Should I be afraid of AI?

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As part of our ongoing “Your defense in the digital world campaign”, this story, along with its companion stories, “How cyber criminals will try to defraud you”, and “Cyber protection tips: 10 ways to ensure your cyber security” help you navigate your way through your cyber security needs.

In movies and popular culture, one of the fears of technology was the theme of “the machines taking over”. We imagine a robot from the future threatening us with “I’ll be back”. But in recent years, our technological concerns have been even more difficult to fathom or understand. News reports are currently spelling out great anxiety when it comes to our newest technological advancement – AI (artificial intelligence). Should we be afraid?

The benefits of AI

Artificial Intelligence can have a transformative and positive impact on people and the world at large. In medicine, AI can be used to detect and diagnose diseases faster than traditional medicine. It can be used to predict natural disasters than earlier models could. It can make industry, agriculture, waste management, etc. more efficient and safer. The list goes on. In the right hands, used in the right ways, AI can make the world a better, healthier place to live.

The negatives of AI

The problem – it’s just so hard to know. AI has been around since the mid-20th century. But the technology surrounding it was rudimentary. However, things have advanced so much in the past 70 years. When almost anything is possible, it’s difficult to determine what is probable. We do know this much:

  • AI can erase jobs: It can do what people do quicker, more efficiently, with fewer errors, and 24/7. From law to agriculture, some jobs will become unnecessary.
  • It can spread disinformation: AI can be a talented liar. Its deep learning capacity can mimic human communication to near perfection and can fool the most seasoned expert. It can have disastrous political, legal and medical effects to name a few.
  • Bad people can do bad things: People will use AI for bad ends for things ranging from writing their term papers, deep fake videos, cyber-attacks and even terrorism. AI is another tool that people may  use  to cheat, cause harm, or illegally profit from. It’s always important to be aware.

Moving forward with AI      

Artificial Intelligence will change the world. Question is, will it be good, bad, or both? It’s important that we all pay greater attention to it because we’ll know soon enough how that question is answered. The developments in AI technology are advancing at a surprisingly exponential rate.

The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as specific professional or expert advice. Aviva Canada accepts no responsibility for action taken as a result of reliance on any information contained in this article.

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