ARTIFICIAL Intelligence, this ever-evolving field of computer science, which has taken the world by storm, has a strong presence in Saint Lucia, but are we taking it seriously? And by a strong presence we mean that from the moment a Saint Lucian wakes up to check his/her smartphone, or watch another Netflix recommended movie, artificial intelligence is staring them in the face.
Research done by us shows that artificial intelligence, or AI, as it is commonly called, is already affecting how economies grow, how it produces jobs and trade internationally. Certain countries are already maximizing on its capabilities to help make their economies financially and economically stronger.
This technology which has emerged as revolutionary, is said to have immense potential to transform various sectors of a country. We believe that if harnessed properly it can do the same for the Saint Lucian economy.
But before we move in that direction we need to know what exactly is AI? And how well can it serve Saint Lucia now and in the future?
Our research tells us that AI provides a computer programme the ability to think and learn on its own. It is a simulation of human intelligence (hence artificial) into machines to do things that humans normally do. By doing that AI allows systems to analyse huge amounts of data, identify patterns and make reasoned decisions or predictions, fundamentally predicated on probabilitiy. The experts conclude that there are three main types of AI based on its capabilities – weak AI, strong AI, and super AI. The experts further concluded that with its ability to continuously learn and adapt, AI has the capacity to significantly enhance productivity, efficiency and accuracy in industries ranging from healthcare and finance to manufacturing and transportation.
Whilst this is good news indeed, there is another side of the coin that must be examined. It has to be appreciated that as businesses and individuals increasingly harness the power of AI it becomes imperative to explore the ethical implications and potential risks associated with its widespread adoption.
And so, the questions are asked: How can AI be effectively regulated to ensure privacy and safeguard against discriminatory algorithms? What are the challenges and opportunities that AI presents in terms of economic growth and job creation? And how can AI be integrated into education systems to enhance learning outcomes?
This is where governments must step in to ensure that the benefits of AI, are encapsulated in their policies of economic development, job creation and other areas. And we are not talking here of weak AI, which focuses on one task and cannot perform beyond its limitations (common in our daily lives).
It is recorded that strong AI, can understand and learn any intellectual task that a human being can. And that super AI surpasses human intelligence and can perform any task better than a human. We are happy to learn that Super AI is still at the concept stage, unlike what is portrayed in some movies which show that super AI has moved beyond the concept stage.
In short, while AI has benefits that governments and the general population can embrace, there are drawbacks.
The world now is moving the AI way. As noted earlier, almost all that we touch or use, if not everything, now has an AI element to it, hence the need for Saint Lucians to be educated about AI, the benefits of which include efficiency through task automation, data analysis for informed decisions, assistance in medical diagnosis, and the advancement of autonomous vehicles.
Our research further revealed that one of the biggest benefits of Artificial Intelligence is that it can significantly reduce errors and increase accuracy and precision. The decisions taken by AI in every step is decided by information previously gathered and a certain set of algorithms. When programmed properly errors can be reduced to null. Of course, the potential for massive error is equally there.
An example of the reduction in human error through AI is the use of robotic surgery, which can perform complex procedures with precision and accuracy, reducing the risk of human error and improving patient safety in healthcare.
There are also disadvantages of AI, one such being is that it cannot learn to think outside the box. AI is capable of learning over time with pre-fed data and past experiences, but cannot be creative in its approach – at least, not yet.
Truly the time has come for us to move the AI way – not moving would be like standing on the sea-shore and trying to stop the tide coming in.