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IRobot was the famous Hollywood movie which was released in 2004. This movie examined the relationship between humans and robots. In the movie robot looks and behaves like humans.

The movie was termed as a fantasy that may take 50 years to mature in reality. In 15 years the movie has become a virtual reality. Robots are not only intelligent but beautiful too. Their ability to perform is shocking. Machine learning capacity and speed has stunned the world.

The response has been volatile- Protests in Hollywood. Rebellion in marketplace. Fears in management. AI Technology has received the most unbecoming and reluctant welcome of any technologies. Organizations are stuttering while trying to express their mixed feelings on it.

Industries are shuddering as they wonder whether they will exist or not. Workers have gone on strike with fears of becoming redundant by this unbeatable competitor. Some think it as a monster, others a miracle. Everybody is wondering, and anticipating. Some are planning but most are still waiting.

Who is behind this technology storm? Geoffery Hinton is known as the godfather of Artificial Intelligence, i.e., AI. In 1977 while studying neural network of how the brain works and can it be mimicked, his failure became the invention of AI.

AI is the biggest revolution in computing. Computing for decades rested on the knowledge that machines cannot learn and need a learned human to create a scripted software made by humans that machines could follow. The human intelligence was supreme.

No longer. Machines can learn and create their own scripts. It is exciting and frightening. It is challenging and menacing. It is a technology disruption with the possibility of an explosion. So what are the thrills and chills associated with AI that have besotted the world presently:

1- It will speed up the processes, but…— Yes, artificial ChatGPT is more brainy, more quick, more analytical and more result oriented than humans. It takes microseconds to gather information that used to be browsed in a much longer duration.

By leveraging AI-powered bots and software, you can streamline processes such as data entry, invoice processing, and appointment scheduling in seconds.

This not only reduces human error but also accelerates workflows, allowing your employees to allocate their time and energy toward more strategic, innovative endeavors that drive growth.

Productivity goes up incredibly. Video-making for example that used to take months to gather images, write captions, edit, process is now going to be done by just putting in the right brief in AI processors and in 3 seconds three versions of the finished video are there for you.

Recommendation: Start learning and anticipating AI impact— Don’t avoid it, face it. Start learning about AI’s impact on the world, on your company, on your job.

The World Economic Forum predicted in 2022 that AI will destroy 75 million jobs. But it has created 133 million new ones. That means 58 million net job creation. Be one of these jobs. Start automating your tasks like data, search, etc. That will spare time for you to upskill and focus on more holistic problem solving. This will automatically bring you in the limelight of proactive futuristic staff.

2- If the machines are learning more, where is the limit? AI algorithms can sift through mountains of data with remarkable speed and precision, uncovering intricate patterns and insights that could otherwise remain hidden.

By harnessing these insights, your business gains a competitive edge in making informed decisions, tailoring marketing strategies, identifying emerging trends, and adapting to rapidly evolving market dynamics. If the use of AI is in every task of business operations, where are the boundaries of its encroachment? That is the question that needs to be answered. The question of jurisdiction. The question of ethics, etc.

Recommendation: AI and its impact on businesses should not be an IT department’s job but be a priority of the top leadership team. Team members need to be trained on the impact of AI and then along with their teams make plans of how to understand, use and combat AI opportunities and challenges.

3- If they do all the jobs, what will humans do? AI can nearly but not totally do all that humans can do. It can go through mountains of data that human workers of multiple teams would manage in months in minutes. It not only sifts data, it does the data analytics faster than any data analytic team. It makes predictive forecasts, pattern analysis that specialists used to earn their bread in a matter of a few clicks. Where will all these workers who worked in operations, procurement, software development and customer analysis go?

Recommendation: Writers Guild of America (WGA) representing 11,500 screenwriters went on strike over a labor dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).The strike amongst other things also included use of AI for scripts. Imagine humans going on strikes against machines/robots. Will it solve the problem? Well temporarily it did as the renegotiated package helped the Writer’s guild. But is it a long-term solution. No. They will definitely go out of job if they are trying to fight AI as an enemy. They need to find how to master this monster. The only long-term solution in any job the machine is replacing is to re-skill and up-skill themselves in areas that the machine is not capable of.

4- If the machines take over man, who will rule the world? The learning capacity of the machine is increasing at an incredible rate. In a recent interview Geoffrey Hinton the Godfather of the accidental AI says that he does not know whether these machines are still human-controlled or they are going to control themselves and humans. Hinton’s neural networks created layers of communication in robots.

He says that AI has more learning and knowledge. It is not just restricted to the learning algorithm. When it interacts with data, the machines write their own code and modify it unlike the previous dependence on humans.

This is serious as it could create cracks in security codes and endanger the world itself. When asked how come humans will not be able to turnoff the system to disable the machine, Hinton thinks that the machines will be so smart that they will convince the system controllers not to turn them off.

Recommendations: Bod-ies like World Economic Forum, etc., need to lobby for the UN and other global institutions to put AI on top agenda. These institutions need to develop global research and studies of its negative impact. Based on their findings then create pressure for the world to create treaties to prevent the machines ability to create conflict, wars and destruction.

IRobot movie shows how Detective Spooner was saved by a robot in a car accident. Spooner shouted at the robot to save the 11-year-old girl. The robot did not listen and went on to save Spooner as the percentage of Spooner’s survival was higher than that of the girl’s – 45% to 11%.

This was the limitation of cold robotic logic over human emotion. The question remains- AI will be smarter and more intelligent than humans, but are human decisions mostly rational? No. Almost 85% of human decisions are irrational and based on strange and sometimes inexplicable factors. As machines understand and learn better, for them the challenge will be to configure and comprehend the incomprehensible nature that is part of being human.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

Andleeb Abbas

The writer is a columnist, consultant, coach, and an analyst and can be reached at [email protected]

Comments

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KU Dec 20, 2023 10:46am
True, and in Pakistan much more anticipated to wreck havoc with lives of people, in the presence of unchecked on-line scams and financial frauds. We are not prepared for socioeconomic fallouts of AI nor do we have any laws to protect the people or businesses.
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Az_Iz Dec 20, 2023 05:57pm
A few decades ago it was believed that computers would replace office workers, and create a paperless society. Likewise, robots were going to replace factory workers.
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