Viewpoints: Will artificial intelligence benefit or threaten mankind?

Technology revolutionizes society

By Raymond Lo

Staff Writer

Artificial intelligence is the ability of a computer to perform human tasks that involve learning and decision-making. Further development in the field of artificial intelligence could lead to the creation of machines that will help minimize human labor. Although this effect can be viewed as a threat to current jobs, it would allow humans to pursue other professions, and perhaps create new careers. Artificial intelligence, despite early consequences it may have for mankind, can ultimately advance our knowledge and capabilities beyond today’s limits.

Currently, industrial robots cost from $50,000 to $150,000. However, the International Business Times reported that prices are expected to decline by 20% over the next decade. Although the initial cost for artificial intelligence would be high, companies can actually save money because, according to the Health Researching Funding Organization, by using artificial intelligence, they will not need to pay workers for manual labor.

As a result, people who would have taken careers as laborers could instead seek higher education and professional jobs. Moreover, though artificial intelligence may replace some jobs, it would open opportunities for the creation of many more. One can look to the example of the arrival of automated gas pumps in Westminster, Colorado in 1964 for proof.

In a Newsweek article, Kevin Maney stated that although gas attendants were no longer useful, people who could help build the automated pumps and manage sales and new projects were hired instead. Thus, development and implementation of artificial intelligence in our society could have similar impacts on the job market and economy.

Not only can this technology be used in the workforce, but it can also be employed in the classrooms. According to Forbes, through Intelligence Tutor Systems, computer software can be used to gauge students’ understanding of certain concepts and encourage them to learn at their pace and with their own style. In fact, systems such as Tabtor and Carnegie Learning are already in use and helping students achieve higher test scores.

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), space rovers that incorporate artificial intelligence can advance astronauts’ ability to gain knowledge about the planets. It takes approximately ten minutes for rovers on Mars to receive radio messages and plans from Earth. However, artificial intelligence rovers can make their own decisions on a limited scale without the need for this ten-minute delay in their mission.

Using artificial intelligence will improve efficiency in the workplace and stimulate economic growth. In an ideal society, artificial intelligence improves education, automates labor jobs, and leads to new discoveries in space exploration.

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