(TargetLiberty.org) – Far from a futuristic concept limited to television shows and movies, artificial intelligence (AI) is now officially an integral part of the average American’s daily life. It’s what drives Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Dot, most voice-operated apps, and even how researchers parse big data or test scientific theories. According to tech and media giant Sony, the future of AI is bright.
Sony Predicts Major Advancements
A group of three experts from Sony, including COO Michael Spranger, ethics expert Alice Xiang, and senior researcher Peter Stone, recently discussed the near future of AI. They predict it will advance in four key ways in 2022:
- Hospitality and Food: New AI-driven programs will not only make it easier for restaurants to serve people faster and more efficiently but may also ease workloads for chefs, allowing for more creativity. Programs will make testing potential combinations easier while inserting sensory experiences into dining.
- Human Resources: Employers will likely use AI to improve hiring practices across the board. It’ll become easier to locate and target potential hires in a diverse manner that includes multiple disciplines, which could help solve labor shortages.
- AI Ethics: Companies are slowly waking up to consumer fears about bad behavior and abuse of AI technology. This shift will prompt greater transparency, higher standards, and increased pressure to regulate AI use.
- Neural Networks: Researchers will continue to probe into the use of neural networks, which often carry highly advanced abilities to think, reason and learn. Stone believes this may eventually lead to the creation of general-purpose robots with the potential to interact more naturally with humans.
Should We Fear AI?
The idea robot overlords might somehow take over the world and force us all into submission, as witnessed in the 1999 smash-hit The Matrix, raised serious questions about artificial intelligence (AI) ethics. Was it really wise to allow machines to hold so much power?
While the particular future certainly hasn’t yet come to fruition, the prevalence of AI in our society does suggest we should be cautious about how we approach it — but not for the same reasons one might expect.
The real risk with AI stems from how companies and other entities, including the government, might use (or misuse) it to achieve their own goals. For example, unscrupulous companies and cybercriminals could easily use a device such as Alexa to capture private information, steal one’s identity, target someone for political gain, or market their products.
The rise in deepfake technology is also highly concerning, especially when misinformation is at an all-time high. AI-driven programs can create hyper-realistic videos that appear to showcase well-known leaders or experts making any claim under the sun. Sometimes, it’s all but impossible to tell the video is fake, as is well-demonstrated in this Bloomberg video:
Then, too, there’s the very real and present danger of automation without responsible integration. An Oxford Economics study suggests AI-driven robots could take up to 20 million jobs before 2030.
The integration of AI into our society amounts to a double-edged sword. It can be a boon, helping us live better and safer lives. Or, it can hold us back, widen the gap between the rich and poor, and even, in some cases, leave us open to tyranny and abuse. To combat the misuse of AI, many experts are calling for a responsible and measured approach to the future.
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