8 Scary Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence You Should Know


The promise of AI has captured everyone’s imagination and is supposed to be the next big thing which is going to drive our world in coming years. Though the future indeed looks promising but like any thing else there is also a flip side of AI. In this post we will see what are the concerns and disadvantages of artificial intelligence.

Let us get started.

Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence

1) Loss of Jobs

You would have read it or listen about it that AI will steal many jobs. When it comes to disadvantages of artificial intelligence job loss is considered to be the most immediate cause of worry. Well it is true to certain extend but at the same time it is over hyped. When ever a new disruptive technology comes it does lead to loss of jobs or complete closure of the industry itself. But at the same time it opens a new industry and those who re-skill and adapt themselves with the changes do survive the job loss.

For e.g. when computers started becoming popular in offices in 1980s, it did lead to job losses because much of the manual clerical work could be done by computers. But at the same time it opened a new market for computer operator job. So those who re-skilled themselves in operating computers survived the job loss.

Artificial intelligence is no different. It has actually started causing job losses but at the same time it is opening doors for AI related jobs which requires knowledge of creating and maintaining AIs.

2) AI is a Black Box

Artificial intelligent works like a black box and regular stakeholders who uses them may not always understand certain decisions taken by AI. This is very much true for those AIs created by process of deep learning using neural networks.

Deep Neural Network is known to create state of art AIs, capable of doing complicated things that surpasses human capabilities. Yet neural network AIs receives criticism as it is not possible to understand the  decision making process of it, even by AI researchers.

Considering Deep Learning is the driving force of current AI revolution, it would be bit risky to leave important decision making to AIs without even understanding it’s thought process !!

3) Bad AI

Throughout the history of mankind, technology has been used both for the good causes and the bad causes by the man. Artificial intelligence can be no exception either. Though artificial intelligence can do wonders for the betterment of the society but people with malicious intends can use AI to harm society as well.

The most recent examples are Deep Fake videos and news reporting where AI can be used to fake a person talk or act in video and make them do whatever you want. This is scary to say the least which can lead to serious bad repercussions. Imagine a deep fake video or news tarnishing the image of a person or causing social unrest due to fake news.

AI enabled autonomous weapons also pose a great threat of misuse if fallen in hands of bad elements outside military.  There have been calls to prevent inclusion of AI in warfare, but yet countries like US, Russia, China are experimenting with artificial intelligence in their military arsenal.

4) AI gone Wild

In previous section, we discussed those AIs that are built with malicious intents only. But even those AIs that are meant for good intentions can cause damage if not created properly. Artificial intelligent are created by humans only and if the goals are not set well defined or if it has something similar to software bug, then it can cause unwanted results as well.

Recently as companies are experimenting with self driving cars there have been incidents of fatal crashes as well. So errors by AI which can cause harm cannot be ruled out.

Imagine a futuristic AI whose goal is to protect the environment. But it calculates that humans are no.1 contributors in damaging earth’s environment. So it can start exterminate humans from the face of planet to save it.

Of course it looks science fiction plot and current AIs may not go to this extend of killing humans. But as we move towards the direction of creating more powerful artificial intelligence and allowing them to control our daily life it is a question to ponder what if your AI has some issues, what will be the impact on you ?

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5) Data and Privacy

AI thrives on data to learn and as well as make decisions. Google and Facebook are the two leading organizations who have invested heavily on artificial intelligence and it is no surprise that they have been so much successful because they have so much global data of users. In fact even other organization that are making use of artificial intelligence successfully are making tremendous use of user’s data only.

This has led to concerns about data privacy and how much data is being collected and how it is being processed by organization’s AIs. Besides privacy issues, sensitive personal information can be used by AI to discriminate against you either intentionally or unintentionally.

In last few years data privacy has emerged as a very important issue and many countries have started putting regulating on how much and what type of user data can be collected and processed.

6) Lack of Emotions

In the famous Hollywood movie I Robot, the AI robot was rescuing passengers of crashed car from drowning and it had to make a choice between saving a 12 year old girl or a man. The robot calculated that statistically the man had higher chances of survival and so left the child behind to drown and die.

AI does not has emotions otherwise the robot would have tried to save the child first which any human would have actually done.

Lack of emotions is one of the biggest disadvantages of artificial intelligence. The world as we know cannot be driven by just data and statistics. It needs a dose of empathy, love and emotions also which AIs cannot understand.

7) Discrimination by AI

It sounds cool that AI can start learning things that humans do. But this has a flip side too.

The current generation of AI relies heavily on data to learn things and the data is generated  by none other than us humans only. And unknowingly we are passing our social, racial discrimination to AIs also with the help of data generated by us.

The last thing we want is passing our discrimination and racism towards certain section of society to artificial intelligence as well.

May be if when we can create a self aware AI in coming decades it might not learn these bad things from humans. But the scary part would be if it itself starts discriminating based on it’s awareness !!

8) AI is still Weak

Literature and movies has created the picture of AI in our mind as that of a humanoid robot that is able to talk, walk and act like a human.

In spite of all the hype around artificial intelligence, the current generation of AIs are actually far week from their portrayal in media. They can only do specific task for which they are trained and can’t do anything else. For example, an AI trained to predict whether a customer can default on loan or not, cannot predict which team will win the football match.

So in this respect, the dream of generalized and self aware artificial intelligence is still far from reality. But researchers are working on it and who knows it can become a reality within a century.

In the End…

I hope it was a good read on disadvantages of artificial intelligence. If you are reading this post, you are most likely to be a machine learning enthusiast or beginner. To feel more motivated check out below post.

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