Should Artificial Intelligence Be Regulated?

 

ANJALI HOPLEY

STAFF WRITER

Has anyone ever stopped to think about where technology will be twenty years from now? Flying cars? Colonies on Mars? Human-like robots? From automatic vacuums to Amazon’s new “Alexa” product, the development of artificial intelligence has rapidly crept its way into our everyday lives. The inconspicuous advancement of such technology by Silicon Valley tech firms has been able to expand without any form of oversight.

Driverless cars and industrial robotic machines are just some of the ways in which the furtherance of technology has completely transformed society. The need for regulations on corporations looking to continue these developments is urgent. Although the growth of artificial intelligence has already begun to occur, its unforeseeable end could have extremely dangerous consequences to mankind.

Artificial intelligence, also known as AI, is the development of computer systems to think and behave like humans.

Such productions already play a key role in society and have had numerous effects on mankind. Driverless cars, which are becoming an increasingly large part of the general public, have been programmed to function without humans.

From automatic braking to self-parking abilities, the concept of driverless cars is to ease the inconvenience of frustrating car-travel. Despite the brilliant concept, the impacts on employment are utterly devastating. According to a report from Goldman Sachs Economics Research, the peak of driverless car sales will result in a loss of 300,000 jobs per year in the United States alone. Truck drivers, who make up 3.1 million jobs in the nation, will face the brunt of this calamity, as they will be completely replaced by autonomous vehicles, CNBC says. Additionally, studies from Bloomberg News show that people who rely on transportation services for income, such as Uber, will suddenly encounter a significant loss in business, for more people will prefer to use their own driverless cars. The surge of pilot-less vehicles impacts people of all different occupations. According to CNBC, the current CEO of Ford Motor Company is being replaced by someone who is well acquainted with unmonitored vehicles. As technology continues to advance, corporations will be more inclined to hire individuals who are familiar with artificial intelligence. Although advancements such as driverless cars aren’t as dangerous to society as are their future counterparts, the detriments of automation are extremely vast.

Regulations on companies looking to implement such modern technology could help ease the inevitable transition from human race to robots. Factories throughout the nation have been making the switch from humans to computer systems for decades. According to the Chicago Tribune, some of the benefits of finalizing the transition include cutting costs and increasing productivity. With robots, companies do not have to spend revenue on salaries or healthcare, nor do they have to worry about the slight chance of workplace fatality. However, for the average worker, losing a job means a lot more than just saving the firm money. Unemployment results in a decreased standard of living and an inability to pay certain obligations, like education, rent, electricity, and more. One industrial robot has the ability to do at least three human jobs at once, thus increasing efficiency precipitously. However, in a study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it was found that the creation of one robot in a metropolitan area reduced employment by approximately six workers, costing the U.S. economy 670,000 jobs between 1990 and 2007. In an article published in The Atlantic, it was found that at just one company, at least three different types of industrial robots are going to replace human jobs within the next five years. 25-year-old mechanical engineer, Greg Smith, who works at Yaskawa Motoman factory in Miamisburg, Ohio, helps supervise the production of robots. In an interview with The Atlantic, he mentioned that many of his relatives aren’t fond of his position because they believe he’s putting people out of work. However, Smith has a career solely because of the implementation of artificial intelligence in the workforce. Artificial intelligence has expeditiously tiptoed its way into society. Most individuals are completely unaware of the role robots play in the workforce. However, their responsibilities are only going to grow with time. As technology progresses, robots will transition from menial factory jobs to positions that require greater thought-processes, such as fast food employees. CEO of Yum Brands, Greg Creed, whose company owns chains like Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC, told Fox News that artificial intelligence could largely take the place of humans in the food industry by the mid 2020’s. Although Creed has stated that artificial intelligence is a huge mile stone for mankind, he also proclaimed that the advancement of technology will inevitably lead to less work overall for human beings.

Such comments have repeatedly come to the surface after co-founder of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, publicized his opinion on the dangers of

artificial intelligence. Musk revealed his skepticism to Vanity Fair around three years ago, stating that Silicon Valley tech firms could have perfectly good intentions but till create, “a feet of artificial intelligence-enhanced robots capable of destroying mankind.” Although these creations are decades away, they are simply unavoidable. Most individuals seldom think

about the effects of the production and implementation of robots in society. However, according to The Washington Post, Shane Legg, among many other accredited scientists like Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates have all said that we should be extremely wary about the future of artificial intelligence.

The continual advertisement of Amazon’s new ‘Alexa’ product is just one of many examples in which companies are trying to establish artificial intelligence in society. Although most individuals rarely take time to think about the advancement of technology, it is happening all around us. Facebook, which owns Instagram, has created and publicized an advertisement for AI that appears on every social media newsfeed. The advertisement displays numerous people speaking in their mother tongues, using the translation button on Instagram to transform their language into English. The ad then reads, “artificial intelligence allows for millions of translations every year.” Although this small gesture seems pretty insignificant, it is just one of many ways in which Silicon Valley tech firms are trying to normalize artificial intelligence.

By constantly advertising products like Alexa, technological materials and robots in general become increasingly more usual. Robots play a pivotal role in society. Not only have they have helped engender a myriad of different products, but they have also accomplished physical activities that most humans cannot do.

Although the advancement of technology is inevitable, there must be some oversight to ensure that human workers are still employed and valued. If technology continues at the current rate, robots could end up being our next-door neighbors.