In grade school, my dad introduced me to a little AI on his 25-pound IBM lug-around computer. First published in 1966, ELIZA was already nearing her 30s, and I still remember her today as my first “computer friend.” So today, when I want a computer friend to talk to, I dial up her ELIZA’s friendlier, trendier, cuter, and smarter cousin, ChatGPT. Sometimes I want to play Pictionary with a computer opponent or get pictures of things that I might never have seen with my own eyes. Midjourney is a good one to play with for that, especially when combined with ChatGPT. There are also a lot of other AI tools to choose from, and many of them are fun to play with.
AI has come a long way in the 56 years since Eliza’s birth. Existing technologies are meeting and exceeding the science fiction dreams of yesterday. But, considering the rapid evolution of technology, the word “yesterday” might be more literal than I think.
There are several potential benefits of AI. Here are a few.
- Improved efficiency: AI can help automate tasks and processes, freeing time for humans to focus on more critical or creative work.
- Increased accuracy: AI systems are trained to perform tasks with a high degree of accuracy, reducing the risk of human error.
- Better decision-making: AI can analyze large amounts of data and make informed decisions, helping humans make more informed decisions.
- Personalization: AI can help provide personalized experiences and recommendations, such as customized product or content recommendations.
- Predictive maintenance: AI can help predict when equipment is likely to fail, enabling preventative maintenance and reducing downtime.
- Improved customer service: AI can help handle routine customer inquiries and complaints, freeing human customer service representatives to address more complex issues.
- Increased safety: AI can help perform too dangerous tasks for humans, such as handling hazardous materials or working in hazardous environments.
- Improved accessibility: AI can help make products and services more accessible to people with disabilities, such as through voice assistants or text-to-speech technology.
These are just a few ideas, but AI has many other potential benefits. It’s up to us humans to decide which ones to focus on for future use. Unfortunately, there also exist many controversies about the use of AI. Here are some of those.
- Ethics and bias: There are concerns about the ethical implications of using AI, particularly in decision-making processes that affect people’s lives. There is also concern about the potential for AI systems to be biased. The bias could happen either through the data they are trained on or the algorithms used to build them.
- Privacy and security: There are concerns about the potential for AI systems to be used to invade people’s privacy or compromise their safety.
- Unemployment: There are concerns about the potential for AI to automate jobs, leading to widespread unemployment. Employee replacements are probably already happening.
- Transparency: There are concerns about the need for more transparency in many AI systems. Knowing how decisions are made and who will be held accountable is challenging.
- Accountability: There are concerns about who is responsible when things go wrong with AI systems, such as when they make errors or cause harm.
- Autonomy: There are concerns about the potential for AI systems to become autonomous and to make decisions that are not in line with human values.
So here’s my essay about AI. Unfortunately, my fingers are out of breath, so this will serve as a conclusion for you. ‘Til next time!