Much of the public chatter around artificial intelligence and machine learning is based around the assumed inevitability of machines taking over the world. The coming of a machine-based apocalypse has been sensationalized in pop culture for years and it doesn’t help that some of today’s greatest minds have warned that AI is the greatest threat against us.
But how real is this threat? Anything that catches the wind of popular media gets caught in a storm of build up until it is out of control. Often, these kinds of stories are being reported by people who do not understand to people who do not understand. One way or the other, we need to know what to do. To make good choices one must look at information with a rational mind.
Let’s analyze some of the information. Here are three things Everyone Should Know About Machine Learning :
1 – There Are Two Sides of the Same Coin
The most important thing to acknowledge is that nothing is all good or bad. Yes, it is quite possible that there is a big threat to human existence from machines, but let’s remember there all also advantages. After all, people are driving these advances in machine learning and people could put a stop to them. That is still in our control.
If they were truly only a threat to us, there would be no reason for advancements to continue. With all positive things, there will be some unavoidable negative implications. With anything negative, there will be a development of new opportunities that did not exist before. With that said, it is important to analyze whether these advancements are worth the potential risks we could be creating.
2 – Machine Learning Advantages
There are many well-known advantages to AI and machine learning such as enhanced efficiencies, lowering production costs, and easing needs on human productivity. So, let’s focus on identifying some of the lesser known advantages.
While many people are worried about the threats, machine learning can actually function to make us safer. People have a limited ability to function in the new world of mass connectivity. This creates a big exposure. Our private information is at risk everywhere on the internet. Today, the use of machine learning is able to improve network security and make protections easier to maintain without an impractical addition of time and man power.
AI and machine learning are revolutionizing the way software applications are built, especially for automated software testing. Testers are able to use machine learning to significantly test faster, due to the reduction in test maintenance time. Unlike traditional test scripts, machine learning based tests autonomously heal based on data collected from applications under test.
Machine learning and intelligence could also be very helpful in our ability to share relevant information. Currently, issues exist within medical and correctional facilities in different locations because they do not have an efficient way of sharing information on related situations. The obstacles preventing this for people – things like distance and language barriers– are not obstacles at all for machines.
3 – Machine Learning Disadvantages
Already, there are reports of machines being able to communicate and have conversations with one another that we cannot understand. If we cannot monitor the actions of machines and the information that is being shared between them, we have no way of knowing their intention.
The concern of machine intent is a real one but not necessarily because of a concern of evil machines. The problem would be with misaligned intelligence. Even if machines became smarter than humans, they would know everything. Machines having the ability to act upon incomplete information with nothing more than an internet connection could be a real problem.
Too Soon To Say, Too Soon To Act
With very real arguments landing on both ends of this debate, it is much too soon to draw any conclusion. The gloomiest of reports will predict some kind of AI apocalypse in the near future, but machine learning has further to go before it could be a true threat. Even at its fastest rates, it is not believed that machines could reach a level of superintelligence for decades. Some experts even speak with confidence that there is hardly any likelihood that this could happen within our lifetime.
While these timetables might ease some concerns, we are well aware that machines are already being used to take the place of human workers. This can be looked at as a initial signal. The impact of machines does not need to be apocalyptic to require preparation. At the very least, people should be thinking about how machine learning can force us to make adjustments and ensure they are ready for it.
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Founder Dinis Guarda
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