.

Agreeing to the common principles globally is the first step towards regulating AI. The next step would be implementing the principles in reality. Only then AI will provide full benefits to humanity.

Source: The Hindu

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