Impacts of advanced AI on human society and its nature

Many people fear that AI that may and replace humanity in its position as the most advanced intelligence on earth. This fear is very old and has many roots in the imaginations of scientists, authors and artists. During the last century these dreams and ideas not only led to advancements in modern technologies, but also strengthened the fear of humanity that it was not prepared for possible outcomes. Today we have progressed so far, that the turning point for our future may have been reached.

In order to make our lives easier and improve production, scientists and engineers are developing more advanced systems day by day. The advantages of these relatively young technologies allow us to interact with the masses of data, which have evolved by using the internet and modern computer systems with ease. In some cases we start to leave the organization of our appointments or daily chores in the hands of computerized hard and software. To have hard, monotone or dangerous tasks done and follow our own personal fulfillments is one of the main goals in advancing AI’s capabilities.

Many believe that this is exactly where we lose control of our own lives and decisions. The rise of mobile phones provide a a real life example. Before I had the chance of using a mobile device, I actually knew many phone numbers by heart. Today I am lucky if know very few and my daily life depends on having my phone charged. The distraction with today’s smart phones is also very high. As I travel through Vienna I hardly see any people without a device in their hands. Hardly anyone looks around and is aware of his or her surroundings.

In my opinion the actual question is not whether AI is going to replace human control or not. It is about our use of technology and how we choose to proceed. The capabilities of today’s advancements give us the chance to forge our own lives as we want them to be. AI can be a solution or a cause for many problems we will encounter during the next decades. We should consider how urgently we need an intelligent mechanical pet, or life-saving rescue unit. To describe our needs and wishes for the future will help us to define the next generation of intelligent machines.

Andreas Stren

Student at Technikum Wien University

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