Artificial Intelligence: Why the U.S. Must Invest in the Technology of the Future
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the future. This technology continues to grow at an unprecedented rate and is more prevalent in our daily lives than ever. Amazon’s Alexa, driver assist, driverless cars, and computer algorithms are a few examples of how this innovative technology is quickly infiltrating society. There are concerns about how this technology will affect our future. The counter-argument for rapid AI development is that if it is not properly regulated it can have negative long-term implications for our society by taking human jobs or even result it massive destruction. The United States must rapidly invest time and resources in AI development because adversarial nations continue to develop AI, there is significant AI potential in the healthcare field, and the arguments against development are often shrouded in misinformation.
Our adversaries fully understand the potential to gain a marked advantage over us with AI and the more advanced artificial general intelligence (AGI). The difference between AI and AGI is that while AI has one specific task AGI has a much more broadly programmed mission. “The Chinese government has invested heavily in multi-year technological campaigns aimed at supercharging a domestic AI market the country [projects] could be worth $150 billion by 2020.”1 Furthermore, the Russian government made it clear that they can make up for their military and economic shortcomings through AGI development. Russian President, Vladimir Putin, claimed that AI is, “‘the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind’”2 and “that the nation that ‘becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.’”2 Without a doubt, our adversaries understand the advantages of AI and are poised to take full advantage of the technology. Regardless of the fears of unchecked AI development, the United States government must remain competitive in this field or face the consequences of a severely degraded national defense posture. In addition to national defense, AI can improve other crucial fields such as healthcare.
AI is already changing healthcare. It increases patient health data analysis effectiveness. This AI data interpretation leads to quick and accurate diagnoses. With proper development, this technology is expected to drastically reduce human error and eventually replace human healthcare specialists altogether.3 Cancer treatment and the curing of neurological issues that have always eluded us are examples of how AI tech has the potential to save countless lives. The United States’ healthcare system is bound to be years behind its potential and fall behind other nations devoting more time and resources to AI development. Underlying these arguments for rapid AI development are the counterarguments largely based in ungrounded opinons.
The argument here is not that the future of AI will not be disruptive in some form. It most certainly will be. However, our competitors are developing this technology rapidly, so the commonplace societal myths should be adressed. The idea that AI can become self-aware and turn evil is a legitimate concern. An evil AI system could result in human suffering in mass. The truth is that AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals and the proper concern should be that it would learn to accomplish its goals by any means necessary. The most efficient means of doing so may seem immoral to humans, but to the AI it is simply accomplishing its goal in the most efficient manner. Another common concern is that AGI is only a few years away. The truth is that AGI is actually decades away. This timeline is a good thing because it gives us the ability to properly research AGI safetynets as the technology continues to grow.
AI/AGI development and growing prevalence is inevitable. Adversarial nations such as China and Russia fully understand the importance of AI research and development. We can drastically improve healthcare with AI/AGI medical technology. Fully addressing the AI concerns and misnomers is an important step to proceeding with the technology’s development without delay. The United States must realize the importance of this technology and invest more time, money, and all available resources to its rapid development. Our security and health depend on it.