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5 Reasons Why AI Is Not Sustainable in the Long Run

I am just a guy who knows a little bit about technology and tries to spread random knowledge by writing

The future of AI remains uncertain, full of promise and peril.

The future of AI remains uncertain, full of promise and peril.

Artificial intelligence has always been subject to the ambivalent reception of the masses. In the words of Sir Stephen Hawking, “Artificial Intelligence is either the best or the worst thing to happen to humanity”. While some people believe that artificial intelligence is going to play a significant part in human development, others still believe that the development of artificial intelligence at such exponential pace can be disastrous for the human race.

In this article, I will be elaborating on five reasons why artificial intelligence is not sustainable in long term.

1. Dependence on Humans

While analyzing the current rise in the popularity of artificial intelligence it might seem that society is heading toward an automated future but in reality, the world has still not reached so far that we can fully rely upon any automated machine. In pop culture, the idea of artificial intelligence fully taking over the control from humans has been instilled into society through movies and articles acknowledging the need for artificial intelligence for human survival.

A report by World Economic Forum predicts that by 2025, 85 million jobs will be replaced by machines working on the principles of artificial intelligence. It might happen in the future that machines will replace humans in some of the major jobs but the harsh truth is that it is a long time till we will be fully governed by machines. AI machines will be still very dependent on humans, especially when it comes to learning on their own and performing complex tasks.

A recent hype was created around chatbots for their highly versatile nature in answering questions and how they are an alternative to humans in the future in most customer sales services. Even though chatbots are quite impressive in their answering capabilities, they can only work under a specific structure and need manual training from humans for their work. Their ability to work is limited to a certain scope and most of the organizations prefer to preserve human efforts for special scenarios as most of such cases require a perfect combination of responsiveness and patience that can only be provided by a human or an automated machine precisely trained by a human.

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2. Learning Power

Although AI machines can be very useful in performing repetitive responsibilities, their learning capabilities are different from humans, which works against them in the debate about artificial intelligence taking over humans. On one hand, human intelligence is based on past experiences that allow us to understand complex concepts and learn from our mistakes via the hit and trial method.

On the other hand, artificial intelligence is solely based on datasets, historical data and specific instructions. Humans can adapt to any environment using their cognitive skills while for automated machines it can take years for them to learn a completely different set of functions for a new application area.

AI machines do not understand the concept of cause and effect. In simple words, they do not understand what is the cause they are working for and its repercussions, rather they blindly follow the instruction given to them, while humans precisely judge the cause of their action and its consequences.

Humans can make their decision in real-world situation but the decision-making capabilities of an automated machine is based on the data they are trained on. They can learn from data and through continuous training, but they can never achieve the thought process unique to humans. In spite of the fact that AI machines can outperform humans in some aspects, they have a long way to go to match the human potential.

3. Decision-Making

Decision-making usually acts as a cover for humans. We generally express our decisions based on the consequences of our actions and the environment the decision is being taken in. In contrast to it, machines analyze a specific set of rules to make a decision and reach a conclusion.

There are some pros and cons when it comes to decision-making by an AI machine. On its beneficial side, there are situations where humans are not able to make correct decisions due to the diminishing capacity for decision-making because of either emotional outbursts or when stress succumbs. Automated machines help us to tackle the situation by making the right decision.

There are also some disadvantages of the decision-making aspects of machines. As discussed above, machines can help humans to make decisions in complex situations but sometimes these decisions can prove against the benefit of the parties involved as AI-controlled machines lack emotions and make their decisions based purely on the instructions given to them. They can be fed with instructions that involve damage to someone or in some situations the decision-making is out of the scope of the data fed to them, which may lead to harmful decision-making.

The decision-making capabilities of humans are developed from their childhood as they grow, but machines have to be trained as a child, and that too up to a certain limit. While there is no limitation to the thinking capabilities of humans, that is not the case with machines, whose thinking capabilities are highly limited to their training.

4. Threatening the Future

Even though most of the artificial intelligence technologies these days are used for a good cause, artificial intelligence could lead to a malignant future. In today’s time, the key question for humanity is whether to start a global AI arms race or to prevent it from starting.

While the whole world is in a mad race to strengthen their artillery, many countries are turning towards weapon automation. Unlike nuclear weapons, automated weapons are not costly and can cause destruction on a similar scale. Artificial intelligence robots will be the best option to carry out operations like assassinations and mass killings. If these weapons come under regular operation, then it is just a matter of time before these weapons reach the black market from where they will be easily accessible to terrorists.

AI weapons can lead to the forceful acquisition of developing countries by bad actors as artificial intelligence robots can carry wiping out of an ethnic group without any hesitation, which sometimes humans are unable to do due to emotional and mental states of mind.

The key question for humanity today is whether to start a global AI arms race or to prevent it from starting. If any major military power pushes ahead with AI weapon development, a global arms race is virtually inevitable, and the endpoint of this technological trajectory is obvious autonomous weapons will become the cause of the destruction of tomorrow.

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5. Ambiguous Nature

Many researchers see artificial intelligence as the future of the world but the fact that AI machines have a lot of ambiguity related to them cannot be denied. We can never be sure about artificial intelligence machines’ future. They can be benign or malignant, destructive or constructive, generous or selfish, unhelpful or kind.

While a human can develop their thinking over a period of time, the thinking of a machine is dependent on humans and cannot develop over a limited scope. The working of an automated machine is mostly directed toward rewards, which means completing the task assigned to them. But sometimes these rewards can be misdirected or may lead to harm someone which makes us believe that an automated machine can easily be influenced.

Even though machines are adapted to solving complex tasks and work at superhuman speed but humans always have an edge in solving tasks that a machine simply cannot perform. Humans can analyze the situation, keep in mind its effects, and take the action accordingly. Though machines can outperform humans in some tasks, it can never replace them in any real sense.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, I would just like to conclude that despite the fact that artificial intelligence is taking over some of the major jobs from humans, AI machines can never replace human compassion and understanding. They can bring us close to the realization of our dreams but can never lead us unguided. The future of automated machines still has a long way to go before it can provide long-term solutions to human problems.

Thanks for giving it a read.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Shantanu Singh Verma