In pop culture, robots have been a mainstay for all the science-fiction enthusiasts to cheer for, or in most cases—fear, especially when said robots are featured in a movie with a bleak atmosphere, set most likely in the year 2030 onwards, or perhaps being the test subjects of a sentience experiment. Fiction, it seems, still wants to grasp the possibility of robots overtaking the human race in terms of everything, and it’s no surprise how the words “robot” and “artificial intelligence” have been the sources of doubt, worry, and concern for those of us who run on souls, not batteries.
In today’s non-fiction (and less dark) version of things, artificial intelligence (AI) has slowly made its many benefits known, positively affecting our daily lives. The smartphone—a constant companion inside the pockets of millions around the world—is a primary example. Statista’s report on how smartphone users benefit from AI lays out the ways machine learning has been helping humans in their day-to-day, from predictive text to route suggestions to translation apps. Ease of access? It’s probable that behind it is an algorithm designed to do just that.
While it’s important to see AI as a tool in making our daily lives less complicated, it’s also beneficial to understand why it is also often viewed as a threat. It’s easy to blame too much sci-fi as the main instigator of our spiraling thoughts involving a future where humans become obsolete, but when experts begin to discuss how fears and worries surrounding AI should be taken seriously, one should stop and listen to what they have to say.
Technology being developed at such a rapid rate always comes with risks, and in the case of AI, it’s the heavy task of adjusting, adapting, and aiming for an approach that balances human skills and AI. After all is said and done, we guess the word we’re looking for here is coexistence—armed with time, it’s always possible for us to continue learning and researching more methods to develop AI in such a way that it can be fully seen as a mutual ally, not as a constant threat. It’s true—we cannot foresee the future, but as humans, it is our job to continue on doing what we know best: evolving, utilizing what we have at the moment, and navigating our way out of the dark through the power of human resilience and spirit.