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AI as a super power?

March 19, 2019 - K Naresh

Intelligence defines the ability of an object to apply non-deterministic algorithms in an intervened manner to allow most applicable solution to emerge for the stated objective. The superiority of the outcome thus signifies the level of intelligence. Intelligence could be inherited, acquired or even borrowed. The frame of thinking cells and the seasoning of the experience allows entities to apply right measures of intelligence for a given situation. There is nothing called ‘Artificial’ about intelligence. It could at best be termed ‘Machine’ intelligence.

In an endeavor to cognitively augment human intelligence for accurate analysis of millions of data samples, machines are continuously trained to uplift the performance of outcome as close as it could get to humans. Machines are taught to ‘think’ irrationally just like humans therefore providing a vibrant colour to the eventual outcome. While automation, speed, reliability, scale and handling complex algorithms are basic ingredients of ‘Machine’ intelligence, there are millions of researches happening across domains and industries to seed ‘human nature’ onto machines. ‘Machine’ intelligence (AI) is no-doubt benefiting the society in about every way possible and available. Machines trained intelligently are becoming more and more cognitive to aid people in terms of need. While this looks interesting, there could be potential risks to society if this technology is wrongly used and ends up in the wrong hands.

Recursive self-improvement in machines could potentially trigger something that could surprise humans in an unprecedented way. Let us consider the following 3 scenarios to illustrate this thought:

  • AI programmed for financial cyber-attacks: Criminals can program, train and build intelligence to automate hacking attempts using AI technologies. If software users at banks do not secure their part of end points in digital presentation or engagement levels, the banks could virtually end up losing confidential information and even assets. Recently a leading cyber security company detected two malwares, which imitated notification from social and banking apps to steal users’ banking credentials, including one time passwords (OTP).
  • Machines trained using AI technologies might fail to take the right decision: There is a very thin line between rationality and irrationality or reality and imagination. If machines do not spot this line, the AI technology might end up taking wrong decisions or advise incorrect solutions to humans. If such recommendations are acted upon without appropriate validation, it might lead to catastrophic consequences. Consider a machine trained to make investment decisions. If it fails to pick up and analyze the market in a structured way, the individuals or company assets may decline sharply, in no time. This might happen if the machine’s intelligence is not trained to handle random or unusual set of inputs.
  • AI to find out a disruptive method to achieve a goal: While machines are trained on intelligence with good intentions, they may get individuals or companies in trouble in certain cases. For example, McAfee researchers found that Microsoft’s Cortana can be used to hack computers running on windows 10. It could deploy malicious software or reset a Windows account password.

Creation of wonderful intelligence inside machines (AI) might be the biggest future for the human kind. Augmented super intelligence can help eradicate poverty, improve quality of life and blur the borders between nations. However, before it becomes super-intelligent, goals of AI need to be aligned with ours, aided with ethics, values and morals. To ensure that the risks associated with AI are mitigated, we need critical codes and policies. AI must be dealt with utmost care and precision just like a super power assumes responsibility and controls the proceedings.

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3 thoughts on “AI as a super power?

  • Nice Article

  • Very well articulated. Everybody is talking about benefits of using AI for business process improvements but this blog highlights the potential risks that may translate to business disasters if AI not implemented properly.

  • This is so meaningfully articulated. Your article is so powerful, you put into words exactly what I struggle to convey about my opinion on artificial intelligence that is replacing almost everything in the world today at jet speed totally oblivious of the future consequences.

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