Saturday, September 23, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 7, 1445 H
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Under the shadow of Artificial Intelligence

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No other generation has seen as much transition as the generation of those who are in their 50s or late 60s. They came across changes in the academic syllabus from traditional to modern, and when they hit the job market, computerisation came as the biggest challenge of the century; then came the Internet, mobile phones, smartphones, and the latest in the line is Artificial Intelligence (AI). The transformation of Artificial Intelligence from conference room discussions to everyone’s screens is as fast as its ability to perform tasks.

“No wonder a technology launched on November 30, 2022, grabbed everybody’s attention. More than its advantages, people are worried about the job losses it can cause across the sectors. It is performing secretarial jobs, writing letters, making proposals and many other things, which otherwise would have taken long hours to prepare,” said Vir Vijay, an IT professional and Director of Provise Integrated Solutions.

He, however, highlighted some of the central questions and concerns surrounding the impact of AI on society and the economy. The potential effects of AI on productivity, economic growth, inequality, and the role of humans are complex and multifaceted.

“Experts in the field claim AI has the potential to boost productivity and economic growth significantly. By automating routine and repetitive tasks, AI can free up human labour for more creative and strategic work. It can also enhance decision-making through data analysis and predictive capabilities. However, freeing human labour can also create a transition because people can’t be trained in AI so early and so quickly,” he said.

Data interpretation is another issue. The extent to which AI will drive economic growth depends on factors such as the level of AI adoption, the rate of technological advancement, and the ability of businesses and governments to integrate AI effectively into existing processes. All these are time-consuming processes, but it seems the AI is in a hurry to grab everything.

The rapid advancement of AI also raises ethical and social questions. These include concerns about biases in AI systems, potential job displacement, privacy issues related to data collection, and the concentration of power among tech giants. Addressing these concerns will be essential for shaping a future where AI benefits society.

Dr Harish Kumar, a General practitioner with many years of experience in Oman, has genuine concerns. “We are hearing much about intelligence and practising as much as possible. Medical science has benefitted a lot. Till now things are under control because the intelligence and experts are working in coordination. There are chances of misuse if there is lack of coordination and things go into wrong hands.”

He, however, said every change brings some transition for which people have to prepare and act accordingly. “Only time will tell the real direction of the Artificial Intelligence,” he said.

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