Some Concerns Around AI

- produce unintended results (it may misinterpret instructions due to its inherent lack of context, eg AI chatbot (Tay) that was designed to generate friendly conversation in the language patterns of a 19-year-old girl. However owing to language problems it became racist, sexist and otherwise inflammatory in its responses!!!)

- may change human thought processes and human values (AI learns mathematically by marginal adjustments to its algorithms, not conceptually; who becomes the arbiter of what is ethical or reasonable?)

- unable to explain the rationale for its conclusions, ie thinking (how will it use the explanatory powers of human language in reason? What will become of human consciousness, ie
" is consciousness to be defined in a world of machines that reduce human experience to mathematical data, interpreted by their own memories?..."

Henry Kissinger 2018

AI's strengths lie in its unprecedented memorisation and computations but it necessarily treats a mathematical process as though it was a thought process.

- understanding context & prosody, etc, ie

"...Language is highly requires conversational context, geographical context..."

Judith Shulevitz 2018

"...when someone talks to us, we hear the words, the syntax, and the prosody all at once. Then we hunt for clues as to what kind of person the speaker is and what she's trying to say, recruiting a remarkably large amount of brain power to try to make sense of what we're hearing......Getting the rhythms of spoken language is crucial..."

Judith Shulevitz 2018

"...the brain is required to view every aspect of every human utterance as meaningful..."

Clifford Nass has quoted by Judith Shulevitz 2018

"...people tend to furnish new information at the end of the sentence, rather than at the beginning or middle..."

James Giangola has quoted by Judith Shulevitz 2018

Need to understand the emotions conveyed by voice and respond accordingly, ie understand emotional subtleties. Emotional detection occurs in faces, bodies and voices; the pitch, mode and tempo of a speech can show our emotions, moods and feelings

- bias that can be built in via algorithms , eg cultural, gender, etc

- fear about privacy (use of your data without your permission. Your most private information can be harvested, stored, analysed and sold)

- disruptive potential that will result in industry/organisation being threatened and job losses

- fear about loss of control of our own destiny (use of your data to determine how they can persuade, influence, etc you to do certain things like buying products, voting, etc)

- bots (using algorithms that are designed to fool us into thinking they are humans; developing fake images that look real)

- ethics dilemmas which are linked with transparency, ie some questions

"...What is the data that is being used to underpin an AI model? Where is it sourced from, and how it is being manipulated? What is the basis for the algorithms inside the AI model and how have they been developed?......How has the machine's learning being guided? Who exactly has trained AI and what biases have they introduced?..."

Brock Douglas as quoted by James Thomson 2018

This leads to an additional question: what safeguards need to be in place on AI systems, such that they can be properly audited?

"... For example, one of the greatest fears amongst regulators in financial services is that an incorrect assumption in an algorithm could lead to a mis-pricing of risk, which could threaten a specific institution or, in the worst case, a part of the financial system..."

James Thomson 2018

These concerns highlight the need for a code of ethics and any oversight may vary, eg autonomous cars

"...people developing self driving cars can test them on the public, knowing they are going to be killing people as they do, without any oversight. We don't let drug companies experiment on the public..."

Professor Toby Walsh as quoted by James Thomson 2018

AI is evolving with oversight improving so that the machine cannot respond in a way that has not been previously approved.

- people are concerned that robots will be taking their jobs. Some examples of AI activities include

  a) perform the role of payroll staff in updating systems of various types of leave

  b) can review contracts in place of junior lawyers

  c) can copy data from one system to another

  d) can approve simple insurance claims

Currently if your job involves a substantial amount of human action, incomplete information plus uncertainty and judgement like face-to-face influencing or sophisticated decision-making, eg developing a differentiated sales strategy, giving performance feedback, taking a client to lunch, etc, AI is not a threat. In fact, it will enhance your job by replacing the more mundane tasks with interesting and distinctively human work.

At the moment AI's focus is on eliminating the human involvement in the simpler end of the job spectrum, ie automating mundane tasks

"...AI will only remove the boredom of repetition from our jobs - it will not remove the jobs..."

Roger Perry 2018

NB "...humans still have a strong preference for dealing with other humans for important decisions..."

Roger Perry 2018

"...we are less trusting of AI engines because they do not actually "care" about the outcome or more importantly, about us..."

Kurt Grey as quoted by Roger Perry 2018

Furthermore, in management where there is

"...decision-making in circumstances with limited information and uncertainty over the is just tougher (read more expensive) for AI engines to do this reliably..."

Roger Perry 2018

On the plus side, AI technologies will create new jobs. For example, AI engines can analyse data at incredible speed in areas such as customers' needs, the newly emerging risks, etc. This will help make quicker and more informed decisions. To benefit from AI, people need to develop distinctly human skills like people management, decision-making and project delivery and this will involve skill categories like project management, change management, communications, leadership, strategic thinking, decision-making, selling, negotiating, mediating, creative design, etc

Some stats

- 50% of work activities can be automated

- up to 375 m. workers globally will need to switch occupations by 2030

- $A 2.2 t. boost to Australia's national income from automation delivered over the next 15 years

(McKinsey Global Institute Analysis and Automation Advantage report as quoted by Roger Perry 2018)


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