To date, there have been over 100 films made that deal with the theme of artificial intelligence. While some of these films have put AI in good light, some other films might have sent a chill down your spine. Films such as Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Matrix, and The Terminator have caught our imagination by demonstrating how intelligent machines have the potential to conquer the world and wipe out the human race without leaving a trace behind.
That something is more powerful than human intelligence is a frightening idea itself and it points out at the dark fate of humanity. As per the recent developments, AI is red hot right now. But, there some ethical issues in the world of Artificial Intelligence that need to be considered.
Wealth Inequality And Job Loss
With the development of Artificial Intelligence, the major concern that people are having nowadays is job loss. Should AI be further developed and made an integral part of society even if everyone knows that millions would lose their means of livelihood? How will they survive? According to experts who were consulted, robots running on AI would force around 800 million people to lose their jobs. Proponents of AI propagate that AI will create employment opportunities as well, adding that people might be hired for creating robots and then supervise and control them in the times to come. However, almost everyone is on the same page about the job cuts that AI will trigger.
Another alarming issue that crops up here is wealth inequality. As per the economic systems that prevail in modern times, workers deliver a service instead of the monetary composition that they receive. But, will things be the same when AI is integrated into the economic flow? Neither does a robot get paid, nor has to pay taxes. Their contribution level is 100%. So, it’s pretty obvious that the stakeholders, as well as the CEOs, would try to rake in more profits for their companies, thus bringing in greater wealth inequality.
Is Artificial Intelligence Perfect?
Artificial Intelligence is not supposed to have immunity as far as committing mistakes is concerned. On receiving proper training, AIs can perform as expected. But, in cases of erroneous internal programming, the results can be just the opposite. For instance, something very similar happened with Tay, the AI chatbot from Microsoft. Owing to the information it was receiving from Twitter users, Tay learned a lot of things about Nazi propaganda, including racist slurs. The chatbot was soon shut down by Microsoft since it was already on its way to harm the reputation that the company has worldwide. The bottom line is that AIs do make mistakes. But, the question remains whether the mistakes committed by AIs are worse than the mistakes committed by humans.
If intelligent humans are prone to making mistakes, then there is a high probability that an AI can turn rogue as well. One such scenario is what you all have experienced in Hollywood flicks such as The Matrix and The Terminator, and also in television shows where a super-intelligent AI computer suddenly decides that it’s in no mood to work under human control. As of now, experts reveal that AI technology in the current period is not capable enough to perform the highly dangerous feat of getting self-aware. With that being said, AI supercomputers might accomplish that in the times to come. When an AI is programmed to study and analyze the structure of a virus just to come up with a vaccine to neutralize it, a rogue one can weaponize the particular virus instead.
How Should We Treat AIs?
Should citizenship or human rights be made available to robots? If robots evolve to such an extent that they start ‘feeling’ like humans, does that make them eligible for similar rights that you have? If rights are granted to the robots, what kind of social status are they entitled to? This particular issue has been mentioned in robo-ethics. Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to Sophia, the humanoid robot, in 2017. While to some, this might have been a PR stunt, it also points out what type of rights AIs can receive in the times to come.
There is a high probability that AI systems might surpass human intelligence one day and that’s scary enough. The ethical issues that are associated with the adoption of AI can be complicated. Therefore, you need to consider them and then analyze the broader aspects of the societal issues that might come into play.