Artificial Intelligence: Friend or Foe?

By Tyler Parker

    Facebook recently shut down its artificial intelligence (AI) after it invented its own language that humans couldn’t understand and began to communicate independently with another system. Researchers found that the AI had created the language without human instructions, showing the incredible—or terrifying—power that artificial intelligence may one day wield.   


True artificial intelligence, a machine or program that is completely sentient, has not been created yet.  There are programs such as Siri or Alexa, but they are just speech tools to help search for things and display information in a timely manner.  If true AI is ever created, the effect could be staggering to humans.  Take movies like Terminator, where there is malevolent AI that kills humans.  That would be the worst possible scenario.  On the other hand, movies like Iron Man show us how much good AI could do.  Either way, machines that can act independently from human guidance could change the world for better or worse.


Many leaders in the tech industry have very strong feelings on artificial intelligence and whether it is incredible or dangerous. Inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk has multiple concerns about Artificial Intelligence.  “I think we should be very careful about

Photo by Reuters

artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful,” he stated. However, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is optimistic about the immense possibilities of AI and how much good it could do for the human race.  “In a way, AI is both closer and farther off than we imagine. AI is closer to being able to do more powerful things than most people expect — driving cars, curing diseases, discovering planets, understanding media. Those will each have a great impact on the world, but we’re still figuring out what real intelligence is,”  Zuckerberg stated.


Whether you believe that artificial intelligence is a dangerous uncertainty or an exciting possibility, there is no denying the growing impact that it is making worldwide.  This technology, which once was just a crazy dream, is now becoming a reality. As for the implications of that, the world will have to wait and see.


Cover photo by Reuters