How Will Artificial Intelligence (AI), Algorithms & 4IR Affect Us?
In short, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is the technological entrance of humanity into an age where things can be made easier (or more difficult) through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Algorithms or the USE OF Algorithms, are the foundation upon which both the 4th Industrial Revolution and AI are created and driven. Robotics, Social Media, eCommerce et al are driven by algorithms which are, ultimately AI. The big questions are: To what purpose? what does humankind hope to achieve? How will 4IR be managed and by whom? More importantly, how will this affect us, the average man of the street?
The Pros & Cons – Artificial Intelligence (AI), Algorithms & 4IR
Artificial Intelligence is a broad term. Ultimately it means that a robot or computer is created to make decisions based on the information fed to it. Algorithms are the steps which arrive at a conclusion and throw out a result or a ‘solution’ which can then be performed, either through AI or a human resource. This is what 4IR is all about. It will affect many spheres and aspects of our lives.
If we allow algorithms to be used in a way which gives us what we want, the earth and everything on it and in it is at risk. Algorithms must be created to to give us the end result we NEED. Moral dedication to the development of algorithms and how they are used must be established through a process which brings sound understanding and establishment of regulation and law. Currently, governments, political parties, social media and marketing companies and techno savvy human resources companies, among others, are using algorithms against us.
Can we trust computers to make decisions?
We’ve been trusting computers for a long time. For example, onboard computers manage an aircraft’ flight while on auto pilot. The use of algorithms in this sense are used to send signals to the computer which keep the aircraft on course. Algorithms drive the computers in our cars which detect dangers and give warnings; they also predict weather patterns. Driverless vehicles are computers driven by algorithms.
Algorithms have been in use forever. Since as far back as mathematics in its shape and form nearly 2000 years ago.
What Are Our Responsibilities
It is how we use artificial intelligence in the modern world that should be of concern to us. Computers and algorithms can be used for the betterment of society. Computers can be made to make life a lot easier for humankind, but it can also lead us into a space where we are further controlled by a minority who manipulate government elections globally, who collect information on us along with business and fuel marketing based on profit and not on people power, the environment we live in and the responsibility we have to protect the health, welfare and environment of our animals.
Society Must Enter a Debate on How 4IR is Developed
Society needs to debate the access to information aspect of our lives. Our privacy rights as they are in the South African Constitiution & Bill of Rights are being violated daily. People are being harassed on the internet. Fact! We find ourselves unsubscribing from email campaigns we NEVER SUBSCRIBED TO. Scammers and spammers have a free for all because there are no regulations which can be enforced, no laws which have been put in place to enable our own protection from our own technological advances. Society needs to reconsider its moral responsibility to the generations which will follow and the planet upon which they will arrive.
It’s convenient to have an online shopping platform remember your last purchase or for your internet activity, including social media, visits to websites and use of search engines remember your preferences. It’s convenient, but remember that those conveniences can be used to drive marketing to the pages you visit which manipulate you into thinking about something which wasnt even on your mind? Do we need this? We need to give parliament a set of rules which regulate the internet and access to the types of information collected and how it is used. This should be at the forefront of our thoughts and on our minds if we wish to keep any MEANINGFUL control over our lives.
Types of Algorithms Used Against Us
- Collection of Data from social media platforms and others where personal information is filled out. This information forms part of databases which are then sold to marketing and other companies. This should be ILLEGAL!
- Behaviour Prediction – Psychological analysis by risk companies such as insurance, science and research.
- Criminal checks, background checks.
- Jobs – An algorithm may be responsible for you getting or not getting your next job because of something you may have said on social media. Context will always be very limited.
- Locational information – Google maps can track your movements and provide you with a record of it for example. Do we want this or even need this in our lives.
The University of Johannesburg describes 4IR and how it should be handled as below on their website. It sums it up very well.
“4IR is the next wave of industrialisation that we need to understand and shape in order to build the future this country – and the African continent – so richly deserve. 4IR is not just about robotics and automation; it is about the advancement of society to empower people and uplift generations! – Sep 18, 2019″ – Link to the full article.