Ordinarily, artificial intelligence refers to the capability of machines to pick up and imitate the human mind functions. Artificial intelligence has led to the development of machinery that can do tasks which involve thinking, insight, and judgment (Nilsson, J. 1984). Autonomous cars, robots used in various industries, and self-flying drones are examples of machines that use AI. Nilsson, J. (1984) asserts that AI postures prospective benefits in society regarding security, education, and science. However, mass unemployment, ethical and legal issues, and national security risks are threats posed by the use of AI.
AI poses mass unemployment risk as machines take up jobs done by humans. According to Ford, M. (2015), automation of services as a result of adoption and advancements in AI in most industries will lead to loss of jobs as the industries become less labor intensive. For example, virtual HR has replaced traditional human resource managers in the workplace. As a result, an economic crisis will ensue as the spending power of the society will be diminished leading to slow economic growth (Ford, M. 2015). Consequently, inequality between the rich and the poor will increase, which may lead to an increase in social evils such as robbery as the poor try to bridge the gap.
Ethical and legal issues postured by AI are a threat to society. Scherer (2016), asserts that judiciary systems lack standards to assign liability when an AI system fails, resulting in the violation of the laws and regulations governing the country. For example, if a self-driving car causes a fatal accident, who will be charged in the case, there is a loss of lives. Furthermore, the independent nature of AI poses complications in developing regulations and controls, if it causes a disastrous event (Scherer, U. 2016). Subsequently, the lack of responsibility when it comes to AI may lead to the creation of machines which are designed to harm humans.
National security risks as a result of the use of autonomous weapons using AI technology. According to Scharre, P. (2016), if an autonomous weapon misses the mark by targeting the wrong object, it will lead to more significant consequences compared to a semi-autonomous one. Additionally, the possible destruction caused by a malfunctioned autonomous weapon before human intervention may lead to greater losses (Scharre, P. 2016). For instance, if a self-flying military drone designed to engage a particular target such as a terrorist cell fails and targets a school instead, loss of innocent lives would occur. As a result, national security would be compromised when lethal self-directed weapons deployed against specific targets in a country fails.
Based on the reasons cited above, concluding that AI is indeed a threat is justifiable. Moreover, AI can be used by malicious people such as hackers to cause irreparable harm in the society if the system is not closely monitored. Regulation and monitoring of AI are therefore paramount for the full benefits of AI to be realized without such adverse effects mentioned above.
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Ford, M. 2015. The rise of the robots: Technology and the threat of mass unemployment. London: Oneworld.
Nilsson, N. J. 1984. Artificial intelligence, employment, and income. AI magazine, 5(2), 5.
Scharre, P. 2016. Autonomous weapons and operational risk. Washington, DC: Center for a New American Security.
Scherer, M. U. 2015. Regulating Artificial Intelligence Systems: Risks, Challenges, Competencies, and Strategies. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2609777harvard AI
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