Artificial Intelligence Morals and Ethics: Could the Capabilities of Machine Learning Be its Demise?

Aryav Nagar

Artificial Intelligence Advancements

Artificial Intelligence (AI) computer systems have massively risen as both Research and Data scientists further unlock this technology’s potential. Due to rapid advancements in its algorithmic behavior, AI is able to identify, analyze, and predict observed data more efficiently than human comprehension. The complexity of deep learning, a subset of machine learning, AI is now much more efficient than human comprehension. It can even develop abstract forms of creativity similar to individual thought.

An example of computer minded artwork is "Edmond de Belamy" which is a fully AI-generated "painting." Through deep learning, AI is able to imitate a creative mind based on previous human work. As seen in the paint strokes and the prominent human figure wearing a suit and collared shirt. Apart from the visual aspect of art, AI is well capable of creating forms of analytical literature. An open-source artificial intelligence, GPT-2, has created multiple excerpts of poetry and fictional writing.

Here is an example-

And, ere the cloud of the tempest blew,

His soul was with the world at play.

He looked to the stars, and the stars smiled,

And the moon in the heaven looked;

And, as he looked, he beheld her light,

And all the heaven smiled with him.

When winds and tempests fly,

When floods and fires fail,

As their wake doth meadow and fen,

Tis the man-child’s heart that craves.

And I — I shall be bound,

With the hoary-headed, strong, old,

To earth, and the graves of the dead,

Whose feet are mowed down, as they lie;

And I shall rest my weary head,

In the silence of Eternity,

In the peaceful arms of God.

Outstandingly, GPT-2 not only generated a meaningful poem with the possibility of thoughtful creative analysis, but it has also expressed human emotion, religion, and curiosity.

The Moral Argument Against AI

AI has constantly proven itself to imitate and exceed human behavior, but this raises concerns within the public opinion - Will AI take away jobs? What will happen to targeted workers? Can AI take over the world?

In reality, these are valid arguments. As this technology advances further in complexity, it can very well branch out and perform tasks related to other fields of work. This AI technology can be appealing to most companies as machine learning is proven to be much more accurate and sustainable than manual labor. Some companies are already adopting this fully automated system. The Yangshan Deep-Water Port is the biggest fully automated container port in Shanghai. “It’s all controlled by artificial intelligence,” says Yang Jiemin to CGTN, who is in charge of technological support, as he describes the 24/7 fully automated workforce. If this trend of adopting AI-powered machines grows, by 2030 over 20 million jobs could be replaced by machine learning robots. The fact of the matter is, the complexity and sheer capabilities of machine learning could result in public opinion to actually sway against the growth of artificial intelligence. Specifically, the public wants to prevent robots from replacing manual workers.

Apart from the possibility of AI taking over the workforce, many believe AI is on its path to take over the world. Although it may seem AI could develop into an evil army of robotic human beings, most probably due to sci-fi films, AI computing is unable to understand the world through a moral aspect. Partaking in war against humanity is far beyond machine learning's algorithmic capabilities. Although it may seem AI has this abstract understanding, through its literary and visual art forms, it is unable to fully comprehend what exactly it is generating. It is designed to specifically increase accuracy and usability when performing specific tasks. Basic understanding of morality is a concept that cannot be written out in an algorithmic form. Translating emotion into binary values for the computer to understand does not seem plausible to achieve anytime soon.

Should AI continue to develop? - My personal thoughts

The consequences of AI are definitely apparent, but the possibilities this field could create is not something our technologically dependent society should overlook. AlphaGo is a Google DeepMind computer program specified to perform tasks in the abstract strategy board game. Go trained for only a staggering 40 days. Within this time it was able to defeat 18-time world champion Lee Se-dol. To put this into perspective, Go is speculated to be a 2,500-year-old board game that originated in China. AlphaGo was self-trained over the course of 40 days by repeatedly playing over 40 million games against itself. Within this month and a half time period, AlphaGo was able to learn and test strategies that have been developing for the past 25 centuries. On top of that, it was able to develop completely new strategies unheard of in the Go community. Using its training, AlphaGo was able to defeat some of the best Go players in the world. Although Google's program seems like an attempt to overthrow Go's world champion, its actual purpose was to monitor how AI can progress through machine and deep learning. If AlphaGo was able to defeat Lee Se-dol within a 40 day time period through new strategies and quick decision making, similar deep learning programs could be implemented to assist human practice throughout a multitude of fields of work. In modern-day technology, this is how AI is mostly being used. Some of the most common forms of AI are actually seen in everyday tasks, such as virtual assistants in your mobile phone or self-driving cars. All these are used to assist human tasks and speed up daily processes. They are not replacing human appearance. If we are able to use AI as a tool to refine human lives, the fear of robots replacing human work becomes non-existent and technological advancements become much more rapid.

Aryav Nagar

Aryav is currently a high school student attending school in Southern California. As an aspiring data scientist, he hopes to change the world at the intersection of machine learning and data science. He also has a strong passion for photography, and enjoys taking photos for numerous different outlets. In his free time, he loves to learn about upcoming cars, work on his personal blog, and take photographs.