Common Prejudices about Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Prejudice is defined as a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience ~Oxford languages. The issue of “prejudice” exist in the field of artificial intelligence. First off, there is the belief that machines can solve all problems, this has been referred to as ‘techno-chauvinism’. Oftentimes people think that machines can do everything, however it will do everything just as there is limit to what one knows. Understanding these limits will help us make better choices and have collective conversation as a society about what we can do with technology.

In an article by Forbes, October 2017, they noted that people often think that artificial intelligence is going to replace all jobs, there is going to be a transfer of labor from humans to machines. However, this is a major over-simplification. Artificial Intelligence is just a way of enabling humans to work with newer and smarter ways. 

There is also the common prejudice that computers are more ‘objective’ or ‘unbiased ‘ because they distill questions and answers down to mathematical evaluation and an unwavering faith that if the world just used more computers, we would create a digitally enabled utopia. Some people assume the of digital utopia which will be brought about by technology and machines that is, how people are normally speaking about the 4th industrial revolution and how remarkable it will be and that’s not the case. Also the belief that, “machines or computers are more objective than people”. “Things can go wrong when you are making things”, Meredith Broussard. Something can go wrong when making any device, and artificial intelligence replicates human-generated data that can be biased. Which means it can as well be easily subjected to bias.

The hope that artificial intelligence can change the world is yet another common prejudice of artificial intelligence. People think AI will quickly overtake and outpace human intelligence. However it is known that human intelligence is a valuable asset, yes machines might outpace in term of calculating speed and capacity but when it comes to emotional intelligence , they are nowhere near.  The belief that a decision generated by a computer is better than one generated by a human. Human imagination is more powerful, reality of technology cannot measure up.

Despite all these prejudices, artificial intelligence is there to improve efficiency for example the self-driving cars, with the capability to reshape the process of innovation. AI is powering many inventions in almost every filed which will help humans solve complex problems for example in the medical field. Other schools of thought argue that, AI has the potential to increase productivity in the economy sector

In conclusion, there are several common prejudices about Artificial Intelligence and with more broad awareness and training, humans can live in harmony together with AI both in Africa and the rest of the world.

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