Widespread concerns regarding anthropomorphizing artificial intelligence (AI) are emerging as it can potentially have an adverse consequence of machines taking over humans.
Humans possess a tendency to attribute human personality and quality to non-humans, which is called anthropomorphism. The anthropomorphic human behavior has its roots several years back when it was done in the form of art, sculptures, and fables. For instance, in an Aesop’s fable, “The North Wind and the Sun,” an anthropomorphized North Wind tries to strip the cloak off of a traveler. In the context of artificial intelligence, it is ascribing human forms and behavior to technology. People usually anthropomorphize several non-human living organisms and things like god, animals, and various objects. But their tendency for anthropomorphizing AI increases due to the potentials that the technology provides. AI has provided many applications that have simply blown away the minds of business leaders across all industries. Although AI has a lot of potential, anthropomorphizing it can create dangerous situations.
AI systems have the potential to mimic the human brain, exhibit intelligence, and show emotions. But do they really exhibit intelligence or have emotions? No, although they show emotions, they cannot actually feel them. They can show and sense emotions based on some learning datasets where they are trained to react based on a pattern. But only living organisms can feel anything because of their sensory organs. But still, AI systems can make people believe that they can do that by exhibiting similar behavior. And that’s what anthropomorphizing AI does. It blinds people from the real possibilities and limitations of AI.
The debate of “will AI reduce jobs?” has been going on since AI machines started eliminating the need for humans in several small monotonous tasks. And, it is still continuing when they have taken over some larger and complex jobs. Many people say that AI will reduce human jobs, and many others say that it will create more new jobs than it destroys. But, anthropomorphizing AI, to a great extent, will certainly eliminate the need for humans and make several of them jobless.
Anthropomorphized AI systems can potentially create artificial humans who might be able to befriend a person and create an entirely new world for him or her. It will be great to have such an artificial friend who can understand emotions, be trustful, and loyal. But, this will make humans non-interactive with others. People will not interact socially with their colleagues or friends as they will be happy in their own world with their robot friends.
Humans are creating AI systems for their use, and the technology has given much back to them. But anthropomorphizing AI will end up in a scenario where it will not be people who will use AI, it will be the latter using them. It is not that the AI should not be used, it is that it should not be significantly anthropomorphized due to the many dangers it poses. Hence, people should stop anthropomorphizing AI and start engaging with real authorities.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.