AI – artificial intelligence; is it harming more than doing good?

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Is artificial intelligence the saviour of this world? Some people act as if it was. Gold diggers rush to invest in start-ups because this is a game changer in the technology world and a lot of money is to be made when costs related to human resources are declining with the entrance of AI. Additional capital is also made when services are delivered exactly according to client needs.

It’s all about boosted profits in the end. The question is whether more profits make this world happier? Or, do we need more love and more and better human relations to keep this world from collapsing?

I’m a telecom engineer with a business degree, and with the experience of working at tech giants such as Ericsson and IBM, and I learned what this is all about. I learned the pros and cons, and this is my view in a nutshell concerning AI, 5G and smartphones.

It’s about control. It’s about making faster and more accurate decisions leading to more profits. Just as petrol is the fuel for cars, so is data for AI. With more data, AI is able to make more and better predictions and decisions, and it’s done much faster than anyone else, anytime, anywhere. It’s a 24/7 business done by robots with the ability to think and reason like humans.

Corporates are quick to paint AI as the saviour of the world. Below are some examples how AI can help the society. I’ve also covered the drawbacks of AI in this article.

AI (artificial intelligence) and big data with IoT – internet of things; it’s a world were humans and gadgets are interconnected. Gadgets know what we needed, and we can control the gadgets on our smartphones. This interconnection requires extended capacity in our networks as more IP addresses are required to transmit signals and heavier files (more GB) put constraints in our networks. When there are more and heavier cars on the roads, we need to build bigger highways with more lanes and stronger bridges. Telecom networks work in a similar way.

What can you do with AI and IoT? Below are some examples and more can be added:

  1. On your way home; turn on the lights and the heating, and find the garage door open ready to host your car upon arrival.
  2. You get messages on your phone when running out of food, and you know exactly what to buy and where and at best possible price.
  3. You can regulate the temperature at home to save energy.
  4. Lawyers get help with complex lawsuits by using AI to find, analyse and compare similar cases world-wide, and AI assists with internal data to provide best possible solution.
  5. You get to know best possible route when driving back home depending on traffic jam.
  6. Face recognition and biometrics allow for quick and safe bank withdrawals.
  7. There is no need to have keys anymore; biometrics and facial recognition solves it all
  8. Taxi drivers, office assistants and bus drivers are soon out of work when these roles are automatized.
  9. Grocery stores know when stocks are about to finish, and stores are able to anticipate shopping trends. Suppliers, stores and clients are connected which help stores to offer the right products, at the right time, and at the right price.
  10. Clients get personalised offers related to needs, and changes in market trends.
  11. Sick people are able to conduct extended healthcare services at home in cooperation with online doctors. The ambulance picks you up before the heart attack kicks-in.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But what are the drawbacks?

  1. First of all, what is the guarantee that my personal data is not being misused? Who is having my personal data and for what purpose? It’s hard to track who is having what data.
  2. Everything I do and say online and offline, can be monitored. Is this information going to be used against me when applying for a job, an apartment or a VISA in the future?
  3. 5G implies heavier radiation and I’m not sure our health is that happy with more radiation.
  4. Security breach may imply that my personal data gets in the hands of the bad guys.
  5. Companies may not want to hire someone based on future health predictability.
  6. 50% of all jobs will likely disappear in the next 20 years, due to automatization and robotics.
  7. Humans are easily outperformed by robots and AI as we can’t think and search for data at the speed and size of modern computers.

Although the pros (positive aspects) outweigh the cons (negative aspects), I don’t really need AI in my life because my personal integrity and security is threatened.

I can admit that smartphones can be helpful concerning making instant payments on the go. Smartphones makes it easier and quicker to send messages to friends for free, by using Viber, WhatsApp and WeChat. But we have had Skype for many years, and it works fine on the PC. And credit cards have helped us to pay our bills for decades as well as we can pay our bills online on the PC.

I am not sure how much we really need latest smartphones and AI. And for what use? To save us time? We are busier than ever! To make us happier? More people suffer from anxiety, stress and psychological trauma last 40 years.

We should only allow AI after careful investigations on the impacts of people’s wellbeing and personal security and integrity. But again, it’s going to be very hard to control where your data is and how it is being used. It will be available world-wide 24/7.

Published 29 Jan 2020 by:

Anthony Eric (Antonios Papadimitriou)

MBA & Telecom Engineer

University Lecturer & Author

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