Express & Star

Star comment: We need to ensure AI is used for the good of humanity

The digital revolution has changed our lives.


We no longer post an letter, we send an email; we no longer ask someone to scan our shopping basket at the supermarket, we do it ourselves; we no longer work every day from an office, we can be more productive at home.

Yet, to borrow from the great Al Johnson, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

Artificial Intelligence is is slowly starting to become a part of our everyday lives. Complex computer algorithms affect what we listen to, how we write, or what we watch on our smart screens. AI is going to change the way we access knowledge, relate to it, and how we think about ourselves.

AI is software with cognitive behaviours. It mimics the way we think and behave, by generating ideas, understanding visual messages, or interpreting speech. Normal software is rooted in logic, AI generates its own, human-attributed rules.

We can look to the history books to understand how its potential as a force for good might come about.

During the Industrial Revolution, humans created machines to mimic human muscles and replicate the work of those on the production line. That transformed the world. AI is doing something similar in respect of our cognitive outputs, which will transform customer service, education, healthcare and much, much more. The effects will be profound.

AI may slash waiting lists at hospitals, it might improve our transport systems, it may exponentially increase productivity.

Yet there will also be nefarious players who will put AI to grim use. We need to lead as a nation, working with global partners, to regulate the risks, minimise the ill effects, and empower those who can use AI for good.