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Posted on June 1st, 2012, by

In the modern world technologies are playing increasingly more important role and in the future the significance of new technologies will only increase. In such a situation it is obvious that the further development of new technologies will produce a more profound impact on the development of human society. IN this respect, it is worthy of mention that it is often argued that argued whether the impact of new technologies and, especially, the development of artificial intelligence are positive or negative. Pessimists argue that new technologies would gradually lead to the degradation of human society to the extent that technological innovations with a highly developed artificial intelligence could simply control human life. On the other hand, there are still a lot of specialists who believe in great perspectives of the development of new technologies at large and artificial intelligence in particular.

Obviously, in order to objectively assess the role of new technologies and artificial intelligence in the life of human society it is necessary to thoroughly discuss this problem. In fact, it is necessary to dwell upon both positive and negative effects of the development of new technologies and artificial intelligence in different spheres of human life.

At the beginning, it should be said that there are a variety of positive effects of new technologies which are emphasized by numerous supporters of the further development of new technologies and artificial intelligence.

Optimists argue that it is primarily the use people receive from new technologies that stimulates the development of technologies. It is a widely recognized fact that the technological progress was really enormous in last decades, 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 is worthy of mention that such rapid development of new technologies is, to a significant extent, predetermined by the fact that nowadays it is not simply helpful for humans but it is also very profitable, at least for large corporations.

In such a situation often new technologies are viewed by many specialists as a source of economic growth and sustainable development[1].

At the same time, it is necessary to remember that 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 new technologies, especially those related to communication and data and information operating may be applied in different sphere of human life ranging from elementary services to medication and education.

In this respect, it should be said that 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, at the present moment many specialists speak about the formation of a new, post-industrial society that is often called informational society[2]. obviously, the implementation of artificial intelligence and new technologies in education is extremely important since these technologies provide students with better opportunities to learn more information in more effective ways wasting less time on the acquisition and searching of the essential information. The wide use of computers in schoolrooms is a norm today. Moreover, computers 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. As a result, the supporters of the further implementation of new technologies and computers in classrooms believe that this will help to eliminate interpersonal problems that may exist between students and teachers, for instance, since computers will not be bored by their human user’s questions, nor scorn their user’s mistakes, as another person might[3].

Also, it should be said that, such attitude to computers, as well as to artificial intelligence of 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 re 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.

Furthermore, optimists argue that the implementation of new technologies and the development of artificial intelligence may improve human society in general. To put it more precisely, they may help humans to develop their humanistic qualities as new technologies and artificial intelligence provide people with higher level of personal freedom. As a result, people would have more opportunities to communicate with their family, friends, reflect on their life and their place in the society, grow intellectually and spiritually, develop their cultural experience.

Thus, 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 realizable.

However, the opponents of the wide implementation of new technologies and artificial intelligence argue that the use of these technologies may lead to unpredictable results. For instance, being applied in military structures new technologies and artificial intelligence may be extremely dangerous. It is not a secret that the military tends to widely use the most sophisticated technologies but its purpose is destruction. 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. At 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, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to say that new technologies and artificial intelligence in particular should be applied very carefully, taking into consideration, the position of both supporters and opponents of new technologies and artificial intelligence since it may have both positive and negative consequences.



[1] Peter Berger, The Social Construction of Reality, Irvington Publisher, 1997.

[2] Peter Berger, The Social Construction of Reality, Irvington Publisher, 1997.

 

[3] Kristina Borjesson, Ed. Into the Buzzsaw, Prometheous Books, 2004.

 

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