Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Downside of Artificial Intelligence

While the AI proponents are all touting how great AI is and how it will change the world they are ignoring the impact it will have on jobs not only in the future but now. Let’s start with the autonomous cars or as I call them robocars. These are meant to replace drivers altogether. So in the next 5 to 10 years or even sooner, taxi drivers, Lyft and Uber drivers and truckers will all be replaced by AI. it goes beyond that however since Lyft, Uber and Google want to make it illegal for a human to drive and ultimately to even own an automobile. This implements a cascade effect on all automobile related jobs. Since there would be fewer cars on the road, there would be fewer mechanics to service them, fewer gas stations to fuel them and fewer insurance agents to insure them. Google's plan is to control robocars completely from building to maintenance meaning every step of the way will be handled by Google employees, so Google factory workers, Google mechanics, Google gas stations and Google insurance.

This is just the one segment. AI can and will be pervasive in the workplace and society. AI is being pushed to replace doctors, lawyers, financial planners, accountants and other professions that are now high paying positions handled by humans. The AI proponents are comparing this to the industrial revolution and saying that new jobs will be created to replace the old just ad it happened in the first one. This is not the case. in the industrial revolution, low paying manual jobs were replaced by machines but maintaining these machines and assembly line work created jobs that replaced the old and the professions were left alone. This will not happen with AI. AI is not after replacing physical labor to make life easier, it is after us. When a doctor is replaced by AI, what newly created job can this person get that will be as professionally and financially rewarding? What new job can be created when an entire profession is replaced by machine?  The result of AI will be massive unemployment and poverty and no one is addressing these issues now. As I said earlier, AI does not only effect the job it replaces but has a cascade effect impacting all jobs related to that first job. So replacing lawyers impacts legal support staff, researchers, clerks, the justice system, police, insurers, copiers, computer sales, secretaries, printers, housing sales, construction and on and on. This needs to be addressed now or we are in for a massive problem and sooner than later.

There are also ethical issues with AI that we haven't faced before. Should we let an AI decide patient care? How should an AI make decisions when driving that involve injury to pedestrians, other drivers and passengers? Should an AI be used to spy on people? To what degree should an AI be allowed to determine things about an individual by analyzing big data collected by stores and on line presence? To what level should an AI be used to target individuals for sales and offers determined by data analysis? Do we trust an AI to have our (human) best interest at heart? How do we prevent perverse instantiation (the implementation of a benign final goal through deleterious methods unforeseen by a human programmer)?  There is a concept called Perverse Instantiation where an AI is given a goal and accomplishes it in an unexpected and harmful manner. For instance the goal could be to reduce health care costs. This could be accomplished by the AI by identifying those with a predisposition to certain illnesses and denying them treatment or health care coverage. It could also be given the task to reduce pollution and reason that the best way to accomplish this would be to decrease the human population. Just because wee have a moral compass doesn't mean that an AI does. An AI hasn't een exposed to years of socialization and approaches problems logically with a preference for expediency.

All these issues need to be addressed now, before we can no longer do anything about them. 

Dr Tim Lynch

Dr. Tim Lynch, President of Psychsoftpc, received his Ph.D. in Psychology of Computers and Intelligent Machines from Boston University.  Shortly thereafter, Omni Magazine named him the first Robopsychologist or Computer Psychologist.  He was then written up as a computer psychologist, or psychologist who studies how computer interaction effects personality and how to make computer interfaces more user friendly, in the Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, the London Sunday Times, Computer World, and many other publications.  As part of his Doctoral Dissertation on the Effects of Computer Use on Personality and Social Interaction Patterns, he created Artificial Intelligence Natural Language software which was the basis of programs used by NIH division of AIDS Research and the United Nations, among others.  Dr. Lynch was an editor for the first Journal of Psychology of Computers. He taught graduate level courses and has written numerous journal articles on Ethics in computer science, Psychology of computers and how interacting with computers and intelligent machines effects people. He consulted on technology in the classroom and helped develop the plan for the 21st Century Classroom for the US Department of Education and was a grants reader for DOE on technology implementation in the classroom. Dr Tim Lynch is the recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who and has been endorsed by Marquis Who's Who as a leader in Technology, Artificial Intellligence, Computer Psychology and High Performance Computing.