Ethical Concerns About AI are Overrated by@pavelosokin

Ethical Concerns About AI are Overrated

A common worry is that robots will "replace humans" in the workforce, but I think they will be able to give humanity “superpowers” that elevate us as a species. The biggest problems with AI and machine learning aren’t ethical or privacy-centered, but the main challenges are problems that hinder the growth potential of the sector. In the not-so-distant future, we can expect AI to take over routine work that frees up humanity to create, innovate and follow their passions.
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Pavel Osokin Hacker Noon profile picture

Pavel Osokin

Founder & CEO at AMAI - startup that produces ultra-realistic AI Voice Engines.

Photo by FLY:D on Unsplash

By now, it’s clear that artificial intelligence is here to stay. It is rapidly becoming woven into the fabric of our everyday lives, and there are no signs of this trend slowing down. 

Currently, every American home boasts an average of 1-3 smart speakers. Statistics show that at least 41 percent of adults use AI-driven voice search every day, and studies show that over half of all smartphone users will utilize voice technology on their devices.  

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what AI can do for us. In the not-so-distant future, we can expect AI to take over routine, mundane work that frees up humanity to create, innovate and follow their passions.

While I don’t think that robots will ever replace people, I think they will be able to give humanity “superpowers” that elevate us as a species. 

Thanks to AI, we can send, receive and process vast amounts of information near-instantaneously, and the ability to accurately use voice commands is quickly eliminating our need for text and screens. In my opinion, AI voice interfaces are the next step in the evolution of the Internet. Despite all of these possibilities, there is still much work to be done. 

Computer and AI systems have become increasingly complex and far-reaching. While this can be positive, it also comes with the risk that these systems will not receive the support and management they need.

Robotics is not the problem; it’s the solution.

So let’s discuss why many of the public concerns about AI are not as dire as they seem. 

The Problems AI and Machine Learning Face Today 

Overall, the biggest problems with AI and machine learning aren’t ethical or privacy-centered. Instead, the main challenges are problems that hinder the growth potential of the sector.

1. The Bottleneck Issue

Right now, the quality and quantity of available data sets are much bigger roadblocks to the growth of AI than most people realize.

The majority of data available to teach AI algorithms comes piecemeal from smaller companies and communities rather than from industry giants. Big corporations have significantly more data to pull from as well as a much broader range of capabilities. 

This data bottleneck is a serious hindrance to the overall growth of the industry. Data scientists must do a lot of time-intensive work to prepare raw data sets into usable structures that AI can actually use to learn. This training bottleneck is hugely resource-intensive, so the support of major corporations could go a long way toward solving this issue.

2. The Storage Challenge 

Another challenge the industry faces is that storage systems are being stressed to the max by the most advanced machine learning (ML) networks.

To advance AI capabilities, we must explore better solutions for a more efficient ML data pipeline. 

3. A Personnel Problem

A final hurdle the industry faces is a lack of experienced personnel. In my experience, a majority of businesses are open to integrating ML and experimenting with its capabilities.

These companies run into the problem that most ML experts have fewer than ten years of experience in the field, and many were trained quite recently, so they don’t have much on-the-job experience. 

4. Is the Solution More Robots? 

A common worry is that robots will "replace humans" in the workforce. In a sense, I think this is true.

AI is poised to take over the most mundane tasks, but I see this as a good thing. Robotization is not a problem; it's a necessity.

Once people are freed from the burden of certain types of labor, they can choose their work rather than basing their time solely on getting paid enough to live.

Because I'm a proponent of a mandatory minimum income, I believe that allowing robotics to play a greater role in society can be a positive.

In addition, it's important to remember that AI still needs human support.

For example, robots don't generally understand emotional nuance and context, so a human would still need to ensure AI didn't accidentally send a dangerous or offensive message.

In the same vein, Tesla cars are quite reliable, but we still need humans as "backup drivers" and mechanics. 

So, can humans be replaced? Certainly not! Robots may take over certain types of tasks, but humans are still an invaluable part of the workforce. 

Can Robots Facilitate Societal Development? 

I've been asked whether it's true that technology is a positive driving force in society, and I believe the answer is yes.

Some say that it takes the place of people, but I think it's easy to overlook the fact that there will be new skills and tasks for people that come along with a greater reliance on robots. 

As an example, look back at the advent of the automobile. People believed that cars would put people out of work and prevent society from being as prosperous. But what happened?

There was instead a new need for mechanics, factory workers and taxi drivers! In our case, there will be a greater need for specialists who deal with particular facets of robotics.

We will need laborers who understand how to customize robots for specific tasks as well as mechanics, aesthetic designers and a host of other skills that will arise.

Robotics can liberate people from unwanted jobs and tedious manual labor. In my opinion, as soon as the market truly embraces this phenomenon, the switch will be as fast as the upgrade from horses to cars.

By 2050, I think the average company will consist of C-level executives and a primary workforce of robots. I believe if a minimum income is introduced alongside the robotics revolution, it will provide even more freedom and comfort for people to pursue higher passions and create a better society. 

Let's Embrace the AI Revolution 

AI is already an essential driving force in our daily lives. From personalized advertising to AI voice interfaces, we live at the precipice of a new, innovative era of society.

There are still challenges and ethical questions to navigate, of course. Still, these issues are easily managed and pale in comparison to all of the good that will come from allowing AI to handle the tedious parts of human existence. 

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