Ditto AI

Debunking 8 myths about Artificial Intelligence. Should we be afraid?

Posted by Ditto on Jul 26, 2019 9:09:00 AM

At Ditto, we believe in responsible, explainable AI. But, time and time again we find ourselves debunking misconceptions about artificial intelligence. Only 35 percent of people in a study of six thousand worldwide said they ‘felt comfortable with a business using AI to interact with them’. And, a quarter of respondents feared AI would cause ‘the rise of the robots and enslavement of humanity.’ But, should we fear AI?

Hollywood has a lot to answer for.

AI myth #1: Robots and AI are the same

Artificial intelligence can be used to control a robot, but a robot can also be controlled by many other means, such as via a manual remote or a pre-set programme. Certainly, there are robots that use AI, such as Hanson Robotics’ Sophia. However, there are plenty of robots that don’t use AI at all.

AI myth #2: Artificial intelligence or evil genius?

A lot of the fear about AI seems to stem from this idea that AI is inherently evil, or that some sort of super-intelligent sentience could harm humanity for ‘the greater good’. Now, this isn’t all movie magic. Luddites are not alone in thinking about the risks of AI. But, most experts believe AI will make people better off in the next decade, and the idea of a hyper-rational ‘evil’ AI wildly overestimates the capacity of this technology.

AI myth #3: Only humans can make art

myths about AI - art created by AI

A Parisian company called Obvious Art used an algorithm called Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) to create a portrait that sold for 432,500 US dollars. The AI was provided with 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th centuries. It observed art and then created something new – just like any human would.

AI myth #4: Automation will take our jobs

Automation might take some jobs, but it will create more. In 2017, Gartner found that 1.8 million jobs may be lost to AI, but 2.3 million jobs would be created by 2020.

AI myth #5: Or, automation will never take our jobs

In this study by Quartz, 90 percent of respondents thought that other people’s jobs were at risk of being taken over by AI, but the about the same number felt there was no risk to their own job. Clearly, perception is missing the mark, here.

Many people believe AI will not affect them. Yet, this 2018 report by PwC shows that AI will impact a range of industries, from transport to healthcare, and states that ‘no sector will be unaffected by these technologies’ by 2030.

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AI myth #6: AI can’t (or shouldn’t) impact decision-making

The problems of the past caused by ‘black box’ AI has led to a revolution in the field. Now, with explainable AI (XAI), any recommendations are accountable, with a clear audit trail. Not only that, but as the accuracy of algorithms improves and these tools are combined with human expertise, any business decision-maker would be mad to ignore the power of AI.

AI myth #7: No-one is investing in AI yet

According to this Hubspot survey, 63 percent of people have used AI tools without realising it. Artificial intelligence is all around us. It is predicted that by 2030, investment in AI will grow to 15.7 trillion US dollars.

AI myth #8: My organisation doesn’t need an AI strategy

‘Even if your current AI strategy is “no AI”, this should be a conscious decision based on research and consideration. And — as with every other strategy — it should be periodically revisited and changed according to the organization’s needs.’ – Alexander Linden, VP analyst at Gartner

If you want to grow a sustainable business, then you might want to think about investing in AI. Hopefully, this blog has challenged your thinking and has brought to light the potential benefits of this technology. As the great scientific philosopher, Karl Popper, once said,

‘Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths.’

Should we fear AI?

Within every myth there is a kernel of truth. But, we shouldn't be fearing the technologies we're creating that, ultimately, are making our lives easier and less stressful.

In this case, these myths prove that AI is in the public view. It’s being discussed. It’s on the map. And, the treasure hunt has begun.

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Topics Accountability Explainable AI