Is there too much focus on AI?

This post was written by a student. It has not been fact checked or edited.

As a small girl I was asked this question and was absolutely baffled by the answers of the people who surrounded me. It appeared to me that there was too much focus on what AI could do rather than what it cannot do. The subject of AI has since fascinated me and been a key interest point of my studies. The idea that we could create something out of inanimate materials that could think, and act accordingly was somewhat of a phenomenon to me. Not so much the creation or technicalities of robots, but the ideology and cloud of varying opinions encompassing AI and robots.

As we are well aware, there are a range of circumstance which citizens find themselves in around the world, and so one opinion cannot become a conclusive one. Rather, it is important to take on different perspectives globally. AI could do wonders for developing/emerging countries but could also be a point of exploitation. It could be a way of sporadically sharing the workload and undertakings of families who find themselves in situations of poverty. It could allow children to go to school, and adults to gain well paying jobs. Equally, it could create toxic work environments and set us back about 20 years in terms of workplace safety. It could also erase the idea of human hospitality, of people helping people and being responsible for not just us, but our neighbours as well. The issue is that it could go either way, so is it really worth taking the risk?

My personal opinion is that our societies focus too much on AI and the ever expanding possibilities of a future with AI at its forefront. When I was asked this question as a small girl, my head was immediately filled with wonder and dreams, as any child’s is when they are displayed to such a fascinating subject. As other people shared their own thoughts and opinions, I began to think of what these would mean for our society, and how it would completely change humanity. This realisation immediately alarmed me because no one else in the room had realised this. There are so many things that can go wrong and AI bears and incredible amount of power. When granted to the wrong person, it could go catastrophically wrong. It also introduces society to emotionless bots which have no sympathy and cannot empathise with us. This conclusion outweighed the great possibilities for me. I believe that AI could be useful, but it also could be detrimental to our world as we know it.