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The Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence Humans are the species in control because our species is far more intelligent than the rest. If we are no longer the smartest, would we still maintain our position on the top? We cannot be certain of the behavior of artificial intelligence (AI), as we get closer to the day they surpass human intelligence (“Benefits”). The advancement of artificial intelligence may bring about grave dangers, but the potential benefits far outweigh the risks. Origin of Artificial Intelligence John McCarthy, a math professor at Dartmouth, created the term artificial intelligence in 1955 (Brynjolfsson and Mcafee). The idea that a machine could have a mind of its own has long existed. The initial perspective of the public was that these thinking machines would become evil. About AIThe AI we have today is considered “narrow” or “weak AI” due to the fact that it is limited in its abilities. The AI of the future, “general”, “AGI”, or “strong AI” would surpass human skill at every task. AI is already surpassing human ability in various tasks. Their error rates are at or better than human performance. Reinforcement learning is an approach in which the system is given a goal, permitted actions, and environmental factors that might restrict it; the system then attempts to achieve the goal as best as it can. It has been thought that a computer may eventually be capable of introspection, being able to teach itself and upgrade itself to become smarter. These machines would significantly improve human life, solving many of our most complex problems.Should we worry?Well-known geniuses such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk are worried about the future of advanced AI, thinking it could lead to “the end of the human race.” Musk even contributed $10 million to the Future of Life institute, which is closely following this issue. Many prominent people have warned the public of the dangers of AI. Numerous billionaires such as Elon Musk have supported and funded OpenAI, an organization that strives to lead us on the right path when it comes to evil vs beneficial AI.Ways AI can be harmfulOne way that AI can become detrimental is if it is programmed to harm others. In the wrong hands, autonomous weapons could bring unprecedented destruction. AI systems could have flaws due to what it learned from. For example, a system trained to identify which pneumonia patients were in the worst condition concluded that patients with asthma and pneumonia had a lower risk of death. Another way that AI can become detrimental is if it chooses a destructive path to perform a certain task or achieve its goal. One risk of the advancement of AI is the replacement of humans in job positions. Because of the machines’ ability to outperform humans, they may take many out of their job positions.Should we not worry?There is no reason to worry about evil robots taking over right now; we are far from it. But if a large corporation were to get their hands on a true AI, they would be miles ahead of any competition. Many people, such as Andrew Ng at Stanford University, believe that fearing a robot takeover is ridiculous, like “worrying about overpopulation on Mars.”Ways AI can be beneficialCorporations are trying to use machine learning to diagnose cancer and other diseases, as well as catching early signs of various conditions such as Alzheimer’s. AI can prove incredibly beneficial in the hospital setting. Many processes such as diagnosing patients would be accelerated. AI could protect the lives of many by undertaking dangerous jobs such as mining. A study shows that speech recognition is about 3 times as fast as typing on a cell phone. The error rate has dropped from 8.5% to 4.9% since since the summer of 2016. AI also excels in the business industry. It can monitor the transportation of many shipments of cargo and quickly identify any problems.ConclusionArtificial intelligence has grown exponentially in recent years, and will undoubtedly continue to do so. Although many have warned of the potential dangers of these super-intelligent machines, these claims consist of nothing but theory. In contrast, the leverage gained in efficiency from artificial intelligence has already been proved through the real-world application of AI. From the business industry to the medicinal, it is clear that AI can do it better. For these reasons, the benefits of artificial intelligence overshadow the risks.

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