ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

Examining the impact of Artificial Intelligence on people [ICT Clinic]

I will be the first to admit that certain questions have no right or wrong answers. An example is, will artificial intelligence or even technology in general make us more or less intelligent? Looking at it from a broader perspective, one cannot deny the obvious that technology has impacted the society for good, but at the same time, it has some negative sides that we have to deal with.

Crop improvement, genetics, three dimensional technology, blockchain and many more are some of the positives that we have gained from the advancement of technology but some activities from the processes that gave us these technological breakthroughs, such as pollution which creates environmental hazards, has given technology some negatives in the view of many of its sceptics.

Today, AI, (one of the daring outcomes of continuous technological advancement) is arguably one of the most discussed trends in the world of technology, mainly on how it is helping to improve different aspects of society evolvement. For the records, AI has been applied in computer science, education, portfolio management, personal finance, market analysis, data mining, among others.

The question to be asked is this; to what extent is artificial intelligence rubbing off on human intelligence? Or rather, does it make people more or less intelligent? If you asked an average person, the likely answer you would get is that it certainly improves intelligence because it makes certain complex tasks much easier to achieve today or that it provides one with the best alternatives to apply skills to get the job done. This is true, but relying on AI to solve a major part of daily challenges may eventually make us throw to the winds our natural and learned skill sets.

I assume that if it is possible, some people can even integrate technology into their body system, so that their daily activities can be controlled remotely, having them do nothing, even mental activities. This is on a lighter note, but the role AI is playing in affecting our in-built skills application cannot be over-emphasised.

The large scale of information that AI has at its disposal is making humans increase its speed of assimilating information. The more technology has come to stay, the more humans need to keep up with its speed. With an increase in the flow of data and information, however, when it comes to decision making, people tend to be laid back. You can imagine if you are asked to make a decision with little or no information to inform your choice, then there is the tendency for you to make errors of judgment.

A study by the University of Albany gave a case of how over-reliance on artificial intelligence can affect learned skills. The study revealed that the use of software in diagnosis and treatment affected the decision of some doctors. Software tools are becoming more capable than usual and it is obvious that our mental strength is finding it difficult to keep up with what technology is bringing to the table, hence, the tendency towards some sort of laziness on our part.

An average person today prefers a digital notepad to a notebook, feels more comfortable using a keyboard rather than to put down ideas and thoughts with pen and paper. The keyboards are gradually being replaced by touch screens as the evolution continues. Gradually, the actions we perform are streamlined by software applications. Interestingly, some actions are even carried out by voice commands and mere retinal views.

Physical social contact is being replaced by social media interactions largely controlled by AI. Folks are constantly updating status, stories and sharing away all the — Finish Reading on the Punch