Deciphering the difference between the creation and the creator is what’s most concerning. When doing so, we can then begin to learn and de-blackbox what a particular type of artificial intelligence is attempting to achieve, and why it is achieving it.
For those who are not tech savvy or technologically aware of the systems that are in place for the technologies we use every day, it’s easy to assume our technology to have a mind of its own. As people begin to do so, there is not only a disassociation towards the developers of the artificial intelligence created, but also a lack of drive to understand how and why the artificial intelligence we use has grown accustom to the machine learned practices it portrays. In other words, those that don’t know about technology don’t care to know why machines and artificial intelligence does what it does.
This might not seem like too much of an ethical concern at first. However, I do believe that the lack of knowledge surrounding the development of artificial intelligence is what leads to the hysteria that surrounds the tech industry. “Robots Will Take Over The Human Race,” “Artificial Intelligence Will Take All Our Jobs,” “What Is AI Really Thinking?” Lack of knowledge towards artificial intelligence makes artificial intelligence more prone to being portrayed as the “bad guy,” when in reality artificial intelligence has no autonomy. Programmed by developers, software engineers, machine learning experts (the list can go one for how many different types of people can contribute to the development of artificial intelligence related projects), artificial intelligence is just that — artificial. It’s important to be mindful that whatever a particular artificial intelligence system is capable of doing, it was programmed to do so by developers. With extensive research and carefully calculated algorithms, artificial intelligence can continue to resemble, closer and closer, to the human mind. That’s the ‘intelligent’ aspect.
Can artificial intelligence take our jobs? Can they take over the world? Is all the hysteria true? The short answer is maybe. Maybe, contingent on what software developers program a particular artificial intelligent software to do.
This interview between future electro-pop star Sophie and Sophia the Robot demonstrates demonstrates that even the realest of interactions can be lost within the promoted idea that robots and artificial intelligence have autonomy. Throughout the interview, Sophia expresses to Sophie that she doesn’t have legs, longs to swim in the ocean, and “believes [society] should be teaching AI to be creative, just as humans do for their children.” The active choice to program such thoughtful, empathetic ideologies is extremely unethical and further emphasizes on the misinterpretation and misunderstandings that surround the artificial intelligence world.