If there’s one topic where people say “the future is now,” it has to be with AI.
As our modern usage of it is relatively new, the subject can scare a lot of people, fearing that one day humans will be obsolete and completely replaced by robots. And although that seems a little far fetched, who can blame them? After all, when we’re hearing reports that by 2020, 85% of consumer interactions will be without humans, without context, I’d be nervous too. However, what a lot of people don’t understand about AI is that it isn’t designed to replace humans but make them stronger.
First and foremost, your job most likely won’t be superseded by a robot, but a robot could help you do your job better. In our conversations about AI, we tend to neglect that these are human-made machines, and as such, we control their functions. Quite simply, they’re designed to help us be better, which we need to start embracing. Here’s why:
How This Relationship Works
For humans and AI to work hand-in-hand, we first had to look at what behaviors in our daily operations needed improvement. For example, a huge phenomenon lately has been the growth of chatbots, which offer a faster response time for customer service as well as serve customer’s needs with much more efficiency. However, the difference didn’t boil down to that AI could do the job better, but that they could take care of the preliminary/standard interactions, with human intervention coming in to close the deal.
This type of relationship has been beneficial to both the business and its employees. For employers, they save time while letting their support/sales team take care of the primary tasks that drive sales; for employees, they increase their sense of worth in utilizing their function of contributing more to the business. It’s a win-win on both ends.
While chatbots are one of the more popular examples, there have been some incredible innovations sweeping across the spectrum of AI at light speed. However, this is where the line of hesitation comes in, as trusting a robot or computer to perform a task has a significant increase in liability. An excellent example of this is Zebra Med—an AI diagnosis medical company. What Zebra Med does is groundbreaking for medicine in using smart tools to give a more accurate diagnosis. However, these are just tools to help, not take over.
Contrasting this point is a company like STAR, which produces an autonomous robot that has recently been able to perform surgery better than some human surgeons. Even the inventors of the product have said that robots will not replace humans on the operating table anytime soon, which begs the question: What’s been successful and will we stick with it?
What’s Made It Successful
The growth of AI has made some fearful and others are elated. And as our relationship with the technology continues to develop, so will our overall trust for it. Sure, there’s bound to be some instances that will make headlines and say: “Robots shouldn’t be doing this!” but with every mistake will come a learning lesson. Which, is one of the greatest assets of trust: the ability to evoke a sense of empathy, understanding, and compassion.
Truthfully, I don’t think we’ll ever live in a world like that of Joaquin Phoenix in Her, where humans and robots fall in love. But I do think that there will be a bond that helps our real life relationships grow. This effort is what’s made some AI good and some AI bad, and as long as we continue focusing on the good AI in the future, we’ll be alright.
The Last Word—How It Will Continue Into The Future
Perhaps one of the biggest ethical questions behind good AI has been in when intervention is good and when a laissez faire attitude should be adopted. As some believe that this technology should have a life of its own, others wholeheartedly disagree, and rightfully so. A great use case of this has been Facebook, which was under fire this year for their lack of security over bots influencing the election. Just this past week they announced that they’re going to start using AI to combat fake ads, which could be promising regarding their offerings soon.
As our relationship with AI grows, our focus should be on not criticizing its weaknesses, but how we can improve those to make us stronger as humans. After all, these are tools we’ve created. That means we can alter, change, or even destroy them. While no one can predict the future of how all of this will turn out, I’ll leave you with one question to ask yourself: In your day-to-day, how can you see AI impacting your life, and if so, does it help?