Opinion: Artificial Intelligence should be embraced, not to be afraid of…

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Recently, we have seen or even have been part of the discussion where people are talking about AI and how it will take over all the jobs we have. Even some maybe have said that they will take over the world and we would become their slaves. As scary as it sounds and seems, I feel like it is not the case if you think about it rationally.

Human nature is afraid of change or of the unknown, the things which we can’t see usually we make some assumptions about them in our mind. To be honest, Hollywood movies also have done nothing good to lessen its “evil” in the eyes of the common being. I have been lucky enough to see the change and transition which has happened from a non-computing world to having small computers in everyone’s pocket. By the non-computing world, I don’t mean it wasn’t there, but it didn’t have as much penetration as it is now. In this transition, many things which we used to have become obsolete. Perhaps if the things which have become outdated, was it a good thing or a bad thing? There will always be polarised opinions about it, but I like to say it has made our life easier in most cases.

Similarly, yes! I agree there is a scenario where AI will replace many jobs which humans are doing or working on, but that’s natural and this is how advancement works. There are many examples where it has happened before. One simple example could be the hard copy or paper wishing cards. Since emails and websites or WhatsApp, the use of hard copy/paper-based wishing cards has gone down. We rarely even use it now and even I don’t remember when I bought one. What it has done is force people to adapt. Now the same people who were working on making cards are trying to sell them online with digital art. As nostalgic as they are, it is good in some ways as we are saving paper and cutting fewer trees because of it. We, humans, are humans because we adapt quickly. Humans develop with the surrounding environment and advance while using the tools available to them to create new tools.

In the long run medium of the industries and job titles will change but there will be still similar jobs. I also know famous people predict the AI apocalypse, i.e. Elon Musk, Stephen Hawkins, etc. There is some truth to the concerns they share, but I also think that as quickly as we try to get ahead of it and adapt ourselves to it better, it would be. We can’t stop AI from taking over a lot of work and improving our lives. One argument is that Tesla is using AI, even though Elon Musk predicts the apocalypse. I will not say he is a hypocrite, but what he is doing is using AI to help people and make their life better and create more jobs for them.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

The other concern regarding AI has been the application of AI in our normal day-to-day life. There are many instances where AI is not being used for the right reason. I’m a great proponent of privacy. Hence, I see use cases which I have encountered, that makes me worry about some applications of AI. For example, I have over the time seen active listening on the phones, where I was targeted with specific ads on Instagram regarding topics or things I was offline talking about. Most of the concerns I have regarding the AI is data privacy, which companies or individuals can misuse. Perhaps what does data privacy have to do anything with AI? Without big data and datasets and constant learning from them, AI wouldn’t progress and speech recognition is part of that group. As the use of AI will increase, hence increase in demand for more data and then profiling and classification of the data. Companies should make sure that they protect personal data against misuse and we should be more aware of how our offline and online data are being used. Individuals should be able to control the data they have and the power to delete it.

I think in most cases AI can improve the quality of life for people. Of course, my opinion will seem biased, as I work in a conversational AI company, but my apprehensions have changed. The current state of AI used might not drastically change the quality of life of everyone completely, but its slow-paced progression has impacted everyone’s life in some way. One of the very recent uses of AI has been during the Corona Times. One use case has been predicting, screening and diagnosing corona-affected areas. It helped in a timely scale and efficient response towards it, which saved a lot of lives all over the world.

Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

All in all, AI is like any other technology or tool you might have been using in your own day-to-day life. It can be used either to improve your life or can be used to do some harm. It is similar to any technological advancement in the recent past, but we shouldn’t be afraid of it but rather monitor it, control it and embrace it.

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A Quality Assurance Enthusiast working in QA for 8 years and currently working for E-bot7. Sharing here my experience and thoughts regarding QA and testing.

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Hammad Ahmed Khan

Hammad Ahmed Khan

A Quality Assurance Enthusiast working in QA for 8 years and currently working for E-bot7. Sharing here my experience and thoughts regarding QA and testing.

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