The rapid development of technology has a significant impact on socio-economic life. Particularly, the wave of artificial intelligence is sweeping across every sector globally. Scientists and engineers have developed robots with the capability to perform nearly all functions that human does. Artificial intelligence (AI) is shaping the economic and social landscape and threatens the foundation of human interaction.
AI is a wide range of computer science concepts that are major in the creation of smart machines that can perform tasks that ordinarily require human intelligence. This technology has permeated every sector, from transportation, healthcare, hospitality, to banking. AI is significantly impacting on the way humans and machines interact and how business processes are undertaken due to its ability to make machines to learn, reason, and self-correct, and this is enabling automation of even non-routine activities.
Background Information on AI Application
Artificial intelligence aims at enabling computers and computer systems to simulate human intelligence processes to make them more efficient in performing non-routine tasks. Also, AI focuses on three core cognitive skills, which are learning- through the creation of algorithms from information on databases; reasoning- selecting the correct algorithm to achieve the desired results; and self-correction- by perfecting the selection and creation of algorithms (Liu, Kong, Bai, & Xia, 2018).
At present, there is no single programming language that is sufficient for the development of AI programs, however, Python and C, are popular in the creation of AI-enabled computer systems (Mihajlovic, 2019).
Since AI is expensive to implement, many vendors presently provide for artificial intelligence as a service (AIaaS) platforms. Since AI products and services are continuously been improved, it is expected that future AI-enabled computer systems will be more intelligent and effective in their tasks than the current ones.
AI and Creation of New Jobs
AI will lead to the automation of some jobs in the next five to ten years, and this will create some jobs while eliminating others. According to Chowdhry (2018), machines and algorithms will likely create 133 million new jobs in and cause the displacement of another 75 million by 2022. The World Economic Forum further asserts that on the overall, there will be 58 million net new jobs in 2022 as a result of AI (Chowdhry, 2018).
Some of the jobs likely to be automated in the next five years include customer service, insurance underwriting, customer service, research and data entry, long haul trucking, and warehouse and manufacturing jobs. AI will also replace some of the healthcare workers that are involved in revenue cycle management.
Although AI will replace some workers, it will lead to increased productivity and this will lead to the redirection of work to more productive sectors. This change is evidenced in from past technologies such as video games. In the “DOS days,” a small team of extremely dedicated programs was able to create a video game in just 6 months. Now, a few teams of hundreds of people are needed to create a high-tech video game. In the case of AI, there will be a similar need for non-stop training, data maintenance, and data management.
AI will increase employment opportunities in technology-related sectors. Some of the fastest-growing jobs across all industries will include software developers, data analysts, and social media specialists. There will also be an increase in jobs such as sales and marketing and customer services because they require individuals to have social skills (Smoudy & Daqa, 2019).
For example, AI systems will need trainers to enhance their performance. In the case of chatbots, for example, people will need to train automated chatbots so that they can understand human communication. For instance, people can recognize sarcasm, but a machine cannot. By understanding human language, it will be possible to inject emotional intelligence into chatbot-based communication. Customer service experts will be needed to facilitate the sale of AI-enabled devices.
AI systems will increase the need for trainers to help in the interpretation of algorithms to a language that ordinary people can understand. Trainers will help in bridging the gap between human managers and AI-enabled systems.
The European Union’s General Data Protection provides people in the European Union with the right to explanation (. Accordingly, this law provides consumers with the right to get explanations on any decisions made on them on an algorithmic base. Since AI systems continuously self-train and improve their systems, various individuals will be employed to create self-training programs for computer systems, and this will enable the transition from weak AI to strong AI (AGIS). Overall, there will be an increase in job opportunities due to the implementation of AI technologies.
Contribution of AI to Efficient Service Delivery
AI will significantly help governments and corporations in the provision of services to the public. In India, for example, the partnership between the government and tech-companies has enabled local farmers to get accurate and timely information on when to plant their crops for optimal production.
The state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have partnered with Microsoft to enable the creation of predictive AI services that inform farmers on expected weather patterns in their region, and this helps farmers to improve their crop yields and predict market prices (Ians, 2019). Through this public-private partnership, there is improved efficiency among Indian farmers.
AI has enhanced efficiency in the information technology sector by providing computer systems and automated machines with self-resolving abilities. In the past, IT teams have often been primarily engaged in fixing broken networks or algorithms.
Through cloud services and the use of sophisticated algorithms, AI-enabled machines are now able to self-diagnose and self-resolve/fix areas of concern. For example, AI will enable employees to find quick solutions to regular problems when operating automated machines, such as resetting passwords or knowing the meaning of a particular error code.
By comparing and analyzing the error code to the preset program, an AI can accurately inform users on the appropriate solution to their problem. As a result, employees are now able to get their work done much faster and more efficiently because they do not have to wait for IT experts to resolve any technical issues.
AI will also enable service teams to provide better services to their customers. In most cases, tickets that are forwarded to service teams are on issues that have already been handled before. Through the use of an AI-enabled platform, service managers can analyze the tickets when they enter the system and look for commonalities with other tickets, and predict the most appropriate remedy by checking past solutions (Gordon, 2017).
As a result, IT administrators will be in a better position to quickly resolve issues that affect their clients. The ease in identifying problems through the use of AI will enable IT, teams, to reduce their operating costs and have more time to engage in more productive sectors, such as research and development.
AI has also increased efficiency in the provision of security services by predicting when a crime is likely to occur and also by identifying the riskiest areas. For instance, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has established an AI program that enables them to predict crimes in their Real-time Analysis and Critical Response Division. By inputting data relating to criminal activities that have occurred in Los Angeles in the past 80 years, the LAPD can build a reliable data model that helps in predicting crime.
The results of the model guide LAPD in its patrol operations. Since the implementation of the AI-guided patrols, burglaries in Los Angeles have reduced by 33%, there has been a 21% reduction in the occurrence of violent crimes, and 12% fall in property crime (Li, 2018). Consequently, the use of AI has enabled more efficient use of resources for policing service.
AI Impacts on Human Relationships
AI will significantly affect how people interact with each other. In particular, it will affect how people access and exchange information, and this will inevitably impact human relationships. AI will have significant interference to human interactions because it will result in the creation of machines that act like people, and some that look like humans- such as the sex robots (Anderson & Rainie, 2018). For example, people nowadays prefer using their phones as a source of information rather than inquiring from friends.
They also communicate with their peers through text messaging. Interestingly, even for people working in an office cubicle, text messaging is often perceived to be a more convenient means of communication than having a face-to-face conversation (Helbing, 2019). Accordingly, implementing technology in communication is affecting how people communicate and relate, and this trend is expected to continue with the introduction of AI-enabled devices.
AI will help to reduce loneliness, and this will enable people to have more fulfilling lives. Due to changing demographics in society, elderly persons are increasingly becoming lonely because their family members are often relocating to cities with more job opportunities. AI offers an opportunity to remedy this problem by creating robot companions (Ping & Ying, 2018). Studies on assistive robotics indicate that robotics shows that robot companions can help in the provision of therapeutic support for individuals that are hurt, disabled, and elderly persons, and this can help in reducing loneliness and depression.
For example, the Care-O-Bot is an AI-enabled robot, that is regarded as being friendly, courteous, and affable. Similarly, Krui is a Japanese humanoid robot that can recognize human emotions, respond to human touch, entertain, and adapt to the expressions of its interlocutor (Landau, 2018). There are also sexbots, which allow individuals to satisfy their owners' sexual needs. Collaborative robots, help in caring for the lonely and elderly, and they also provide social connection in the workplace (Kiron & Unruh, 2018). Accordingly, AI can help in fulfilling the social and relationship needs of individuals.
AI will make people lose control over their lives’ decisions, and this will adversely affect their relationships. Through AI, individuals will inevitably transfer their decision-making abilities to machines. AI is categorized as either strong or weak. Currently, most AI in use is weak AI. Weak AI is one that is designed to help in the completion of a specific task such as in industrial robots. Strong AI, is also called artificial general intelligence (AGI) and it refers to a program that can replicate human cognitive abilities. Systems using strong AI should be able to use fuzzy logic when they are put in a strange environment. Therefore, an AI-enabled system can make decisions without human or computer interference, and one that is AGI-enabled can establish commands and execute various decisions. Therefore, these systems in principle can deny people the opportunity to make critical decisions over matters that affect their lives (Rai, 2019). As AI systems become more complex and prevalent, people will likely protest against the encroachment of AI to their personal spaces.
AI will likely result in a dependence lock-in. Excessive exposure to AI will likely make individuals dependent on AI, and this can lead to a reduction of an individual’s cognitive, survival, and social skills. While some scholars believe that AI will augment people’s capabilities, there is a risk that it will also increase their dependence on machines, and this will limit their abilities (Anderson & Rainie, 2018; William & Buist, 2016). For example, individuals that are overdependent on auto-correct tools can fail to put enough effort to learn how to spell complex words. Similarly, people put fewer efforts in memorizing phone numbers because this information can be conveniently stored in their smartphones. Accordingly, excess exposure to AI can have adverse effects on an individual’s cognitive, social, and survival skills.
Overall, integrating AI to individuals’ daily lives will have significant benefits and drawbacks. Given the increased adoption of technology by individuals and corporations, it is almost impossible for people to avoid using AI in the future. Currently, most individuals are using weak AI, but in future, there will be increased use of AGSI as computer systems become smarter and more capable of learning and making complex decisions.
The use of AI will enable people to complete complex tasks faster. It will also ensure the efficient use of resources, and this will result in increased profitability by organizations. Nonetheless, AI will also have adverse effects including making people lose their power of making decisions and to develop an overdependence on AI.
Given the power of AI in controlling human behaviour and extracting crucial personal information, there is a need for establishing appropriate policies to guide on the use of AI technologies. Importantly, these regulations will also protect the interests of individuals and corporations using AI and set limits on the use of individuals personal data by AI-enabled systems.