To gain a deeper understanding of artificial intelligence, I signed up for "Artificial Intelligence 1" at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences. For preparation we have been given a reading assignment. Dirk Helbing describes in his article the problems that AI comes with. Here is a summary.
Utopia / Dystopia
Technologies in artificial intelligence are evolving rapidly and in some cases even faster than expected. This leads to heated discussions among experts, well-known personalities and even laymen. Some predict that artificial intelligence will ring in the end of humanity. Through automation in businesses, which would cause mass unemployment, or AI controlled weapons, we are heading for a digital holocaust. Others see a utopian future where people and AI live together side by side. A society freed from the forced labour and with plenty of time for social questions in sociology, history, philosophy or ethics.
However, all these predictions are based on projections. This is where Dirk Helbing steps in and shows us what the limitations of artificial intelligence are today. AI, as we know it today, is prone wrong decision making and not very capable. They cannot feel emotions nor understand the context/content of the data they process. Since the data which AIs are trained on is also based on past actions and events, biased behaviour is reflected in algorithms. The author points out that it is therefore more important to focus on politics and guide society in the right direction. Companies all over the world collect data about us. Data and Algorithms lead to surveillance capitalism. This gives to everyone and everything a price. However human dignity like consciousness creativity and love can not be quantified well. Utilitarianism is a threat to human rights and democratic values.
The article by Dirk Helbing made me curious to learn more about AI. And I am looking forward to the upcoming lectures on artificial intelligence.