Artificial Intelligence (AI) is developing rapidly, as are its applications and benefits for individuals and businesses alike. Yet, as AI becomes ever-more sophisticated, so too do the risks and dangers that it poses to society. Here are 7 real threats of Artificial Intelligence.
- Lack Of Transparency
Data is input into an AI system, which is then analyzed through several complex neural networks, leading to an output. However, the motivations and parameters which guide the reasoning of the AI in order to arrive at the output are often unclear. As a result, we are unable to understand how the system arrived at the decision or trace its ‘thinking’, which could have grave consequences, particularly in military and medical senarios.
- Automation Of Jobs
AI is already affecting the labor market, with ever-more jobs becoming automated. In particular, jobs which require predictable and repetitive tasks being performed are at the highest risk of being automated. Whilst AI will also lead to the creation of jobs in the future, these are more likely to require further training and education and will impact the less educationally advanced members of the workforce hardest.
- Issues Of Legal Responsibility
At present, it’s unclear where the legal responsibility lies in the event that an AI system makes an error that has serious consequences. For example, if an automated vehicle accidentally hit and killed a pedestrian, who is liable? Is it the AI system, the company that owns it or the programmer? Accountability is important in order to ensure that there is an incentive for companies to provide good quality products and services, as well as to ensure that the general public can trust the technology being used.
- Autonomous Weaponry
The danger of autonomous weapons controlled by AI has been raised by a number of high-profile figures. Without human intervention, an AI system could decide to launch a nuclear attack, for example. Without legislation on how AI should be used and for what purposes, an AI arms race could quickly begin. Moreover, unlike other military weaponry, autonomous weapons are reasonably cheap and easy to make, as they don’t require hard-to-obtain raw materials, and are easy to mass-produce. In the wrong hands, they could have disastrous consequences.
- Threat Of Artificial Superintelligence
The danger of AI becoming more intelligent than the humans who created it is one of the most dominant and discussed threats. The danger is that AI acquires sufficient skills and expertise to begin to reprogram itself and to be able to function and understand context without human intervention. In this scenario, humans could be at the mercy of the AI system, instead of in control of it. Many within the computing field emphasize the need to convey our human ethical morals to the AI systems as they are being developed.
- Less Privacy And Danger Of Increased 'Deepfakes'
As AI systems, such as facial recognition technology, become increasingly common and widespread, there is a real threat to our privacy. Additionally, as we sacrifice more of our data in exchange for convenience, our privacy and security are further eroded. Advancements in audio and video technology have already given rise to ‘Deepfakes’, which allow for the manipulation of voices and likeness to be exploited. This means that an audio, or even video clip, of any person could be altered to make it seem that they have made sexist or racist remarks, for example. This leads to a situation in which no-one can be truly sure of what’s real or fake.
- Bias Leading To Increased Socioeconomic Inequality
AI systems are programmed according to data sets, which usually contain biased data, be it conscious or unconscious. Many of the data sets used have been found to disadvantage ethnic minorities and therefore lead to increased socioeconomic inequality. Moreover, this bias could be maliciously and consciously exploited by hostile parties to influence an AI’s decision making.
Whilst AI offers us a range of benefits, as it continues to rapidly evolve, we also have a responsibility to consider the threats it poses and what steps we can take to mitigate those risks. Without such consideration, including legislation and regulations, AI systems have the potential to lead to devasting consequences for businesses and wider society.
Jenny Williams is an experienced business analyst and writer at Essay writing service. She specializes in using technology to support businesses and works closely with companies of all sizes to integrate technology into the workplace, in order to increase productivity and sales. When not working, Jenny enjoys reading and attending business conferences.