Artificial intelligence has been gaining steam in recent years, leading to questions of whether it is useful. (Image courtesy of Pixabay)
Los Altos High School

Opinion: Artificial intelligence — a blessing in disguise

Artificial intelligence, the start of global catastrophe, the destruction of economic equality, the downfall of mankind. If artificial intelligence leads to such devastating effects, why does society continue to push towards it?

Well, they are simply myths about artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence, or machine intelligence, is the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings, according to Brittanica. Most of society has come to believe artificial intelligence is a curse to humans through numerous depictions in popular culture, such as cylons and terminators wiping out humanity. However, AI has many more positive effects than negative ones.

Many experts in AI agree that artificial intelligence will contribute to an improved and more efficient society, according to Shadow Robot Company, Pro-Sapien Software Company and many global media companies such as Forbes and Colocation America.

While many myths state artificial intelligence will be the downfall of humankind, the reality is, artificial intelligence will impact humanity positively by taking away dangerous risks for humans and assisting humans in everyday activities.

Every day, for the past 200,000 years, humans faced difficult environments and tasks that have been potentially life-threatening. In modern times these harsh environments include fires, nuclear plants and space, to name a few. While these environments put people’s lives at risk, humans continue to venture into these situations.

Firefighters, for example, to save lives, nuclear plant workers to generate electricity for society and astronauts for the sake of exploration and expansion of technology. Despite the risks, these dangerous situations humans put themselves in are for the general welfare for everyone — there is no avoiding these situations.

Even after many years of developing and testing, AI will not be perfect; however, it will evolve to be more accurate, precise and responsive than humans when it comes to dangerous situations.

AI’s decision making will be as capable as humans, if not better, according to experts and researchers alike. Life-threatening situations, like fires, will risk a human’s life, while AI can easily navigate through dangerous situations.

With the help of AI, the world can be a much safer environment for everyone. While AI technology may seem many years away, AI still has a positive impact on people’s lives today.

“One robot called the Sunfish helped find missing fuel inside a radioactive containment vessel,” Kayla Matthews, from Shadow Robot Company, said.

After earthquakes and tsunamis in 2011, the nuclear plant Fukushima, in Japan, was ravaged. These series of events caused dangerous radiation to be exposed. Humans can be vulnerable and fragile in certain situations, whereas AI is not.

Humans are not capable of handling high levels of radiation, but some types of robots enabled with AI are, according to Matthews. With the help of Sunfish, engineers and workers were able to clean up the hazardous radiation, according to BBC. This is an enormous victory that saved many lives and the environment, but this is only one example of many.

As new and existing technology continues to develop and become more advanced, humans will be relieved from the many dangerous tasks they once performed. AI has proved its extreme potential in preserving humanity; however, this is just the beginning of many more remarkable advancements.

Artificial intelligence not only has the capability of keeping humans and the environment safe but also helps humans’ in their daily lives.

Humans are forced to complete and make decisions thousands of times every day. There is no doubt, some tasks are repetitive and time-consuming. To solve this problem, AI has begun to help humans in their everyday lives.

In fact, AI technology is present in everyone’s daily lives already, and humans use AI in many ways — a few commonly used AI include Google, social media, face ID and Netflix, according to Forbes. These are several examples of AI in humans’ daily lives; however, this is just a glimpse of what AI can really do and provide for humanity.

The quality of the AI’s work may be questioned; however, in most cases, AI can complete the task with perfection, according to Forbes. In other words, the AI can do just as good of a job as a human worker — if not even better. This AI technology is growing more popular and is becoming an essential part of everyone’s lives.

There is no ignoring AI now, as there is evidence of AI assisting humans in basic everyday tasks. A 2015 survey from Towards Data Science of Boeing 777 pilots reported spending only “7 minutes manually flying the plane during a typical flight, with much of the rest being done by AI technology.”

Commercial flights are a huge part of daily life and are the main method of transportation of both passengers and cargo. Most flights have a duration of roughly 3 to 10 hours, and the pilots only spend 7 minutes to manually fly the plane, according to Mihajlovic. To imagine that AI flies most of the time during a flight, rather than a trained professional, is remarkable.

This survey demonstrates the importance and very apparent presence AI has on the world and everyone’s daily lives. While AI can fail, it is much more accurate and precise. In addition, AI has proven to be very useful and essential for humans in their daily lives.

Despite the criticism and popular myths regarding artificial intelligence, there is no denying that AI is playing an enormous part in making everyone’s daily lives much easier. Whether people are aware of it or not, AI has been a part of their life and will continue to impact humans positively.

At the end of the day, people must understand that this is just the beginning of AI. The convenience and effectiveness of current AI technologies in people’s lives is the start of innovation and intelligence, and current AI allows the world to move forward toward a brighter and technologically advanced future.

The consequences of AI are notable, but the positive effects of AI have much more importance to humans. At the end of the day, AI will be in people’s lives and it will be more useful than humans can ever imagine. AI is, in fact, a blessing and not a curse.