Advantages and Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence

The AI revolution has taken almost every industry by storm. The first point of impact was the IT industry, where AI was created to mimic reasoning like the human mind through man-made systems. The term itself was coined in 1950 by John McCarthy.

While the world largely focuses on the benefits and disruption that artificial intelligence will cause, there are several disadvantages and dangers of the technology as well. 

Simulating the human brain, AI allows machines to run processes that gather, analyse and respond to various input data sets.

So, is AI ultimately good or bad? Unfortunately, the answer is not that simple.

Advantages and Disadvantages of AI:

Advantages of Artificial Intelligence:

1. Eliminates human error:

Humans make decisions based on individual judgements and biases. Using specific algorithms, machines make decisions based on empirical data and algorithms. This minimises the chances of error and eliminates human error. For difficult problems that require complex calculations with no margin of error, machine learning and artificial intelligence provide the perfect solution.

Today, this is done in several forms. For example, businesses today use virtual or digital assistants and bots to engage users. This helps in minimising human effort and error and also saves time. These digital assistants are designed to always provide the best solution to the user based on predetermined data and responses fed by the machine learning expert.

AI functions with a zero margin of error. Every AI-powered system, solution, bot or program is fed data that help it analyse given situations, respond to them and learn new variations of responses based on frequent situations. Applications where this is necessary include space travel, medicare and hospitality, among other domains, where precision is key. 

2. No tiredness or wear and tear:

Human beings are physically limited. They cannot withstand all physical environments and high-pressure situations for endless periods. This is where AI comes in handy, to go where humans cannot go themselves. This includes high-pressure environments such as deep sea exploration. Due to the customisable mechanical structure of the hardware, there are fewer chances of irreplaceable wear and tear or damage. 

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3. Assistance with daily chore simplification:

One of the earliest applications of AI in mobile devices and computers was the autocorrect feature. The algorithm is familiar with a large volume of words which it can identify. It can identify whenever a word might be misspelt or wrong and correct it automatically. This was also adapted to search results on search engines where the program continuously throws suggestions to complete a user’s sentences.

Other areas where AI helps simplify daily tasks for humans include navigation, food ordering suggestions, virtual assistants and photography.

4. Every decision is rational:

Machine learning functions purely based on logic, which means it can identify several new methods of problem-solving that a human might have overlooked. Most advanced organisations use AI-powered solutions to solve problems and overcome roadblocks along the customer journey. Since all the decisions are made devoid of any emotion, it becomes easier for AI to remain unbiased and focus only on solving the problem at hand. When humans make the same decisions, their judgement is often clouded by their past experiences, observed behaviours and existing knowledge.

5. Automates repetitive tasks and operations:

In any business, there are several tasks that are repetitive and mundane. While they don't require too much thinking, they are important and need dedicated personnel. This adds to company costs and also has some margin of error due to human intervention.

Using AI-powered solutions, businesses can automate these tasks to save time and money. They also create a seamless customer experience. Some of the most important tasks automated using AI include customer support and user engagement.

AI can also take on additional responsibilities when businesses adjust various parameters available to suit the task at hand. Human beings cannot be ‘adjusted’ this way, which makes them very limited in terms of their potential as compared to artificial intelligence. 

6. Zero risks and high accuracy:

When human beings perform tasks, there is always an inherent risk of loss of life. This is true for a wide range of situations like bomb diffusal, space exploration, sewage treatment etc. By using an AI-powered robot for this task, business organisations can overcome these risks and reduce them to 0%. Additionally, machines can provide a higher degree of accuracy than human beings. 

7. Available around the clock:

Humans need breaks, but machines don’t. According to several studies, humans are known to achieve peak productivity for only about 3 to 4 hours a day. They also require vacations and time off work to recover from stress whenever they are overworked. Another advantage of AI is that it doesn’t require time off and can be available 24x7. 

8. New and innovative solutions:

AI has been the driver of growth and innovation in a wide range of industries and businesses. With the world focusing more on ‘smart’ solutions and devices, AI is the technology that is making each of these devices smarter. With AI applications like smart watches, smart appliances and smart cars, the world is quicking reaching a place where human intervention has been minimised and solutions that were inherently manual have been automated entirely. 

Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence:

Like every technology, AI too has several drawbacks. It’s not as ominous as robot uprisings seen in Hollywood movies, but there are several other disadvantages. 

1. High cost of creation and design:

AI solutions have been designed to mimic human behaviour. Creating a solution that can not only replicate the human mind but also evolve and personalise answers is not a small task. Businesses need to allocate a large volume of resources, personnel, time and money to create a state-of-the-art AI solution. Even the most fundamental ones require significant attention to detail and expertise, which doesn’t come cheap. Additionally, as technology evolves and user behaviour patterns change, manufacturers must move forward too. The cost of constantly updating technology and usage patterns also weighs on the hiring organisation. 

2. Humans become lazy:

As machines and devices become smarter, humans become lazier. We have gone from a time when people had memorised entire lists of phone numbers to people not having to remember any information since it is readily available to them. This is not an immediate problem, but it will lower the quality of individuals in the generations to come. 

3. Leads to unemployment:

AI-powered solutions are an efficient way to automate a wide range of tasks, repetitive and otherwise, thus minimising the need for human personnel. As a result, a growing section of the workforce is facing unemployment as organisations around the world replace human beings with robots and AI-powered solutions. The competition across industries is increasing multi-fold and businesses are focusing on providing the best customer experience possible. AI solutions provide a consistent experience for all users, making them the best solution available to boost business growth.

4. AI technology is not creative:

Creativity is a human trait that machines cannot mimic. Creativity depends on spontaneity, past experiences and frames of reference. Machines and AI-driven solutions can only work based on the algorithms that experts have fed them. They cannot match the working of the human brain in every way. 

Humans are brought up to understand feelings and respond to them in unique ways, which is where impulses and triggers for creativity come from. Human beings can also generate ideas and focus on solutions not described anywhere in the world. Machines are limited to the algorithms and existing human knowledge that is fed to them. 

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5. No ethics or emotions:

Ethics and morals are highly subjective and cannot usually be defined by rules or algorithms. One of the greatest fears humans have regarding AI is the impulse to wipe out humanity to save the planet from further damage and destruction. The only thing stopping humans from doing this are their legal and moral obligations. Moreover, emotions and ideologies form the basis of team building and collaboration. This limits AI in comparison to human knowledge and expertise. 

6. Lack of improvement:

AI has been designed to perform a single task optimally no matter how many times it has to. However, in terms of improvement and growth, AI remains limited in its scope. If you want any changes or improvements in the outcome while using an AI solution, you must update your tool and algorithm to reflect this change. 

Today, there are several machine learning solutions that are learning on their own to go beyond their initial algorithms. How that will end, only time will tell. 

The Final Verdict:

After looking at the advantages and disadvantages of AI, it’s easy to see how there’s no black-and-white answer to whether the technology is good or bad. What matters is how we use the technology and its implementation. AI has proven disruptive for organisations and has shown how it can be a lifesaver in industries like healthcare and technology. But with the indications given in science fiction and as several ‘incidents’ have shown, AI can be dangerous in specific situations. 

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Armin Vans
Aarav Goel has top education industry knowledge with 4 years of experience. Being a passionate blogger also does blogging on the technology niche.

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