Do we really want the Machine to learn?

Last August 8, 2017 a talk about Machine Learning for Social Good was held at Benilde’s SDA Loop. The speaker Johan Janssens is one of the co-founders of Joomla, an open-source content management system that helps in publishing web content. The talk had an intimate set-up. There were at least 40 attendees that came from different schools and professions, all expecting a fruitful night of sharing and learning on the current news on Artificial Intelligence.

I am part of Benilde HiFi, the organizer of the talk and I went there not only as an organizer but as an attendee. As a graduate of Information Systems, being updated in current technologies is one of the things that I love to do and certainly this event had a lot more content than I expected.

Johan introduced to the audience a little preview on the current trends in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its exponential growth. The audience was at awe as they learned how much AI has improved, how fast it’s growing, and how fast we humans are getting replaced by “it”. He also showed a few samples of existing, open-source technologies that are available online (g.co/aiexperiments), and as the highlight video he showed “Conversation Between Robots” (video).

These samples shows how powerful computers now are and what can we expect from the future.

The event ended in a forum discussing the possibilities with AI, as one of Johan’s slide showed different opinion from tech giants namely, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk.

I was enthused by the discussion. It reminded me of one of my thoughts on AI, will it be the next evolution of mankind, will it replace us as the inhabitants of this planet? Maybe this thought is far-fetched, so for now I only have one question: is this AI technology going to be for the good? Or will it be another advancement in technology that will only make the current human condition worse and will only benefit a selected few.

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