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OPINION | What Is Artificial Intelligence? Will It Be A Future Threat?

The extent to which AI or Artificial Intelligence is going in present-day is seriously posing one inexplicable question in front of the human mind who laid the foundations for its inception, several decades ago: Can AI be called a future threat?

A still from Blade Runner 2049 movie scene in which an AI named 'Joi' holographically projects herself onto a human woman to make sexual contact with another AI-based human. (Image Credit: giphy)

In the most simpler and general sense Artificial Intelligence is referred to as the simulation of human intelligence by the machines based on a computer system involving calculations to reach exact or definite conclusions. A.I. has become a pioneer in many fields in the world today, where human hands used to have their proficiency in the past. But due to the advancements in technology and consistent upgrades in the working mechanisms, the standards of A.I machines and algorithms are only getting better and greater with each day and every year.

Artificial intelligence has played a pivotal role in not only making human life more comfortable but has also contributed to enabling human communication among people in a manner hitherto unsurpassed. Its contribution to human interactions in the modern world is so much that it won’t be justified to even think of regular communications across the globe without any technological tool.

The extent to which the A.I will go in the future and how it will be an existing entity to not only imitate and replicate a normal human communication but also simulate it in the exact real sense, for the humans themselves, is still an imagination—but not anymore. Why? Because there’s more than meets the eye when we talk about the Artificial Intelligence itself.

Although the importance of A.I can’t be ignored considering its rapid expansion in nearly every major working field, there are severe signs that always confront us regarding the wider picture of ourselves being surrounded by machines. So, it becomes important to highlight the vastness and also the complexities of it which are inevitable heading into the future— and for our future itself.

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How AI can be a future threat?

No matter how much we praise and appreciate computer advancement in present-day and admire the accomplishments achieved by the developers when it comes to matching the human imitation and behavior on a societal level, but these accomplishments also show the way reality may turn out to be. Ever seen a Hollywood movie like Blade Runner film? Well, the most recent sequel to the 1982 sci-fi cult flick, 2017’s Blade Runner 2049 is exactly the way we are going to be in a far distant time from today.

Denis Villeneuve’s film, two years back, showed the replicants who were so much human, and evolved, that it was hard for a normal person to even distinguish between an actual human being and an artificial person based on technology! However, the argument for this can be that such a fictional situation is just too much to believe in and the people working behind the AI machines, in modern-day, are smart enough to control what they create, right?

But, there also emerges a picture showing us how we can be trapped by a thousand AI humans who will be superior in not only physical strength but also mental strength and smartness as well. Who knows if we end up being the puppets of the machines and 'Terminator fiction' comes out to actual life! What will happen in that scenario? A total wipeout of humans? You can’t escape and ignore these dark probabilities and possibilities. All the Terminator flicks have emphasized on this aspect and on the fate of mankind.

In 2010, India also saw its very own AI film titled 'Robot', starring actor Rajinikanth, which was the very first piece of attraction for those, in the country, who didn't know much about how AI can make an impact in the everyday life of a person both in positive and negative shades. The robot named 'Chitti' was shown as an aid, for people in many ways and also as a threat after it goes out of control when being handled in a villainous, evil manner.

What will we do if we are left completely dependent on a creation which is, in the first place, a result of our own constant drive to achieve a replacement of ‘real by what is unreal’! Isn’t it childish?

Aiding a disabled person to provide a limb and a leg based on artificial technology is good, extraordinarily brilliant. However, if the same AI, in the future, gets an upgrade in the form of a military supervisor, a creator of jobs, a decision-maker of justice in a court, or a source of reproduction itself, then we must think of it again, from scratch.

There's an old saying: the excess of everything is bad. Well, Artificial Intelligence is an exception to this statement. Because, as compared to past inventions, it's not something that has actually gone wrong on its creators themselves, so far. Still, taking it as an excuse to be relieved of any future warning or threat may sound like too much disbelief.

Yes, AI is a 'controlled creation', as of now, but the machines based on it learn from daily experiences, on their own, with humans and things around them. Robots these days are slow in expressing themselves emotionally. In other words, it can be said that they are attached to strings. But what if there are no strings attached!
We know what a human touch is, how it feels like. Crying, smiling, and pain are natural gestures that can only be known to a living person by another living entity. This can never be matched by any AI replicant, creature, or any extraordinary mechanical human himself; and that's one single constant fact that will never cease to change, even if there is no string attached.
Certainties and uncertainties are both parts of a technological future, filled with advancement and fascination.
The debate will continue.
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