Opinions

Good Society or Better Society? (Opinion)

by ANDREW SONG

*Beep Boop Beep Boop. How can I help you today?*

When we hear these sounds, we automatically think of something that is helpful. After all, the only legal option that engineers have is to program robots as being harmless. As a matter of fact, we often even depict them as harmless and cute. They are similar to dogs, where their sole purpose in life is to serve you, their master.

But the problem arises when we realize that these robots don’t have a sole purpose at all – they are able to reason and use logic to their advantage. Rather than using mere instincts, which primarily governs animals such as dogs, robots have proven to listen to their “master” because they actually wish to. Researchers at MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute have tested this conjecture, and have returned with positive results. A submarine was given extremely broad orders, such as: “Arrive at destination A.” The submarine was developed with an AI system, yet had no real experience – definitely not enough knowledge to dodge all of the rocks, boulders, and marine life throughout the journey. The AI was astonishingly able to learn within its journey and be able to adhere to broad orders by expanding its knowledge through reason.

But what if they start to think beyond our capabilities? What if they start to attack humans? What if they start to dominate our world with their superior intelligence? These questions are completely rational, and have been extremely pronounced in the past decade. The only reason why humans are at the top of the pyramid is our intelligence. We definitely do not have enough physical capabilities nor adaptive skill to govern all others. Thus, we can naturally assume that the being with the highest intelligence will govern. AI will supersede the human brain. AI will replace humans at the top of the pyramid. AI will “dominate.”

I understand these concerns since I personally came from this perspective at first. However, artificial intelligence must be used in order to create a more prosperous society.

Let’s take a look at how Americans must have felt during the industrial revolution. This was a period of time where citizens were gradually transitioning to factories to work the machines. Uproar was inherent during this time as well, almost identical to the dilemmas that we face at the moment. “If these machines can work ten times faster than us, won’t they completely replace us?” Workers in the field were frightened. They were going to lose their jobs; they were going to sink into a hole. But when we look at the present day today, when all of those advancements are now the norm, the job distribution amongst the population is the same, if not better. We can now produce goods 10 time or even faster for certain goods, and the life expectancy rose almost forty years globally. We can all agree that society is better today than it was during the Industrial Revolution.

Let’s recreate this revolution for the better. Society will improve for the better, and who knows: the average life expectancy may rise to 200 years old, all diseases may be curable, and traveling through the multiverse may be an everyday thing! The human brain is not capable of designing answers to these prospects. We need the intellect of a machine that has all the knowledge of Google, conceptualization of all of the concepts in the world, and flexibility to design these solutions – such as Python and Linux. Artificial intelligence will create incredible solutions to our everyday problems and ultimately make a better society.

For those that are afraid of the potential loss of jobs: AI will not replace anybody. In basic economics, the rules of land, labor, and capital govern under any situation. For AI, labor will be declined, since robots will replace many menial jobs. However, if labor is decreasing, there will be more room for capital. Therefore, under the laws of economics, jobs will always be created in other parts of the spectrum.  

AI will create a better society. Although we are never fully aware of the potential effects of this change, this change must be embraced. The answer is clear: should we have a good society or an even better one?

 

Recommended Picks:

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Neuromancer by William Gibson

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Personal Favorite/Editor’s Choice)

Excession by Iain M. Banks

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1 reply »

  1. AI doesn’t necessarily mean sentience. AI means that a program is able to pick up new tricks to perform its task better. In fact, lots of our technology today have utilized it to help us better. Just because an AI can learn, it doesn’t mean it can develop a conscious.
    Evan Duong

    Like

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