Discuss the ethical issues surrounding Artificial Intelligence. (250 Words)

Mentors Comments:
1. Mention what AI is and how it benefits
2. Discuss the ethical challenges it poses
3. Present solutions

AI is the science of building computers that can solve problems the way humans do. With intelligent machines enabling high level cognitive processes like thinking, perceiving, learning, problem solving and decision making, coupled with advances in data collection and aggregation, analytics and computer processing power, AI presents opportunities to complement and supplement human intelligence and enrich the way people live and work.

The NITI Aayog National strategy on artificial intelligence identifies 5 cores areas for application of artificial intelligence:
1. Healthcare: increased access and affordability of quality healthcare
2. Agriculture: enhanced farmers’ income, increased farm productivity and reduction of wastage
3. Education: improved access and quality of education
4. Smart Cities and Infrastructure: efficient and connectivity for the burgeoning urban population
5. Smart Mobility and Transportation: smarter and safer modes of transportation and better traffic and congestion problems

The ethical Concerns about AI are as follows-
 AI is an attempt to create super intelligent machines that can do things far better than humans. But the real worry about these technologies is the emphasis on intelligence rather than other characteristics of human beings.
 AI has not been used to get rid of poverty, to have more equitable distribution of wealth, or to make people more content with what they have.
 The types of AI we have, including war machines, will primarily be dictated by profit for the companies that make them.
 Being human is about living with others and learning to live within our limitations. Vulnerability, decay and death characterise any living form. Super intelligent AI machines may harm this balance.
 These thinking machines may know how to manipulate humans to the extent that humans will not be able to see their negative effects.
 All technologies come with a cost (not just economic but also social and psychological) and we have very little idea of the cost that AI will extract from us. 
 The more powerful a technology becomes, the more can it be used for nefarious reasons as well as good. This applies not only to robots produced to replace human soldiers, or autonomous weapons, but to AI systems that can cause damage if used maliciously.

Because these fights won’t be fought on the battleground only, cyber security will become even more important. After all, we’re dealing with a system that is faster and more capable than us by orders of magnitude. The need of the hour is-

 Ethical norms regarding uses of AI and our ability to regulate them in an intelligent and beneficial manner should keep pace with the fast changing technological capabilities. That is why we need AI researchers to actively involve ethicists in their work.
 Some of the world’s largest companies like Baidu, Google, Alibaba, Facebook, Tencent, Amazon, Microsoft are cornering the market for AI researchers. They also need to employ ethicists.
 Additionally, regulators across the world need to be working closely with these academics and citizens’ groups to put brakes on both the harmful uses and effects of AI.
 For governments to regulate, we need to have clear theories of harms and trade-offs, and that is where researchers really need to make their mark felt: by engaging in public discourse and debate on what AI ethics and regulation should look like.

The transformative capability of AI in India is huge, and must be rooted in an egalitarian ethical basis. Any institutional framework for AI should have a multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach, and have an explicit focus on the ethical basis.

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Neha Pandey
Neha Pandey
3 years ago

Neha pandey please review waiting for your valuable suggestions

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