By Akeju Abiola
Imagine you are racing against the clock to send an urgent email. Fumbling with words and stressing over the perfect tone, you become overwhelmed and decide to bring in an artificial intelligence tool. The AI tool guides you through the choice of clear and concise language, ensuring it strikes the right balance of urgency and professionalism, and viola! You hit send, bringing a tense few minutes to an end. AI might have successfully helped you craft effective and timely communication to meet a deadline; however, can it assume your role entirely? Can artificial intelligence replace human intelligence?
AI, short for artificial intelligence, is not a newcomer to the technology space. This is evident in its development, which began almost concurrently with the design of commercial computers after the Second World War. The first commercial computer, UNIVAC1, was introduced in 1951, and the first AI application, attributed to Christopher Strachey, a program designed to play checker games on computers, was developed in the same year and was used a year later. AI has since undergone years of development. The average person's first introduction to AI might have been through Hollywood's 1984 classic movie "The Terminator", which portrayed a self-conscious computer program that controlled soldier-like machines revolting against humans, leading to a war between machines and humans.
Artificial intelligence should not sound strange to many people today, as it was the buzzword for most of 2023, with ChatGPT taking center stage when it broke the internet in January 2023, gaining 100 million users in just 2 months, a feat never achieved before. AI has become an integral part of our lives, with many companies integrating it to simplify tasks for their staff and boost productivity.
So, what is artificial intelligence? Artificial intelligence is the process of using programming code to give software or machines some form of intelligence that mimics human behavior. This includes getting machines to make their own decisions, which may not always be error-free. According to Britannica, artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of digital computers to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.
The current advancement of AI has been a result of years of development. Projects like ChatGPT, in development since 2015 when OpenAI, the parent company, was founded, have contributed to this progress. In 2018, Elon Musk, one of the initial funders of OpenAI, left to work on his own AI company, X.AI, and has since launched an initial version, "Grok," integrating it into X (formerly Twitter). X.AI continues developing to build an AI that will surpass Chat GPT4, the most accurate commercial AI in use today.
Ethical Implications for AI
Ethical considerations in AI are currently a prominent topic of discussion. For instance, in November 2023, the UK government invited AI critics and industry leaders to a summit to explore measures ensuring the responsible development of AI models. The focus was on preventing the creation of AIs that could pose threats to human existence and promoting a commitment among developers to consistently follow best practices.
Some ethical considerations in AI include the use of existing data authored by different individuals to train AI models. The issue of compensating the original authors for their work is a grey area that needs to be addressed. For example, the New York Times sued OpenAI for using millions of its works without adequate compensation. Many authors have filed similar lawsuits. AI companies should factor in adequate compensation for the original owners of the data used in training their models.
The widespread adoption of AI may result in job losses as automation replaces human roles. The extent of these layoffs is uncertain. However, in capitalist economies, the need to reduce costs and maximize profits may lead to more companies embracing AI. Duolingo, the popular language translation app, recently failed to renew the contracts of some of its workers. In a post about X, @SirAlexisixx noted Duolingo laid off some of its staff, replacing them with AI tools. He mentioned that the remaining ones are “simply reviewing AI translations to make sure they're 'acceptable'”. This raises the question: Will AI ever replace human intelligence entirely? Evidence evidence suggests otherwise.
Limitations of AI
For many, artificial intelligence is the next big thing. That’s true to a great extent; however, it is important to point out the limitations of AI software to truly understand if it can surpass human intelligence or not. A prevailing AI limitation is its lack of creativity. While AI can process vast amounts of information and generate responses based on learned patterns, it still struggles with innovative thinking beyond predefined data. This limitation restricts its ability to partake in creative tasks or provide solutions to novel problems that require innovative approaches. AI models are limited to the data they have been exposed to. They can only provide feedback based on the data they have been fed.
Furthermore, many AI models still grasp with understanding context. Despite their impressive processing capabilities, they often misinterpret contextual nuances, which causes errors in decision-making. This limitation is particularly evident in scenarios where context determines how data is interpreted.
AI models cannot function without adequate training with relevant data sets. It relies on extensive and diverse language learning models for effective learning and decision-making. The quality and quantity of data directly impact AI performance. In situations with insufficient or biased data, AI may struggle to provide accurate and unbiased outcomes, potentially giving output based on existing inequalities and misconceptions. Training AI models is an important task, but training them with the correct information is a more important factor to consider.
One other point to consider is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence involves recognizing and managing our own emotions while being attuned to the feelings of others. AI lacks emotional intelligence, leading to struggles to comprehend or appropriately respond to human emotions. This limitation restricts its full application in fields where emotional intelligence is crucial, such as customer service or mental health support.
Can AI Replace Human Intelligence?
Intelligence is a complex skill that combines various brain functions to solve problems and adapt to new situations. Think of it as the ability to learn from experiences and apply that knowledge in different situations. Intelligence isn't just one thing; it's a mix of many skills. It is innate and can always be deployed to solve problems.
Many human inventions today are spin-offs of natural laws and principles that early humans discovered on their own without being trained on any previous data. For instance, the laws of gravity, relativity, and many more human inventions were proposed by humans without any previous knowledge. These laws are the founding principles of many great human feats today.
Humans can think independently, make cognitive decisions, identify danger, and respond with fight-or-flight instincts. Humans also possess emotional intelligence, enabling them to make better judgments and decisions in split seconds. Human intelligence is more adaptable and flexible, allowing for decision-making and managing situations with limited information and resources, unlike artificial intelligence, which needs to be trained with billions of data before it can provide feedback and responses.
Also, they lack basic common sense, unlike humans, who can make simple decisions by assessing situations and considering the information available to them. This deficiency hinders their ability to understand situations beyond the explicit information provided, making them prone to misinterpretations.
Perhaps the greatest reason why AI will never replace human intelligence is because of the security risks it poses. Humans, the most intelligent race, are still prone to errors, not to talk about artificial intelligence. Data aggregated by AI will always be subjected to human verification in industries where the slightest errors can be fatal. Examples of such industries include healthcare, aviation, the automotive industry, finance, and defense industries. Security risks here may include adversaries intentionally manipulating input data to deceive AI into making incorrect decisions, as AI cannot understand context and know when it is being fooled.
AI cannot replace human intelligence, at least for the foreseeable future. While artificial intelligence will continue to improve and integrate into various aspects of life, the technology that will enable it to surpass human intelligence has not been developed. Perhaps, with the invention of more advanced quantum computers, there may be a possibility of creating AI systems that almost match or rival human intelligence.
Although AI will not surpass human intelligence, it has the potential to enhance problem-solving and other critical daily activities. You can leverage several AI tools to advance your business and work in today's business world. If you're unsure about the best AI solution to deploy, you can consult with our experts here. Artificial intelligence is here for good—embrace it, leverage it, and use it to elevate your productivity.