Artificial Intelligence or AI as it is commonly referred to, is often depicted in science fiction as a threat to humanity. In Sci-Fi dramas, it is the machine that has taken on a life of its own and gone wrong. Usually from its own initiative, the sci-fi buff the risk and challenges among other things is to stop and end a certain threat.

   The one indisputable fact that experts are unable to argue and can commonly agree to is that computers live on data. The other fact experts and novice alike can agree upon is that AI is a machine or as Dr. Zhou describes “a tool” whose use of data and the source of the data are the possible risks and challenges for our present and future societies.

   Dr. Ziyuan Zhou, Assistant Professor in the studies of Public Relations and Strategic Communications at Savannah State, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, sees AI as “only a tool” but the risk of creating a “polarized society” as he states is a challenge for individuals, programmers and governments. He explains that AI is a “broad term” or “umbrella term” used to describe specific aspects of machine learning. Also inclusive of machine learning,” Algorithms, natural language processing and natural language generation “i.e. voice recognition.

   In Business and Marketing for example AI “will better locate target audiences and become more accurate based on gender and age in identifying target audiences more accurately and efficiently than traditional advertising” according to Dr. Zhou.

   This will save on advertising dollars reducing cost for broad scale advertising, but the challenge remains of diversifying and broadening that audiences’ market. In the long run societies may become polarized based on personal interest. He explains “people will read and follow only their interests”. This bias or polarization “can spread mis-information or fake news”.

   Dr. Ying Liu, Associate Professor in the Science and Technology Department, is in concert with the fact that “AI learns what it is taught” he goes on further to say that “that the intention of is to make the best decision”. Dr. Liu specifies that whether learning is supervised, that is directly under human control and input, unsupervised without direct human intervention or reinforced, machines have input, the outcome of the best decision still lies within the hands of the programmer’s initial data input.

   Dr. David Simmonds, Assistant Professor of CISM, Computer Information System Management located in the College of Business Administration better known as the COBA  or Howard Jordan building, acknowledges the need for diversity in programming. He fully understands the necessity for machines to absorb programming by individuals from diverse cultures instead of a select few.

   AI is here. AI is now. AI is becoming more and more a crucial part of our society's make-up. In the health field alone, AI plays a dominant role in access to and recovering sound accurate information. In Web MD the Jan/Feb 2020 edition an article by Karen Weintraub attests to the fact that” recent advances in digital analysis have enabled computers to draw more meaningful conclusions from large data sets. And the quality of medical information has improved dramatically over the last six years, he [Mike Nohaile, PhD, senior vice president of strategy, commercialization, and innovation for pharmaceutical giant Amgen] says, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the national insurance program championed by then-President Barack Obama that required providers to digitize their records in order to receive federal reimbursements.” This is clearly a challenge met. The risk indeed is as Nohaile puts it is” the need for privacy and huge amounts of data”.

 

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