Is There a Tipping Point for AI?

Artificial intelligence took automation to a new level. There are numerous benefits of automation, and AI allows us to further improve upon those benefits. So far, the more sophisticated the artificial intelligence, the greater the benefits. Is there a tipping point when AI starts doing humankind more harm than good?

Artificial intelligence improves automation

Take a simple task such as planting or harvesting crops, for example. Automation made this process significantly faster, more efficient, and easier for us humans. AI greatly improves this automated process, however, allowing farmers to monitor things like yield, growth or loss of production, and peak growing periods. Artificially intelligent systems can make informed decisions using this data to optimizing the entire growing process.

This is how manufacturing uses artificial intelligence. Systems monitor, gather, and process massive amounts of information to optimize processes. AI eliminates waste and finds the best method of distribution, improving the process beginning to end. Smart manufacturing, a fundamental part of Industry 4.0, uses AI to maximize efficiency, productivity, and profit.

Could artificial intelligence do more harm than good?

AI in manufacturing has greatly benefited the industry, and there’s still a lot of room for improvement. People worry, however, that AI could eventually get out of control. Obviously, we want to improve artificial intelligence as long as it benefits us, but could AI one day pose some type of threat?

Researchers are constantly striving to better artificial intelligence. We’re relying more and more on automation and AI because it’s improving.

One concern is that cyber security is not keeping pace with how quickly AI is integrating with our daily lives. The wider the reach of artificial intelligence, the greater the impact of hacks and cyber security breaches.

Relying more on AI could also develop into a dependence on automation. Again, the more dependent we are on automated systems, the harder it is for us to cope should something negatively affect those systems.

Of course, many people are worried about the potential for robots and AI to cause massive unemployment. Manufacturing and industry make it easy to see how automation displaces human workers. So far, we have yet to see droves of unemployable humans made obsolete by robots.

How can we keep AI from doing harm?

Many are inclined to say that the benefits of AI and automation ultimately outweigh the potential for harm. People are resilient, and we will continue to find ways to be useful. We will find ways to keep our devices and smart factories secure.

Some have suggested that we use artificial intelligence to keep intelligent machines and devices safe from cyber attacks.

The extent to which automation will affect human workers remains unclear. There are plenty of predictions about entire industries becoming automated in the very near future. Whether or not this will happen, and whether or not people will find other ways to stay useful remains to be seen.