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Stance of the Staff: AI

The Fourth Estate Staff

In recent years, it has become apparent that machines are growing smarter, which most of the staff agrees could be a problem in the future. The ultimate aim for Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is to create machines that can eventually solve problems and achieve goals as well as if not better than humans can. Researchers say that, hopefully, these machines will soon be able to learn and apply information just as well as us. Here’s the problem: we don’t know exactly how advanced these machines can become and how they will affect our economy. And there’s just one more thing: robots are creepy. These machines will likely be able to access personal documents, information and, pay close attention children, internet history.

There are some benefits to having artificially intelligent beings, though. Machines, unlike humans, can be programmed and created for a specific job. This allows them to excel at their given jobs without making mistakes, and, if something does go wrong in the process, Artificial Intelligence will allow them to adapt their systems according to their environment.

Furthermore, Artificial Intelligence will allow machines to take over jobs like those in business, in accounting and even in the government — jobs that, previously, could have been done only by humans, and complete said jobs with greater accuracy and speed.

Unfortunately, if we allow machines to dominate these fields, as well as those with lower wages (such as factory jobs), the need for employee’s skills will be greatly reduced, if not eliminated, and the unemployment rates will skyrocket. The disparity between the upper and lower classes will also increase due to such success of business owners at the expense of unskilled jobs.

In addition, the staff (with the exception of two members) agrees that we should not be making robots that are supposed to be humans. In other words, do not give robots emotions. Giving feelings to machines opens the door to anger, resentment and even war. And we all know how that story ends.

The two members who disagree argue that, without feelings, it will be harder for the machines to  have the compassion needed to prevent war. But why would you need to end a war if one doesn’t even start in the first place?

Moreover, the question arises: is it really necessary to give machines emotions? Emotions physically present themselves through facial expressions, tonal inflections, pulse, gestures, and perspiration. And if the machines can already function as well as, if not better, than humans, what’s the point?

Luckily for us, experts agree that, as of right now, there’s no possible way that machines could be programmed to have real, human feelings, so, for now anyway, we shouldn’t fret about a hypothetical massacre by machines just yet.

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Stance of the Staff: AI