AI is a divisive topic, to say the least. With the increase in the use of artificial technology in day-to-day life, there has also been an increase in concerns relating to AI and what it is used for.
This hasn’t been helped by issues that have already been caused by AI and the consequences they have had for the people affected.
So while AI is an incredibly useful technology, what are some of the risks it poses? And is AI really dangerous?
Don’t worry, because we’ve got all the answers right here.
This guide will take you through some fears and threats associated with AI and its uses, both speculative about the future and issues that are already being caused.
So let’s get started!
Fears For The Future Of AI
Loss of Control
One of the biggest speculative fears about artificial intelligence is if it evolves past human control.
These concerns echo portrayals of evil AI in pop culture, where super-intelligent AI goes rogue and becomes sentient.
AI as it is now, doesn’t possess the ability to function maliciously without human intervention; essentially, AI is only a threat if it is used for the wrong purposes.
With that said, however, AI technology is only getting better, and there’s no telling how artificial intelligence could develop in the future.
Another feared possible future consequence of AI is its use in warfare.
This doesn’t just apply to improved strategic knowledge and weapon manufacturing; another common fear is that AI-integrated weaponry will lead to an AI-led war.
The risk of autonomous weapons is increased ten-fold if combined with concerns of AI becoming uncontrollable, with super-intelligent robots turning on their human creators.
Alternatively, the concern is more of an ethical one – should an autonomous AI weapon be allowed to decide whether someone lives or dies?
Threats Caused By AI
With some speculative concerns about AI out of the way, let’s take a look at some ways AI is already having a negative impact.
One of the greatest benefits of AI is automation, where artificial intelligence automatically controls repetitive tasks to complete them more quickly and effectively than humans.
However, this can (and has) led to some jobs becoming obsolete after being taken over by AI.
Because AI is becoming more prevalent with time, many people are concerned about the longevity of their job.
Issues Of Inaccuracy
AI isn’t perfect, and it will make mistakes from time to time. While most occurrences of AI making mistakes don’t have major consequences, there are still plenty of ways this can be harmful.
Additionally, because AI is programmed by humans it is possible for the AI to learn from the bias of its creators.
For example, some AI facial recognition software has trouble identifying or creating non-white faces; this margin of error can cause severe issues depending on the context, such as for police trying to identify a suspect.
Another common concern raised about AI is its use in self-driving cars. Again, AI makes mistakes, and driving a vehicle isn’t really something you want to leave with no human intervention.
This concern has only grown since AI-driven cars have been developed.
In a trial of self-driving cars that used AI, Uber saw at least 6 of their cars run through a red light on a busy crossing in the middle of the day.
Add onto that the issues caused by bad weather, the car’s difficulty recognizing pedestrians, and several other issues caused by self-driving cars, and the concerns about AI are pretty understandable.
How Is AI Used Maliciously?
As mentioned before, AI is only dangerous if used for malicious purposes. Unfortunately, it already has. Here are some of the ways AI is used as a weapon.
While AI can be used to improve cybersecurity, the opposite is also true. Hackers are able to use AI in several ways to access and harvest your personal information and data.
AI can be used to monitor a user’s behavior and patterns online, learning until it is able to model itself after them.
This can give the hacker access to the user’s login information, as well as other important details they can use to harvest data.
Hackers also use AI to break encryptions much faster, search for weaknesses in someone’s cybersecurity, and even automate cyberattacks.
As said earlier, AI can be programmed to be biased against specific races, genders, and other traits.
This can be incredibly damaging if misused and could lead to severe consequences for the groups of people targeted.
AI can also be used for data mining. This is where a person’s data and personal information are gathered and sold, typically by a hacker, website, or company. AI makes it far quicker and easier to harvest someone’s personal data.
For example, there are AI-controlled social media accounts that are used to gain access to people’s information, promote a product, or otherwise try to mine data.
Is AI All Bad?
So is AI really all that bad? If you think so, then you’re not alone – a significant portion of the population (almost half!) think that the future of AI is more of a threat than a blessing.
But looking at the (mostly) positive results of using AI currently, it’s hard to deny that AI is already doing a lot of good.
AI has already been used to greatly benefit us in our day-to-day lives. AI has been used to streamline production, improve cybersecurity, and even improve how hospitals are run – the list goes on and on.
And while AI does pose several risks when used maliciously, the countless ways AI is beneficial has cemented its use and development in the future.
With so many proven positives and negatives about the use of AI (along with speculation about its future), it’s up to personal opinion whether you think AI does more harm than good or vice versa. One thing’s for sure, however; AI is definitely here to stay.
It’s hard to say what the future holds for artificial intelligence. While rogue, evil AI may be confined to science fiction (for now), there are still plenty of valid reasons to be afraid of AI.
There have been a lot of good things caused by AI and its integration into various parts of our lives, it can be easily overshadowed by some of the threats it creates in the wrong hands.
That said, AI is here for better or for worse. We may not know how AI will evolve, but for now, we can continue to benefit from the great things AI has accomplished.