Artificial intelligence has become good at detecting fraud, creating art, optimizing supply chains, security, and much more. It is time to consider the pressing ethical issues associated with AI. Following is a brief glimpse into the ethical issues associated with Artificial Intelligence.
The trend in labor presently and in the future is to replace it with automation. Automating mundane and physical tasks could give way to people executing more complex job roles, moving from the physical work that dominated the pre-industrial age to the cognitive labor that characterizes strategic and administrative work. Those who are not able to re-skill themselves will find themselves unemployed. It is estimated that by the year 2030, 800 million people will have lost their jobs to AI-driven robots. In this new social setting, some lucky few people will have more time on their hands for themselves, whereas others will be socially displaced due to mass unemployment. We have to consider the effects of inequality that it can bring to society. Using AI in an economic context means more productivity, but revenues will be concentrated on just a few individuals. Just like humans, AI agents can also be led into error. AI agents require data to learn, and this data, if interfered with, can lead an AI agent to be fooled. AI is not always fair and cannot be trusted due to possible inherent bias in its training data. We should not forget that AI systems are created by humans, who, too, can be biased and judgmental.
The more powerful a technology becomes, the more it can be used for nefarious and good reasons. This applies not only to robots produced to replace human soldiers or autonomous weapons, but AI systems can cause damage if used maliciously. Because battles won’t be fought on the battleground only, cybersecurity will become even more important. Also, we should not just worry about adversaries. What if artificial intelligence turns against us? AI could evolve into controlling our nations with ill intent. Humans are on top of the food chain because of sharp teeth or strong muscles. Humans’ dominance is due to ingenuity and intelligence. This poses a serious question about AI. Will it one day have the same advantage as us? This is called the singularity event. Finally, once we consider machines as entities that can perceive, feel and act, it’s not a huge leap to ponder their legal status. Should they be treated like animals of comparable intelligence?
Even though there are still quite a few negative issues regarding AI use, it can still be used for the best of human society if correctly applied and properly regulated.