Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a rapidly growing field that has the potential to revolutionize the way we live and work. In recent years, AI has made significant strides in various industries, from healthcare and finance to transportation and entertainment. AI is already all around us, even if we don’t always realize it. From Siri and Alexa to self-driving cars and personalized recommendations on Netflix, AI is changing the way we interact with technology. In fact, AI is now so common in everyday life that it is hard to imagine life without it.
One of the most significant developments in AI in recent years has been the rise of machine learning. Machine learning is a subfield of AI that involves teaching machines to learn and make decisions based on data, rather than being explicitly programmed. This approach has led to some impressive advances in many areas. PwC Global recently released a report indicating that the ongoing advancements in AI technology will result in an up to 14% increase in global GDP by the year 2030, which would equate to a $15.7 trillion boost to the world’s economy. The report also discusses advances in the healthcare, automotive, finance, technology, and manufacturing industries. It is obvious that AI has many positives to it, but as this fast-growing technology continues to progress there are some downsides as well. In the post, I will highlight the importance of AI and expand on the concerns of how we as humans can become more comfortable and alert with the ongoing development of AI being incorporated into everyday life.
One of the top concerns for AI in the workforce is hiring discrimination. Many companies use AI for resume scanners. Resume scanners are an initial resume reviewing software that reduces candidates down to desirable candidates for the position listed. This software can be a problem with AI exhibiting bias against people with disabilities. According to this report by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, one of the surfacing problems of AI resume scanners is that “[t]he employer relies on an algorithmic decision-making tool that intentionally or unintentionally ‘screens out’ an individual with a disability, even though that individual is able to do the job with reasonable accommodation.” This screen-out allows a capable job applicant from losing a job opportunity. This raises attention to anyone with a disability and rightfully so. As we continue to learn about the ever-growing use of AI, we must consider these factors as programs and software are being developed with the utmost responsibility.
A major topic that scares individuals is that AI has the potential to automate many jobs, leading to job displacement. While AI can create new jobs, the skills required for these jobs may not match the skills of those who have lost their jobs. This could lead to a skills gap thus increasing income inequality. While AI technology can create new jobs, such as AI developers and data scientists, it is likely that many existing jobs will become redundant as automation and AI continue to advance. On the contrary, according to an article written by Mike Thomas, since 2000, robots and automation systems have slowly phased out 1.7 million manufacturing jobs. However, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future Job Report, it’s predicted that AI will create 97 million new jobs by 2025. Some industries that are particularly vulnerable to job displacement include manufacturing, transportation, and customer service. However, it is important to note that the impact of AI on the job market is not straightforward. For example, AI can be used to enhance productivity, improve decision-making, and create new products and services that were not possible before. It is also important to recognize that not all jobs can be automated or replaced by AI. Some jobs require uniquely human skills, such as empathy, creativity, and complex problem-solving, that are difficult to replicate with AI.
One of the most significant concerns is the collection and use of personal data. AI algorithms rely on vast amounts of data to learn and make predictions, and this data often includes personal information such as biometric data, social media activity, location data, and browsing history. While this data can be made anonymous, it can still be used to identify individuals when combined with other data sources. This raises questions about who has access to this data and how it is being used. AI relies on vast amounts of data to function. As AI becomes more prevalent, there is a risk of this data being misused or exploited. Governments and companies could use this data to track individuals, monitor their behavior, or deny them opportunities. On the other side, nations themselves are troubled about privacy concerns for their government and its people. Most notably, Italy has temporarily blocked the popular ChatGPT, a large language model developed by OpenAI. ChatGPT is a powerful chatbot tool that utilizes advanced deep learning algorithms to simulate human-like conversation. In Chase Kibler’s article, he examines the revolutionary AI software by stating that, “the process of using ChatGPT starts with it prompting the user to enter anything they want to write, whether it is a short essay or piece of code. This has caused the use of ChatGPT to be widespread across the globe in businesses, schools, personal use, and more.” This popularity of the widespread AI program has become a problem as well. In an AP News article, Frances D’emilio and Matt O’Brien write about Italy’s blocking of ChatGPT, and say that Italy has made their terms on allowance of OpenAI to be permitted back into Italy. The article reports that “OpenAI must report within 20 days what measures it has taken to ensure the privacy of users’ data or face a fine of up to either 20 million euros (nearly $22 million) or 4% of annual global revenue.” As you can see, this is being taken very seriously as the power of AI can be evolutionary, but also worrisome. If you take personal privacy very seriously, you might want to stay in the loop of all things AI.
Looking toward the future, the potential applications of AI are virtually limitless. In healthcare, AI could be used to develop personalized treatment plans and assist with diagnoses. In transportation, self-driving cars could reduce accidents and traffic congestion. In finance, AI could be used to detect fraud and make more accurate predictions about market trends. However, with these possibilities comes the need for careful consideration of the ethical and social implications of AI. As AI becomes more integrated into our lives, it is important to ensure that it is used in a way that is safe, transparent, and equitable. To mitigate the impact of AI on the job market, governments, and businesses, individuals must adapt and develop new skills and competencies. This includes investing in education and training programs that equip workers with the skills needed to work alongside AI. As time changes so does human life and society, there will be a time in the near future that a change will occur in encouraging the development of new industries and technologies that create new jobs and opportunities. While everyday technology advances, we can learn many things from AI. We should appreciate this innovative time of human life, but also not forget to be wary of possible side effects of this technology.