Artificial Intelligence is all about building smart machines to carry out tasks that usually require human intelligence. It all started with a simple question, can machines think? And, now we have advanced AI technology that aims at answering our question. Earlier, the approaches to define AI were quite basic. They were focused on thought processes and behavior. And these approaches were, thinking humanly, thinking rationally, acting humanly, and acting rationally. We have seen quite good progress in the field of AI. Additionally, we have types in AI: reactive machines, limited memory, theory of mind, and self-awareness.
A reactive machine is concerned with perceiving and reacting to what’s in front of it using its intelligence. Limited memory is about training models to analyze and utilize new data. The theory of mind is about machines making decisions by understanding other’s thoughts and emotions that affect their behaviors. But, we have yet to achieve the technological and scientific capabilities for its applications. Self-awareness will be the next step, once the theory of mind is established. Machines will be able to possess consciousness like us, human-like.
We saw in brief what AI is all about, now let’s look at its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence provides us with astounding benefits. It helps us to make the globe a better place. With this, let’s look at some of the advantages of Artificial Intelligence –
1. AI Automates tasks
If you are forced to do repetitive tasks, then you will get bored, and eventually, lose interest altogether. But this is not the case with AI. It doesn’t matter how many times you make machines do the same task, they will do it efficiently each time. This is good news for companies, as they can automate repetitive tasks and invest human resources in other tasks that require creative inputs.
2. Increases efficiency
You can easily streamline your businesses processes using AI. The best part about AI is that it gives consistent results, which increases the overall efficiency. Irrespective of the time of the day you switch on the machine, you will always get the same performance from them. Isn’t it a good alternative to run businesses smoothly?
3. Reduces human error
Remember the time when you were made to sit for long hours to complete the tasks. How did you feel after that, and did the extended hours impact the outputs? It’s normal to feel tired when doing overtime. Also, the tired state of mind leads to focus issues, causing errors. With AI, we can reduce human errors as machines don’t feel tired, to begin with.
4. Facilitates informed decision-making
AI can analyze trends in data, which is very important to study patterns and make decisions. It helps businesses to improve their decision-making process by providing valuable insights. These insights are quite accurate as well as reliable. Customers are more likely to continue with a brand when their concerns are resolved in a timely manner and are provided with excellent offers. To achieve this goal, AI helps businesses to understand customer requirements and predict their demands.
5. Operates 24×7
We, humans, need rest to function properly. Unlike us, AI is consistent throughout the day in its performance. It can operate 24×7 without the need for breaks. We have our personal life and work-life, and we aim to balance them. But since there is no such thing in the case of AI, it can work all day long without interruptions. This is why it is used by many institutes to handle concerns when they cannot respond actively.
6. Applications in daily life
AI can be applied in various aspects of the daily human life. For example, we all use voice assistants are like Google Assistant, Siri, and Cortana that makes common tasks such as knowing the weather details a breeze. In order to recognize someone’s voice, the AI has to do a lot of machine learning because of the way we all speak are different from one another. There are countless other examples for the daily applications of artificial intelligence in our life, which is beyond the scope of this article.
7. Artificial Intelligence finds new ways to solve problems
There are several artificial intelligence tools that can work on itself and keep improving. They can find new ways to solve the same problem by teaching themselves. There are even artificial intelligence technologies that can be used to create other AIs. As technology is progressing day to day, AI technology is also improving at a rapid rate. The demand of AI and machine learning engineers and programmers are more than ever.
Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence
We all can agree that technology is like a double-edged sword. We cannot get all the positives without facing unfavorable consequences. Hereby, let’s look at some disadvantages of AI –
1. Expensive to implement
Surely, AI can provide immense benefits, but it is quite expensive to implement. The initial investment is huge, and if you thought hardship ends there, then you are wrong. You also need to invest in the repair and maintenance of these devices. But, if you think about it in a bigger picture, you will realize that despite the high cost of implementation, it has the ability to improve the processes and generate more profits.
2. Lacks creativity
We, humans, are known and valued for our imagination and creativity. After all, we created the machines. But expecting machines to replace us, and bring innovation, is futile. Actually, if you think about it, you will see that the creativity of AI is directly related to the creativity of the programmer. You can indeed give creative commands to AI, but that is it. It will do what is expected of it, but it won’t do what the human brain is capable of doing.
3. Doesn’t improve with experience
What sets us apart is our ability to learn from experiences and implement lessons to move ahead. Unfortunately, AI does not have this ability currently. We built AI to get help in doing repetitive tasks. It is confined to this, and when faced with an unfamiliar environment, it doesn’t make decisions. And, how can it, when it is not programmed for it?
4. Unemployment issues
While reading the advantages of AI, for a moment, did the question ‘if AI is so profitable, what would happen to the human workforce’ strike you? Chances are you would eventually think about it. If AI keeps advancing at this pace, then there will be the risk of unemployment. Businesses will find the option of investing in AI more desirable than employees working 9 to 5. In the long run, people will have to reconsider their career choice and look for developing exceptional skills to stay in the job market.
5. Ethical concerns
We have discussed how AI can’t think for itself and needs to be programmed. This is a major drawback of AI and can lead to ethical concerns. As it is dependent on programming, it can be manipulated. Even though AI provides actionable insights into human behaviors, it can still be misused to influence human decisions. Ethics is really important to us, but dismally, AI lacks this.
6. AI can make humans lazy
When there is nothing much to do except a couple of minutes of giving instructions to a machine to do even the complex tasks, naturally laziness will develop. It is in the human nature. While it is true that we can accomplish things faster, contributing towards the technological and scientific progress, eventually we will become nothing more than a bunch of people giving instructions to the lifeless machines. That will prevent us from progressing “beyond” AI.
7. Privacy concerns
A lot of your personal data is being collected from almost every single service you use. As artificial intelligence starts growing, there is going to be more and more data harvesting happening. For example, Tesla is already collecting an insane amount of data from its self-driving cars. This is only going to get worse. While it is true that this data helps the companies improve their products and services better, it is not a good thing them knowing every single step you make.