The Dark Side of Artificial Intelligence (5 minute read)

Posted by Fran Geddes on 22-Aug-2017 12:05:00
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The benefits of artificial intelligence are undeniable. With the technology becoming more sophisticated, experts are seeking new ways AI can be implemented within all elements of society, including education, finance and even healthcare. However, there are very prominent concerns regarding the sophistication of the tech and how much impact they will have.




Due to Hollywood perceptions, a lot of the public are sceptical to embrace this technology, voicing fears over world domination and over-dependency. With AI providing support and ease to many aspects of daily life, some sceptics criticize the necessity of AI and argue that humans may become too dependent of machines and eventually lose our intelligence. This is obviously a long-term concern and can be preventable. 


Job Loss and Financial Inequality

Another prominent fear is that AI technology will begin to displace humans within their job roles. A joint study between Oxford University and Oxford Martin School states that, 47% of US jobs are considered ‘at risk’ due to the AI threat. As we see more advancements, e.g. chat bots, driverless cars, we may see technology implemented within more advanced roles across all sectors and human employees may be devalued. Although the job losses may result in more money within the economy and the individual sector; some argue, especially within the early stages, this wealth will not be distributed evenly.


Lack of Human Judgement

AI is based upon the way the human brain works. The human brain is complexly programmed to solve problems and recognise patterns in a way that machines have never been able to match. AI use algorithms that allow them to discover patterns and generate insights that allow them to make future decisions and predictions. No matter how sophisticated or advanced this technology is, it is not able to compete with the human brain. Humans are able to make unique choices and decisions based on the current context of a situation, something AI cannot do. For example, during the recent terror attacks in London, Uber faced criticism from the public due to its surge in prices due to the amount of citizens attempting to flee the scene. Uber did later lower the chargers, however, due to the way that the Uber system is programmed, prices will increase based on the demand as it is impossible for a system to take into account events like the London Bridge terror attack.


Dehumanising Actions

Whilst currently, AI is mainly used for low-skilled work, the potentially to filter into more industries is undeniable. A very real threat with AI technology is that the human element of tasks will be removed, which can lead to misuse and abuse. AI does not have the ability to judge morality or ethical concern within a situation and some critics clam that AI could be used in a deadly and destructive way. However, the advanced technology is less of a threat then the people who are using it. Every year we are seeing more advanced solutions being implemented into military strategy.


No Human Emotion or Intelligence

As well as lacking human judgement, AI cannot begin to match the emotions, ideas and improvement of the human brain. AI can only complete what is has been programmed to do, therefore, it is incapable of having an original thought or idea. This means that an AI being could never begin to compete with the creativity and emotions of a human. Whilst technology like chatbots can replicate a human conversation, providing emotional and intelligent responses, human intelligence and emotional awareness couldn’t be implicated within AI software.




The solution to many of these problems is time and education. As more of the public begin to understand the technology behind AI, it is likely that they will become more understanding and welcome towards the science. It is also important that developers and users of AI use the technology ethically, safely, responsibly and with social benefit remaining at the centre of the process. Leading technology company, IBM, have proposed that when using AI technology, they adhere to strict guidelines previously set out. This would ensure that there would be not misuse or mistreatment of the technology as the guidelines address all ethical concern.


The reality of the situation is that AI offers companies the opportunity to work more efficiently and precisely, therefore, AI is going to to become unavoidable.


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Topics: Digital Transformation