Fear of the Unknown: Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be the most popular and developed technological trend in 2020 with a market value projected to reach $70 billion.

AI is impacting several areas of knowledge and business, from the entertainment sector to the medical field where AI is utilizing high-precision algorithms through machine learning that can produce more accurate diagnoses and detect symptoms of serious diseases at a much earlier stage.

The innovation that AI offers to industry, businesses, and consumers is positively changing all processes. The new decade will be driven by the rise of automation and AI-induced robotics.

However, there is a huge exaggeration and hysteria about the future of Artificial Intelligence and how humans will need to adapt and get used to living with it. In fact, AI is a topic that has polarized popular opinion. What is true is that AI will become the core of everything that humans interact within the coming years, and beyond. Hence, to have a clear opinion about AI and its impact, it is important to understand what it is and what are the types of artificial intelligence that exist.

General Artificial Intelligence (AGI) is the type of AI that can perform any cognitive function in the way a human does. The technology is not there yet but it is developing at a fast pace and there are interesting AI projects such as Elon Musk’s Neuralink. 

Today, narrow AI applications, intended to develop only one task, such as IBM Watson, Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and others are the ones that share the world with us. The key difference between the AGI or wide artificial intelligence and the narrow or weak AI is the goal setting and the volition.

In the future, AGI will have the ability to reflect on its own objectives and decide whether to adjust them or not and to what extent. We have to admit that, if done right, this extraordinary technological achievement will change humanity forever.

However, there is still a long way to go to get to that point. Despite this, many fear that Super Artificial Intelligence (ASI) will one day go beyond human cognition, also known as the technological singularity.

At the moment, in society, there are two emerging and visible groups: on the one hand, the public is informed- in this group, trust towards new and emerging technologies has been increasing over time. On the other hand, there is the mass population -a group where trust remains stagnant.

Of course, social networks also play a role here. It’s not just about consumption, but about amplification, with people who share news more than ever and discuss issues relevant to them. Confidence used to be from top to bottom, but now it is established horizontally from equal to equal.

Will AI benefit or destroy society?

AI can only become what humans want it to become. Humans have the task of coding their AI creations. If the mass population is increasingly anxious about AI, this is due to fear of the unknown. Perhaps it is also because there is very little information available about the benefits AI offers to balance with those who believe that AI will destroy society and take away their jobs.

For now, AI has only been providing great benefits and its coverage in the medium term can only benefit and optimize many areas of human activity.