The threat of artificial intelligence – are we ready?

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 There is a strong quest for artificial intelligence to be integrated into the workforce. The question to ask is what if these artificial intelligent (AI) beings morph into super-intelligent ones and become smarter than humans?

At the World Economic Forum 2017, Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google and one of the most successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, says he did not foresee the artificial intelligence revolution. Brin added that AI is the natural continuation of the industrialisation of the past 200 years, but what does this mean for education, skills and employment?

It means that AI in the workforce is inevitable. The future of many skilled jobs is trending towards dependence on AI as the margin of error for tasks is reduced due to the complex algorithms of their system. Many companies use AI through backward or forward integrations along their production belt to achieve efficiencies and cost reductions, as they require no breaks and can continuously perform. Additionally, AIs help with lifting heavy objects; completing tasks with high security risks or may cause bodily harm; and are used as test objects for harmful equipment and research projects.

The reality is that the workforce has been disrupted by machines that can work more precisely than humans. This has created unemployment in sectors with automated tasks, without the creation of new roles. The solution is for business owners to find that balance between employing workers and alleviating unemployment, and the automation of tasks that can create wealth for all.

Many technological advances have challenges that are often not foreseen. AIs have morphed into super-intelligent beings who have cognitive skills and can think and respond in a human-like manner. However, AIs are created by man and there is no power greater than the human brain to think and be creative.

We must be cognisant of the probability that AIs can deliberately or accidentally cause harm, as they are programmed to perform tasks and cannot make judgements as to right or wrong. If faced with an unfamiliar situation they cannot make decisions, and this may cause great harm. But, research of AIs is continuous and this will assist us to lessen any harm in the future.

Do we embrace AIs and the use of technology? I say yes, the very idea of creating them is to make our lives easier. Some of the more mundane, hostile and harmful tasks are alleviated using AIs. We will benefit from more time to pursue our interests and passions, to get creative, and enjoy family life.

Gillian Murray is the marketing officer at tTech Limited. She can be contacted at 656-8467/656-8448 or by email at

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