What do movies like ‘The Matrix’ and ‘The Terminator’ have in common? Well, they’re both fun, brilliant movies that kept us glued to our seats. But, they also shared a common theme – that machines would eventually take over and wipe out all of humanity.
Though this was just a trope that Hollywood exploited for ages (and still does), we’ve reached a point in time where it’s become a real concern. Yes, the average “machine” today is far more evolved than its predecessors, and we are getting closer to a future where AI will handle a majority of operations within any given industry.
However, should we really be worried? Were those movies an accurate prediction of the future? Well, truth be told, we are nowhere near that possible scenario, and there seems to be a major misunderstanding about what AI (Artificial Intelligence) can actually do.
In fact, we need to dial down the panic a little bit and let it settle at “will AI replace the human worker?”. That’s a more realistic concern and something we are going to look into right now. But, before that. Let’s find out what AI actually is.
What is AI?
AI or Artificial Intelligence, as a term, was coined by John McCarthy, an American computer scientist who is now remembered as the “Father of AI.” According to McCarthy, AI is “the science and engineering of creating intelligent machines and programs.” McCarthy believed that ‘human learning’ could be quantified into codes that machines could learn and simulate. In other words, he believed that machines could be programmed to learn and function as humans.
Though we may not have come anywhere near that goal in a more absolute sense, we definitely have made significant strides. Just think of Siri or Cortana.
Is there a reason to be worried?
The typical workplace today is undergoing tremendous automation. AI is a big deal, and it forms a core part of all business operations. There is no denying that AI has brought about cost-effectiveness and efficiency.
But, at the end of the day, AI is not human. It will revolutionize the way humans work, but it will not replace us. The only thing that we need to be worried about is how the average human worker will adapt to the new methods of working.
AI takes care of the boring, monotonous stuff while we gain the advantage of flexibility. It is because of AI-based solutions, such as modern CRM (Customer Relationship Management) programs, that the average salesperson knows more about his/her customer than he/she ever could.
In conclusion, AI isn’t going to replace us. However, businesses and workers need to adapt and learn to work in collaboration with AI.