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Posted on June 8th, 2012, by

Nowadays technologies are playing increasingly more important role and in the future the significance of new technologies will only increase. One of the most perspective fields of development is considered to be artificial intelligence which should improve the life of human beings and make the participation of humans in production process minimum. At the same time, there are a lot of warnings concerning possible negative consequences of implementation of new technologies and growing role of media. The most pessimistic views depict quite a tragic picture of the future world controlled by machines, or some computer that controls all vitally important production and services in the world.

In such a situation, it is very important to analyse the impact of media, new technologies, especially artificial intelligence, on the life of human beings and human society at large. Obviously, in order to achieve a higher degree of objectivity it is necessary to discuss both positive and negative effects of implementation of new technologies in different spheres of human life.

First of all, it is necessary to start with positive effects of new technologies since it is primarily the use people receive from new technologies that stimulates the development of technologies. It is obvious that in recent years the mankind has made a great step ahead in the development of technologies, especially in the sphere of computing and IT. In this respect, one of the most perspective is considered to be the development of artificial intelligence that could help significantly in different situations, including not only the sphere production but also the sphere of services and all other aspects of everyday life.

It should be said that such rapid development of new technologies is highly motivated because nowadays it is not simply helpful for humans but it is also very profitable, at least for large corporations. This is why new technologies may be viewed as a source of economic growth and sustainable development.

However, the economic effect of the implementation of new technologies, including artificial intelligence is not the only positive effect. It should be said that artificial intelligence, as well as other technologies, especially those related to communication, data and information operating may be applied widely. The spheres of their implementation may vary from some elementary services to medication and education.

By the way, the latter is particularly important because even nowadays education and knowledge are considered to be the most perspective elements of social progress and success of an individual in the society. In fact nowadays it is possible to speak about the formation of a new, post-industrial society that is often called informational society. In this respect, the use of artificial intelligence and new technologies in education are of a paramount importance because they provide people with better opportunities to learn more information in more effective ways. Even nowadays, computers are widely applied in schoolrooms and they are considered to be more effective since they are impersonal unlike teachers, or peers, for instance, who are also participants of the education process and who affect an individual directly. Since computers are impersonal they are absolutely indifferent to the personality of an individual working on computers. Consequently, there would not be interpersonal problems that may exist between students and teachers, for instance, because computers will not be bored by their human user’s questions, nor scorn their user’s mistakes, as another person might.

Furthermore, such attitude of computers and, in perspective, of artificial intelligence to humans may be observed not only in education but also in other spheres of life. Since human relations are quite complicated and highly subjective people often face certain prejudices or even discrimination by race, sex, educational level, level of income, etc. If the artificial intelligence and IT are widely implemented, this problem may be solved because an artificial intelligence welfare advisor, for instance, would be deprived of such prejudices and subjective attitude to individuals.

Another important argument in favour of the implementation of new technologies and the development of artificial intelligence is the idea that they may improve human society. Moreover, they may help humans to become more human since people could have more personal freedom since artificial intelligence would be at their services.

Consequently, people would have more opportunities to communicate with their relatives, family, reflect on their role in life and their place in the society, develop their culture and spirit, etc.

Naturally, the development of new technologies and artificial intelligence are very important and it may be useful for people. Nonetheless, there are some negative effects that could be quite serious.

One of the main arguments of the opponents of the wide implementation of new technologies and artificial intelligence is the use of these technologies in military. It is not a secret that the military tends to widely use the most sophisticated technologies but its purpose is destruction[1]. In fact, potentially it is really dangerous to use new technologies and artificial intelligence in military purposes when even the slightest mistake, one failure may lead to disastrous results. At this respect, the reliability of computer technologies and, consequently, the reliability of artificial intelligence are quite doubtful since even nowadays there are certain problems. Also it is possible to take into consideration that even nowadays the problem of hacker attacks is quite actual for the US military in particular.

Furthermore, there is another potential threat hidden in the development of artificial intelligence and new technologies, which lies in the political domain. To put it more precisely, the implementation of new technologies and artificial intelligence may contribute to the development of totalitarian states because governments, having access to enormous database, can easily control all citizens. Even nowadays, there is a problem of surveillance when people are surveyed practically everywhere and such a danger increases dramatically in the case of emergency, such as certain restrictions implemented in the US after 9/11.

Finally, in response to optimistic view on the positive effect of the implementation of new technologies and artificial intelligence, it is necessary to remind that changes of employment rates, caused by the implementation of new technologies and decrease of demand for labour force, should be accompanied by structural changes in industrial society at large and in the way people think about work. Otherwise, the only result will be the increase of unemployment leading to profound socio-economic crises. In this respect it is possible to remind the economic crisis in England when machinery production was introduced and when people simply lost their jobs and were replaced by machines. In response, they simply tried to destroy the machines in order to get their job back. Such perspective in relation to new technologies, computers for instance, should be also taken into consideration.

Thus, in conclusion it is possible to say that new technologies and artificial intelligence in particular should be applied wisely in order not to cause harm to the development of human society. Anyway, it is necessary to remember that it is people who create new technologies and artificial intelligence. This is why they should remain human beings able to properly evaluate what they are advised by artificial intelligence, for instance, and use new technologies wisely in order not to become the slaves of new machines or media as science fiction predicts but to remain independent, highly intellectual individuals as they actually are.

[1] It is worth to refer to  the US Strategic Defence Initiative that implied the use of artificial intelligence in military purposes (so-called Star Wars).

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