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Machine learning: A threat to humans?

Credit: JUVERIYA MOMBASAWALA

Can machine learning take over human society?


Juveriya Irfanafmed Mombasawala | Interrobang | Lifestyles | March 6th, 2020




Technology is developing day by day, or minute by minute considering how advanced it has become in a matter of few years.

With artificial learning, it feels like you are being watched every moment of your life. The way you like or dislike things, what you are planning to buy, what service you want to obtain is presented in front of you along with several options. It’s fascinating and creepy at the same time. Do you ever feel like your phone/computer is reading your mind? Well, it’s not, it’s learning from you and your habits to present to you the content that you want to watch.

While there have been several debates on deciding if AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning fall on the beneficial side or disadvantageous side, the advantageous side seems to win the majority of the time. According to the Gallup poll held in the U.S. in 2018, 79 per cent of people agreed that AI would have more positive change than negative.

With AI, people’s privacy is being majorly invaded, and everything we do is being stored in cloud data for the machine learning to work and get smarter. Along with that, it might learn to do a lot of tasks that are done by humans to earn their livelihoods, and that can result in reducing employment opportunities.

Machines can become smart enough to do most of the tasks that humans do, but they won’t be able to learn human morals and act with emotions. Acting morally and emotionally is important for humanity and if machines cannot learn to do so, they won’t be able to make wise decisions in situations where human emotions are involved.

According to the same Gallup poll, 63 per cent of respondents said they believed that AI can increase the chances of economic inequality. They expressed concern that the jobs done by humans now will be taken over by machines due to advancement in AI, and in turn people who work a normal labour job will become jobless creating a major gap between the rich and the poor classes.

On the other side, there are innumerable advantages to the advancement of AI. We are getting accustomed to using AI in daily life tasks, from talking to a virtual assistant (Siri, Google Home) to getting suggestions from Google Maps for directions. Completing multiple tasks for humans, AI and machine learning can help humans save their time and use their energy to increase their efficiency and make their overall living experience better and easier.

Machine learning can also help improve safety and security in business and for people. Machine learning can detect malicious activity and stop planned attacks either in businesses or on people. It can also be used in the navy and air force to keep better tabs on enemies and make safety plans.

Overall, machine learning and AI has been very beneficial to humans to date, and it will be for several decades from now. However, as it is said that “too much of anything is never good,” if the computers become smarter than humans, in the long run, it might be a major threat to humanity.

There should be a way to make artificial learning have boundaries that are almost impossible to figure out at this point. But hopefully in the future with research, humans will be able to figure out a way to use machines as much as they are being helpful and increasing efficiency rather than them taking over society.
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