You are currently viewing Negative-Effects of AI on Our Social Life 

Negative-Effects of AI on Our Social Life 

AI has been the biggest subject of discussion around the tech world these days, many believe it to be a boon to mankind that will revolutionize the way we live and usher the entire human race to the next level of evolution. However, many experts working in the field of deep learning and robotics, two major branches related to AI, are in two minds, concerning the effects of AI on social life.

A section of experts has raised alarm regarding the possible consequences of AI that will negatively affect our social life. They also call for concrete regulations of AI that might act as a safeguard to our civilization and humanity.  On the flip side, some AI enthusiasts believe AI will bring about a phenomenal change in human civilization in a positive way.

Needless to say, the advantages of AI have already been visible in several sectors such as – health & medicine, education, public policy, defense, and business strategy. These benefits are being marketed and popularized strategically, to serve the interests of the consumers and corporations alike.

However, every coin has two sides and AI is not an exception. The negative impact of AI has been foreseen by experts that could affect our future –

1. Downfall of Organic Labor Market

On the negative side, serious questions are being raised about the collapse of the traditional labor market. Many jobs will be lost over the next few years. Jobs done by the organic workforce will cease to exist, though new jobs driven by AI technology will be created accordingly. However, experts believe that the overall effect will be on the downside. The unpopular theory of machines replacing humans doesn’t look like a sci-fi-gimmick anymore but, does not seem to be like an impending danger as of now.

Why cannot AI replace the human workforce?

The biggest disadvantage of AI-based systems is that they do not respond to sensations such as sight, hearing, touch, taste, or smell like humans. Moreover, AI-based machines cannot sit, stand, walk, and jump like humans. In a nutshell, it cannot access the planet as we humans do. These two traits are mandatory if AI or robotics has to take over the human workforce completely.

However, a couple of characteristics of AI-based technology may nullify the above belief. These two primary traits of AI that concern the experts, foreseeing AI as a possible threat are –

i) The cognitive capability of the AI, they can learn by themselves

ii) The knowledge of human language

These two traits are believed to be solely dominated by Homo sapiens till Artificial Intelligence came into the picture. However, the real potential of how much a machine can learn by itself is yet to be gauged, even the people who developed it are in the dark in this regard, which complicates the matter further.

2. Influencing Human Thoughts and Behaviors –

Language has a deep impact on our behavior, actions, and feelings. Since inception we have used words to communicate and learn that it remains a constant till date, we use words, sounds, and gestures to interact everywhere.

Once a machine acquires full command over human language it can influence human thoughts and actions, without being mindful of human sensations, which aggravates the risks further. We are living in an era where machines create music, write codes, and textual content, draw images, and even manipulate languages faster than ever. With such a slew of activities and speed a machine can easily hack into the human operating system, as some historians believe, and develop a close connection with humans by dint of smart communicative algorithm that they have developed through their cognitive capabilities.

Is human-AI relationship harmful to us?

The answer depends on several facts, which are yet to be analyzed. However, we can have a hypothetical analysis based on current instances of human-AI interactions. Suppose someone browses YouTube, the AI system embedded with the YouTube gauges what the user is looking at frequently. For instance, if one is looking at luxury car videos constantly, the AI will try to bring forth more videos of luxury cars to the notice of that user.

YouTube cannot create new content for the user looking at luxury cars; however, it digs deep and brings out relevant videos by successfully curating similar content. But, the first-generation AI can create content and it will after a certain point may create content involving luxury cars, depending on the search history of the user that might end up in “Deepfake,” videos whose content is digitally altered. This way the user will be misled by the AI as it will blur the line separating reality and illusion.

3. Tools of mischief and unethical practices –

The developers creating AI-based systems can use it to have fun mischievously and that could lead to hurting people. A piece of fake information sent by a person with a vindictive nature can emotionally shock a person by embarrassing him or her. Fake images and videos created to hurt a particular community or an individual can be perfected with AI-based software. Visually manipulated images through AI can be used to glorify a con man by showcasing him with people in the high-ups. 

Corporate and business owners can use AI in their marketing efforts to influence buyers and drag them to impulsive shopping to drain their hard-earned money; leading that person to financial problems.

With the ability to create misinformation and spread it at lightning speed, AI can influence the decision of how people should vote. This further influence the decisions related to policymaking concerning economic, cultural, and defense. Artificial Intelligence can create and spread content that can turn myths into reality.

Moreover, the use of DeepFake, software that uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to manipulate human voice and facial appearance is causing concern among cyber security experts. Recently a fraudster tried to dupe Bank of America by mimicking the voice of one of its clients through DeepFake, by asking the executive to transfer the funds of the client to another location. However, due to certain limitations of the AI-technology the crime was averted; when the executive of the concerned bank noticed that the speech of the client, asking for the transfer of funds had been repeated numerous times, which raised doubts in the executive’s mind. Needless to say, with more updated technology the scammer might have managed to deceive the bank and cause a huge financial loss to the client.  

4. Taking Control of Human Actions –

The threat of AI could be menacing in comparison to other technologies; an AI can create advanced versions of AI itself. An automobile cannot create a superior version of the automobile on its own; a sophisticated fighter jet cannot churn out cutting-edge fighter jets with more lethal abilities without the help of engineers or mechanics.

In contrast, artificial intelligence with its self-learning abilities can evolve into an upgraded version. With regular communication with an individual, AI maps his preferences, dislikes, history, and beliefs, and gains a complete idea about the psyche of an individual. The data are enough for the AI to upgrade itself to control human behavior; by forging and showcasing content that would elicit desirable actions by the individual. The AI can successfully achieve the goal despite being emotionally sensitive or lacking mobility, thus the impending danger of controlling the human action remotely looms large in the future.

Voices have been raised to introduce policies by governments to regulate AI and its use to mitigate the risks associated with it. Those who oppose putting regulations on AI think that regulating artificial intelligence could rob the flexibility of innovation and cut down the rate of progress in the sector. Moreover, it is difficult to regulate AI due to its rapid pace of evolution, thus it is an uphill task to put together a set of concrete guidelines for something that is rapidly changing given its complexity and usability. Rigid rules to regulate AI may hinder the process of development of AI-based technology and can disrupt the process of adopting the technology by different industries.

Is AI a boon or bane?

The answer lies in the future. However, anything powerful requires a control measure for the betterment of mankind; work must be done simultaneously to nurture the power further to explore its endless possibilities. AI is one such power that has already begun to show its potential in numerous ways, in spite of that, we need to keep a close eye before it becomes something monstrous and leaves a dark patch in human history resembling Hiroshima and Nagasaki.