Since the creation of the first calculating machines, scientists, technicians, science fiction authors, philosophers, sociologists and economists anticipate and attempt to predict potential and ethics possible and/or desirable in Artificial Intelligence, now commonly called AI, although you can also cross the terms of Machine Learning and Data Science.
Most people or information sources frequently give these names for subjects being only advanced programming. Actually, artificial Intelligence raises many questions and highlights as many fears (more or less reasoned) as positive fascination (more or less dreamed).
Artificial Intelligence, an exponential development
The digital and other assistants like Siri or Cortana and many others are not yet an entity that can joke with you or propose the solution to all your needs, however, the Data invades at large not all the professional fields but also what you might well consider as private. The data provides health advice, but also advice on how you shop. She will most likely soon recommend the vehicle that will provide you with transportation while you check your work day or your children’s schedule or your next vacation. The data can combine your preferences and advise you on the next video game that might interest you, or on customized content for your press review… Bots and AI may not be visible to you, but their usefulness and productivity are well established.
Instead, a persona is currently being used, but artificial intelligence is gradually giving the personas a “body”, the possibilities being so much richer using Data. The question here as elsewhere is woven in terms of what we want, users, humans, in terms of storage and exploitation of data, especially when it comes to ours, is not it?
AI and security
We talk cheerfully about cybersecurity. What role will artificial intelligence play in cybersecurity? Forbes has published “Top Four Cybersecurity Trends For The Year Ahead”. Amongst the list, Data Science and security, Internet of things (IoT) devices and authentification are major issues for the next years, not only 2019.
The subject is huge, about the methods and material. But the questions aren’t they especially who and especially how information is processed? What ethic is law about AI? Which international and national rules can we make to protect humans from flaws as well as destructive or misinformed intentions? Here as elsewhere, it is a question of respect more than technology, because who uses this technology?
We’ve seen how criminal cases can be effectively assisted by AI. The sad business of Little Gregory, among others, has been rebounded thanks to IBM‘s ANB software (analyst’s Notebook) has allowed investigators to process the data mass accumulated since 1984. Le Monde French Journal, like many other medias, has relayed the information: “behind the rebound of the Gregory case, using artificial intelligence”.
AI,a tool becoming useful in areas of concern or even vital
The Data Science is an additional tool that has not only its place in security or marketing. Health data is making more and more services.
We talk a lot about virtual reality (VR) and 3d printing, which literally explode the potentials of care and management of patients. But artificial intelligence and Data science also allow a significant breakthrough: Assisted medical imaging already equals human expertise.
Let’s imagine the time saving of your surgeon thanks to Data. He can thus redistribute his time to concentrate on his technique and his psychological accompaniment. He also to less risk the overwork (which is not irrelevant to the two preceding points, is it not?).
You can also monitor your heart rate, detect a depression from photos broadcast on the net, as explained in Fortune‘s article: 3 Ways AI Is Changing Healthcare. Articifial Intelligence is an additional tool for helping health professionals caring humans.
I also invite you to read these articles on ethics and AI:
- Let’s Talk About AI Ethics; We’re On A Deadline, by Tom Vander Ark on Forbes.
- The Evolution and ethics of AI.
So, is AI a magic solution?
In reality, one AI alone is not currently the miracle solution. Even if it could be a miracle solution, would that be desirable? What we call “Artificial Intelligence” to facilitate the discussion, is basically a sequence of code composed and designed by humans, with the possible and imaginable biases that it includes.
If AI are tested for self-programming to learn by themselves, none has been born without the initial contribution of the humans. However, born AI is still – for the moment – only fiction, speculative fiction, for instance as in Dan Simmons‘ cycle The Hyperion Cantos, where the author imagines and extrapolates an entire evolved society from this premise.
I let you discover the rich and many other themes of this superb science fiction cycle, only part of which can be seen by reading this interview with Dan Simmons on The Internet Writing Journal: A conversation with Dan Simmons, Hyperion‘s master From IQ to Artificial Life, the brilliant and provocative visions of the author of the great science fiction saga Hyperion.
Many science fiction and specifically anticipation authors have tried to imagine, to predict what the evolution of one or more AIs can imply. The less optimistic will also remind you of movies like Matrix or Terminator, others will go further in questioning with Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049, and finally manage to ask the questions that are at the root of the others:
- What is human being, and what rights and duties are derived from it in relation to ourselves and others, including the species and the environment?
- How does life develop?
- Can life develop in ways that we would not have imagined/planned yet?
Why is the AI sexist?
You will have noticed, we talk about the feminine, and the choice is not neutral. No, you’re not dreaming: why are the names and voices of virtual assistants, so to speak, exclusively feminine? In view of the domination of the genre, one can legitimately ask the question of a will of cliché, as recalled this interesting article of Mashable France: one does not want to break the atmosphere, but even artificial intelligence is sexist. Nature, Mashable, Forbes, Fortune, Futurism, The Conversation and many other medias report the same problems and their origins to us. You can read “There’s a reason Siri, Alexa and AI are imagined as female – sexism”, written by Amy Chambers in The Conversation.
There is an acute need to resolve this if we want a fair society.
AI and anthropomorphism
We measure everything to our own scale. The anthropomorphism is always part of the table, because even with empathy, it is not easy for us to understand the universe on different scales and heights than the human one.
As with any innovation or activity, in the end, the most important thing is not to lose sight of the human being, is it?
On these thoughts, I would like you to return to your activities. I wish you that they will bring a smile and rich memories to your human life.
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To go further
Exciting articles are written every week on the subject of artificial intelligence, as at the very moment when I finish writing these lines. So I suggest you continue the reflection by going to take a look here:
- On Wired: “Fei-Fei Li’s Quest to Make AI Better for Humanity“.
- Opinion on The New York Times: “A Smarter Way to Think About Intelligent Machines“.
- France Culture french radio has treated the subject in an exciting way, in particular a part of the question of the day on who should assume the decisions made by artificial intelligence?
- On Information Age: “Augmented Intelligence: why the human element can’t be forgotten”.
References to the following sources are quoted in this article: Forbes, Fortune, Nature, Futurism, The Conersation, Wired, The New York Times, France Culture, Le Monde, Mashable, Mashable France, Wikipedia, Information Age, Pivigo Blog, IBM I2 Analyst’s Notebook, Apple Siri, Cortana from Microsoft, Matrix, Terminator, Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2049, The Internet Writing Journal, Pocket Publisher, and writer Dan Simmons.