Extended Defination Essay | Deep Avaiya

Deep Avaiya

Stacy Thorne Stuewe, Ph.D.

ENGL 2311

17 March 2024

Artificial Intelligence: Beyond the Realm of Science Fiction

            In the exciting world of technology, the term artificial intelligence (AI) is a commonly debated and discussed topic. Imagine futuristic robots or autonomous systems; AI holds meaning far beyond its science-fiction origin. AI refers to the replication of human cognition through the means of technology, primarily computers. This paper seeks to explore the various complex sides of AI, including its historical roots, practical uses, and actual or potential ethical problems that it may bring, in order to provide a full, all-encompassing view of the term rather than a narrow technical definition.

            To begin with, the origin of artificial intelligence (AI) can be traced back to the human urge to realize consciousness and try to replicate human cognitive capacity in machines. The quest to achieve this led to the birth of AI, which was declared a separate field in the middle of the 20th century. Its commencement is highly based on John McCarthy’s introductory statement at the Dartmouth conference in 1956. At its inception, AI research focused on symbolic methodologies and atomically defined problem-solving tasks aimed at stimulating the logical reasoning that human intelligence employs. However, with the advent of the 21st century, machine learning and neural networks opened up a whole new dimension of AI with arguably augmented capabilities and uses. The progression from a theoretical model to an actual technology has been around for a whole century. It is a privilege to witness the culmination of models and theories up to influential actual technologies that transform industries in the global arena.

            From voice recognition devices such as Amazon’s Alexa to chatbots like Siri, and all the way to entire recommendation systems and even diagnostic tools, AI is present in our everyday lives. Besides these common examples, AI is also used in decision-support software in the form of virtual assistants that help research, analyze solutions, and solve problems. In addition, AI is used in virtual private assistants, allowing for algorithms that commonly learn and come to understand the user and respond accordingly. This enables AI to provide a response of a highly personal nature due to AI’s neural network. Other virtual assistants, such as Siri, are programmed to act as personal assistants and respond in the appropriate tone. They are also used across medical fields, where they call for robots that can be used as organs in hospitals for many different specifications. Now, when we talk about robotics and AI, we are talking about conversations between them. In addition, AI has been used efficiently in recommendation systems. For example, Netflix is able to suggest new movies to users by taking into account the user’s historical interactions and preferences. Another way AI has been used is in predictive analytics. Used heavily in health care, predictive analytics is able to use AI to more accurately predict patient outcomes. Although we          cannot see AI, it’s there, and as it becomes more and more prevalent in all industries, we should one day be able to comprehend how AI is used most commonly in multiple aspects of our daily lives.

            The contrast between artificial intelligence and natural intelligence brings up a plethora of ethical and philosophical issues aside from just the uses for artificial intelligence. As opposed to the broad and deep capabilities exhibited within the natural intelligence of humans and animals, the artificial intelligence used is confined within the limits of what the programmer designed the AI to accomplish and what the AI has been “trained” to do by pre-fed datasets. This distinction asks questions dealing with privacy and autonomy, and problematically, it could commit prejudices or come up with wrong solutions with great consequences. Another ethical issue faced with artificial intelligence is its impact on the economy, job markets, and the structure of society itself. These questions, including economic disparity and job displacement, make the integration of artificial intelligence into society something that should not be rushed into without being able to examine it efficiently.

            Furthermore, the high-stakes ethical, philosophical, and socio-economic implications of AI are likely to increase its sensitivity as technology progresses. Artificial intelligence (AI) is going to open up a lot of debates that we, as humans, have not had to consider because we’ve never experienced this before. As the technology in AI systems brings on some of these bigger ethical issues and human-medical issues like safety, security, privacy, surveillance, and autonomy when it comes to things like criminal justice and what happens when an AI is the witness to a crime, Is the report permissible in court ten years from now? So many things, all the way up to the broad societal and political changes: how we vote, what’s our responsibility as citizens?

            In conclusion, artificial intelligence is now in the process of becoming no longer just a theoretical concept for the future but instead something that is in our everyday lives and will continue to grow from here. This new realization of the state of AI calls for us to reassess what we consider technology, how it is and will continue to become ingrained in our moral fiber, and the state of humans in general. AI is quickly becoming something with the capability to be extraordinarily impactful on the world as a whole, and we need to be aware of this fact and use this information to be meticulous, proactive, and educated about the very real questions AI is leaving us with as it becomes infinitely more integrated into human civilization.

Work Cited:

Russell, Stuart, and Peter Norvig. “Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach.” 4th ed., Pearson, 2020. This textbook provides a comprehensive overview of AI, including its history, key concepts, and applications, making it a foundational source for understanding the field.

Crawford, Kate. “Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence.” Yale University Press, 2021. Crawford’s book critically examines the implications of AI on privacy, labor, and the environment, offering a nuanced perspective on the challenges and ethical considerations of AI technology.