Artificial Intelligence: Boon or Bane?

Artificial Intelligence: Boon or Bane?

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Rashmi
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on May 15, 2024 13:39 IST

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is among the fastest-developing technologies with many applications. From playing our favourite music to assisting in complex surgeries, AI has made the lives of humans easier by offering solutions to problems. Such a revolution in technology has been intriguing, and there has been a lot of discussion around the topic- of AI- boon or bane. In this article, we will learn the advantages and disadvantages of AI and what we should expect in the future.

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Content – AI, boon or bane?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science and refers to a technique that enables machines to mimic human behaviour. AI can improve on past iterations and become smarter and more aware, allowing it to improve its capabilities and knowledge. With AI, machines perform cognitive functions like learning, planning, reasoning, decision-making, and problem-solving. AI is a machine’s simulation of human intelligence, and it could solve major real-world challenges. This is why we are discussing whether AI is a boon or bane!

AI Facts

  • The global artificial intelligence market is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.3% between 2023 – 2030. It is projected to reach $1,811.8 billion by 2030.
  • A report by NASSCOM suggests that AI use in India could add USD 450-500 billion to the country’s GDP by 2025.
  • PWC suggests that AI will contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Interestingly, it is more than the current output of India and China combined.
  • IBM reports that over 35% of companies have already adopted AI in their operations.
  • 91.5% of leading businesses invest in AI, reports CompTIA.
  • Gartner suggests that AI software spending will grow to $297.9 billion by 2027.
  • 77% of devices we use today feature at least one form of AI. Instagram and Facebook filters are perfect examples.
  • ChatGPT, a popular GenerativeAI tool, currently has over 180.5 million users. The website generated 1.63 billion visits in February 2024.

Applications of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence applications are numerous and ensure benefits like improved services, better customer satisfaction, and behaviour forecasts. Some of the crucial applications of artificial intelligence in a number of industries are as follows – 

Healthcare

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the healthcare industry in numerous ways, enhancing diagnosis, treatment, and patient care. Here are some real-world examples of how AI is being utilized in healthcare:

Medical Imaging Diagnosis

  • IBM Watson for Oncology: IBM Watson analyzes large volumes of medical data to assist oncologists in formulating personalized treatment plans for cancer patients.
  • Google’s DeepMind: DeepMind’s AI models have been used to diagnose eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, by analyzing retinal scans.

Drug Discovery and Development

  • Atomwise: Atomwise uses AI to predict molecules' binding affinity to target proteins, expediting the drug discovery process.
  • Insilico Medicine: This company uses AI to identify potential drug candidates by analyzing large datasets and simulating the effects of compounds on biological systems.

Personalized Treatment Planning

  • Tempus: Tempus combines clinical and molecular data to help doctors design personalized treatment plans for cancer patients.
  • PathAI: PathAI assists pathologists in accurately diagnosing diseases from tissue samples using AI-powered image analysis.

Health Monitoring and Wearable Devices

  • Apple Watch: The Apple Watch can monitor heart rate, detect irregular rhythms, and even predict falls, providing users with valuable health insights.
  • Fitbit: Fitbit’s wearables track activity, sleep patterns, and heart rate, offering users a comprehensive overview of their health.

Predictive Analytics and Patient Management

  • EarlySense: EarlySense uses AI to monitor patients’ vital signs, enabling early detection of deterioration and reducing the risk of adverse events.
  • Predictive Analytics at Hospitals: Hospitals use AI to predict patient admissions, identify high-risk patients, and allocate resources efficiently.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) in Healthcare Records

  • Nuance Communications: Nuance’s Dragon Medical platform uses NLP to transcribe and analyze doctor-patient interactions, streamlining documentation and information extraction.

Robot-Assisted Surgery

Several specialities offer robotic-assisted procedures to treat various conditions. Some examples of such surgeries include Cardiothoracic robotic surgery, Colorectal Robotic Surgery, Gastrointestinal robotic surgery, Gynecologic robotic surgery, Neurological robotic surgery, Otolaryngologic robotic surgery, Urologic robotic surgery, etc.

  • da Vinci Surgical System: This robotic system assists surgeons in complex surgeries with enhanced precision and minimal invasiveness.

Disease Identification and Outbreak Prediction

  • BlueDot: BlueDot’s AI platform analyzes global news, airline data, and other sources to predict and identify disease outbreaks.
  • HealthMap: HealthMap uses AI to aggregate and analyze data from various sources to track the spread of diseases in real time.

Tourism

Personalized Recommendations: AI algorithms analyze user preferences, behaviour, and past interactions and, in turn, provide them with personalized travel recommendations about places to visit, accommodations, etc., as per the traveller’s interests and preferences.

Itinerary Planning: Generative AI tools can assist in creating detailed travel itineraries, suggesting activities, transportation options, and time allocations. A fine example is a traveller named Madison Rolley, who went viral for saying that ChatGPT saved her “anywhere from two to five hours” of extra research, along with some bucks.

Dynamic Pricing: AI algorithms help determine optimal pricing for flights, accommodations, etc., by analyzing market trends, demand patterns, and competitor pricing. This point is particularly helpful for businesses as it allows them to adjust real-time prices to maximize revenue.

Fraud Detection and Security: Credit card fraud has been an area of concern for businesses as well as customers. AI algorithms can detect fraudulent activities in bookings and transactions by analyzing patterns and identifying anomalies, enhancing customer and business security.

Image Recognition: You can very easily identify landmarks, objects, and scenes in just one lick, all thanks to AI-powered image recognition technology. This enhances the travel experience by providing accurate information about points of interest.

Customer Feedback Analysis: AI algorithms can analyze customer reviews and feedback to extract insights about areas for improvement. This helps businesses enhance their services and adapt to customer preferences. 

Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants provide instant customer support, answering queries related to travel plans, bookings, and destination information.  

Health and Safety: After the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel industry has extensively used AI to enhance health and safety measures. Some examples include temperature screening, social distancing monitoring, and contactless check-in processes.

Smart Assistants

Siri, Google Home, and Amazon Echo are popular smart assistants and good examples of AI applications. These devices use natural language processing (NLP) to interpret the consumer response and respond either verbally or by executing a specific action. 

Chatbots

When you enter a web page, you will find interactive chatbots that suggest products/restaurants/ hotels/services based on our queries. Chatbots are computer programs that simulate and process human conversations. It is one of the clearest examples of artificial intelligence, as are Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, or Microsoft’s Cortana, which we find integrated into our everyday devices. 

Education 

AI makes it possible to detect and provide the right solutions. For example, if a student is going to drop out, offer them alternatives, search for courses that adapt to the needs of each student, control class attendance, and prevent school dropouts.

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Healthcare 

Obtaining more accurate and faster diagnoses is essential for applying appropriate treatment in the healthcare sector. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, AI could give early warnings of the Pandemic, predict localized infections, analyze news, or carry out pre-diagnosis of the virus through apps.

Logistics & Transportation

AI has played a crucial role in the COVID-19 pandemic, with several autonomous aircraft and drones transporting medical supplies and delivering vaccines in remote locations. Besides, AI is useful in avoiding collisions and traffic jams, improving traffic behaviour, and optimizing traffic light control. 

Sales

AI applications also offer sales forecasts to choose the best products to recommend to customers. Multinationals like Amazon use AI to identify whether a product or a launch would succeed, even before selling it. AI helps optimize the purchase and distribution processes and avoids losses or breakages.

Autonomous Vehicles 

Artificial Intelligence is the most important and sophisticated component of autonomous vehicles. These vehicles have sensors, cameras, and smart communications systems that generate data. This data, in combination with AI, can help to mimic human behaviour and enable vehicles to perform efficiently.

Electronic Commerce 

Artificial intelligence is used in e-commerce to –

  • Recommend related products to the customer
  • Remind them of the past purchase
  • Predict whether or not a product will be successful
  • Optimize inventory and avoid out-of-stock, predict revenues
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Advantages of Artificial Intelligence

  • Artificial Intelligence reduces human error.
  • Contributes to risky tasks that humans can’t perform, such as exploring the depths of the sea, space expeditions, etc.
  • AI can perform tasks at long stretches with constant human intervention compared to human labour. 
  • Companies can rely on AI to safeguard consumer data

Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence

  • Higher costs are involved because of machine complexity
  • Since AI automates a lot of tasks, it has made humans addicted to smart devices and become lazy 
  • AI can easily perform repetitive and heavy tasks and has replaced human labour. e.g. Process automation in industries 
  • As of now, AI can not replicate human emotions and connection, an essential attribute to the team working
  • AI and machines are programmed to perform functions, so it may take some time for them to innovate at performing tasks
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Conclusion

Coming to the question of whether AI is a boon or bane, the answer is tricky. The fear of omnipotent machines acting like humans isn’t far-fetched. Elon Musk has repeatedly warned that AI will soon become just as smart as humans, and that will be a very scary situation because humanity’s existence will be at stake.

Ethics in AI has always been a point of discussion, and given how successful AI has been in transforming human lives; we can’t think of our world without its active role. In the future, we will witness more revolutionized AI, with autonomous driving and flying in our daily lives, AI replacing many human-driven tasks, etc. If humans and AI have aligned interests, both will go hand in hand; if they don’t, it gets conflicting.

We need to discuss at what rate we can allow the technological revolution to continue. The future will be very different for the next generation, and there is a need to have more stringent policies to use AI to benefit humans and make groundbreaking discoveries.


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FAQs

Is artificial intelligence good or bad?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a tool. Like any tool, it can be used for good or bad. It can potentially solve some of the world's most pressing problems, such as climate change, poverty, and disease. However, it also has the potential to be misused, leading to job losses, social inequality, and even war.

What are the potential benefits of AI?

The potential benefits of AI are vast and varied. AI can be used to: Improve healthcare: AI can be used to diagnose diseases more accurately and develop new treatments and personalized medicine; Automate tasks: AI can automate repetitive tasks, allowing humans to focus on more creative and strategic work; Improve transportation: AI can be used to develop self-driving cars and trucks, which could reduce traffic congestion and accidents; Create new products and services: AI can be used to develop new products and services that meet the needs of consumers; Improve our understanding of the world: AI can analyze large amounts of data to uncover new insights.

What are the potential risks of AI?

The potential risks of AI are also significant. AI could be used to: Job automation: AI could automate many jobs, leading to job losses and economic disruption; Increase inequality: AI could create a more stratified society, with the wealthy benefiting from AI while the poor are left behind; Create new weapons: AI could be used to develop new weapons that are more powerful and destructive than anything today; Pose a threat to humanity: Some experts believe that AI could eventually become so intelligent that it surpasses human intelligence and threatens humanity.

How can we ensure that AI is used for good?

Several things can be done to ensure that AI is used for good. These include: Investing in research into ethical AI: Researchers need to develop AI systems that are aligned with human values and do not threaten humanity; Developing international regulations for AI: Governments need to work together to develop international regulations that govern the development and use of AI; Educating the public about AI: The public needs to be educated about the potential benefits and risks of AI so that they can make informed decisions about how AI is used; Promoting responsible AI development: Businesses and organizations must develop AI systems responsibly, considering the potential risks.

What is the future of AI?

The future of AI is uncertain, but AI will have a profound impact on our world. AI has the potential to solve some of the world's most pressing problems, but it also has the potential to be misused. We must ensure that AI is used for good and that we mitigate the risks.

About the Author
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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio