6 A.I — Friend or Foe? By: William I. Brazley Jr., Human Resources you haven’t noticed, computers are taking over the world; or to be more accurate, advances in tech- nology have been on the rise for years and its con- tinued escalation appears to be inevitable. Are the ad- vances in technology needed; are they helpful, are they wanted? The answers to these questions will depend on who you ask. However, I would venture to say that most people you ask will be 50/50 in their response; meaning they will say that half of the advancements in technology are needed and wanted while the other half are neither needed nor wanted. They may call it cerebral muscling or grandstanding, then try to convince you how much better it will make your life. The new term for all this technology (which is not so new) is called Artificial Intelligence (AI). Artificial Intelli- gence is defined as the “intelligence of machines.” The concept is to design computer systems that can accom- plish things normally requiring a human; in other words, designing machines that can think. I think this is all well and good, but it poses other questions. How far should we go? Where is the line that we do not cross? Should there be a line that we do not cross? Again, I think it depends on who you ask. Being a fan of the big screen, the first thing that comes to my mind are all the science fiction (Syfy) movies that have been made. You know the ones I am referring to. It started with television movies long ago like Star Trek and “beam me up Scotty.” Then came the Terminator series which is based on the very premise of this article. Intelligent machines were built which even- tually decided that man was no longer needed, and the machines took over the world. You know the story, but the point is, is that where mankind is headed? To answer the questions asked above we should take a more in depth look at the advantages and disadvan- tages of Artificial Intelligence to have a better under- standing of it. Let’s start with the advantages, which are listed below; • Cost effective – can be costly to maintain, but not as costly as human employees • Machines don’t need to rest or take breaks; they can do repetitive and time-consuming tasks while increasing productivity • Make faster decisions • Machines don’t make errors, if programmed properly • Machines don’t have emotions, meaning emotions won’t affect performance • Can take risks on behalf of humans; able to handle dangerous tasks • More precise in medical processes including surgeries, biopsies, etc. Some disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence are; • Job loss – increases unemployment and decreases job security for humans • Can store massive amounts of data • A risk of losing important data • Machines don’t have emotions – lack compassion and sympathy • People may become overly dependent on machines, with a reduced need to use their own intelligence • Lack the human touch like the bedside manner of a doctor or nurse and lack common sense • Artificial Intelligence can be used for evil in the wrong hands Now that you have been able to consider some of the advantages and disadvantages of Artificial Intel- If