By definition, intelligence means having the ability to acquire information, process it into knowledge, and eventually apply the skills to accomplish tasks or perform specific functions.

Intelligence is progressive. Over time and through a constant process of learning, we’re able to develop the knowledge we’ve gained and transform them into innovations that improve efficiency at work and the quality of life.

But what about Artificial Intelligence or AI? The term itself might seem self-explanatory.

“Artificial” means something that’s non-human, synthetic, or non-organic. So is an AI, a non-human, non-organic entity with the intelligence to develop information into knowledge and applicable skills through progressive learning?

A non-human that can learn to think, decide, and act like a human?

It’s not a far-fetched idea because AI is a product of human learning. We wouldn’t have developed AI technology if it wasn’t a good thing. Advocates of AI Technology say it’s not the stuff of a James Cameron movie.

Well, the statement might not be entirely true. As with all “good things” too much of it can be bad.

Whether you like AI technology or not, it’s here to stay and will continue to grow in prominence. There are apparent benefits to AI technology. And as the latest developments have shown, the use of AI also carries risks.

What Is AI Technology?

Look up the definition of AI Technology and the term that’s common in all of them is “human intelligence”.

AI Technology is a computer-based simulation of human intelligence whereby the objective of the software program is to get machines to think and perform functions like humans.

AI Technology isn’t a new concept. Since the first iteration of the digital computer was introduced in the 1940s, programmers have been trying to develop software that could replicate human behavior.

We’ve seen snippets of how close programmers have come to accomplishing this goal with the development of software that could beat world champions in chess and assist Mathematical geniuses in proving theorems.

From these small steps, programmers have developed software that allowed machines to assume key aspects of human behavior:

  • Learning
  • Reasoning
  • Problem-solving
  • Perception

Computers were developed to improve efficiency and streamline the decision-making process by providing accurate information. However, with the introduction of AI Technology, software programs were created to enable computers – machines – to develop the cognitive ability of humans.

What Are The Benefits Of AI Technology?

The combination of providing accurate information and having an intuitive characteristic has turned AI from a “Star Trek” concept to game-changing technology.

Here are some of the benefits of AI Technology:

  • Improve workplace efficiency.
  • Reduce the time needed to complete a task.
  • Allow multi-tasking with little to zero chances of making costly mistakes.
  • Run processes 24/7, 365 days a year without interruption or break time.
  • Manage complex tasks without significantly affecting operating budgets.
  • Scale up operations without significantly increasing business development budgets.
  • Technology can be applied across a wide range of industries.
  • Supports quick but confident and unbiased decision-making.
  • Enhancing productivity while keeping costs low can increase profits.
  • Reduce risks to human life when applied to hazardous situations.

As you’ve just read, the benefits of AI Technology stem from its ability to replicate the strengths of the human asset without our inherent weaknesses.

For example, as humans, our physical limitations subject us to fatigue and illnesses. Empathy exposes us to the risk of emotional distress. Differences in perception make us unpredictable. That’s why in the workplace, you can have star players, laggards, and trouble-makers.

AI Technology doesn’t succumb to air-borne viruses nor does it need caffeine and calories to function properly. AI Technology has no family to worry about or strained relationships that need to be fixed. It’s not concerned with how to pay the next month’s rent or electric bill.

Machines equipped with AI Technology are used to handle dangerous jobs or situations such as diffusing bombs, exploring the deeper ends of an ocean, or searching for oil and precious metals in treacherous places.

Computers with AI Tech software are powerful enough to collect and process massive amounts of data and detect trends, patterns, changes in behavior, and other factors to provide a solid basis for decision-making.

What Are The Risks Of AI Technology?

Because AI Technology is man-made, it’s not perfect. As amazing as its benefits are for life and work, there are risks to adopting the innovation for your business.

  • The initial investment in AI Technology can be quite expensive and not feasible for small businesses.
  • The learning capacity of AI Technology is limited by the amount of data it has been pre-fed.
  • The growth in popularity of AI tech might lead to the displacement of humans from their jobs.
  • The ability of AI to multi-task might breed a lackadaisical workforce in the company.
  • The AI has no understanding of morality and values. Therefore, its actions won’t consider the possible consequences to human life and well-being.
  • AI programs need to be updated regularly to prevent crashes and remain functional.
  • AI is always at the risk of attack by cyber-criminals.

AI Technology has also found its way into the judicial system. Judges are using AI to review hundreds of case files and documents in the hope that the technology can help arrive at unbiased decision-making.

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However, the accuracy of the AI’s findings is as accurate as the information it processes. If the case files and documents have been redacted, compromised by false statements, and outdated information, the court might render the wrong decision.

The implications of an egregious decision will be compounded if the procedures for collecting the information are illegal or unethical.

And there lies the risk or threat of AI. Technology presents a conundrum when an innovation that was developed for good isn’t equipped to analyze the moral and ethical implications of its actions.

When Does AI Tech Become Immoral Or Unethical?

In 2016, an AI created a “new piece of Rembrandt art” – an original if you will – by studying and analyzing 346 works of the late painter, identifying common traits that make a Rembrandt, a Rembrandt.

Shortly thereafter, Huawei developed an AI software that completed the unfinished symphony of the great Classical composer, Franz Schubert, Symphony No. 8.

More recently, an AI “composed” a hit song “Heart on My Sleeve” that made people think there was a collaboration between two big R&B singers, Drake and The Weekend.

There was no original art by Rembrandt. No one uncovered a hidden transcript of Schubert’s Symphony No. 8. There was no collaboration between Drake and The Weekend.

The ethical and moral quandary is: “Who will be credited as the original artist? The software company or the artists they studied, analyzed, and copied?”

Worse is the idea of generating music “from the beyond”. Imagine getting “new music” from Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Prince. For the sake of more profits, record companies won’t let the dead rest in peace.

The accuracy of AI can help record companies churn out hit albums faster because the artist doesn’t have to do the actual recording. It saves the record company money but denies the fans access to “real music”.

Then, there’s the threat of Deep Fake.

Deep Fake is AI technology that has been used to superimpose the faces of famous people in images and videos. What used to be a source of fun and games in social media has been weaponized to blackmail people by putting their faces in malicious images or videos that have them in compromising positions.

And the threats don’t end there. Signatures can be copied. Documents can be altered. Studies can be manipulated; all for the sake of greed, not for good.


Clearly, the benefits of AI Technology far outweigh its risks. And it’s not entirely true that the initial capital expenditure is out of reach for small businesses.

A good example of AI Technology is the chatbot. By installing a chatbot in your website or messaging service, you can instantly raise the level of customer service because a prospect’s inquiries can be attended to right away.

Adding a chatbot plugin to your website won’t cause a wrinkle in your budget. For example, you can easily install Facebook Messenger on your website by copying and pasting its code on a webpage.

Site visitors who land on your webpage will be greeted by the Messenger plugin. To speed up the resolution process, you can set up default answers to FAQs. You’ll be immediately notified if the question demands a different, more specific answer.

As far as the threats or risks are concerned, the recent events where AI attempted to recreate art have proven one thing.

AI cannot replicate human empathy 100%.

The best compositions are those that resonate with the listener. They’re composed from the heart and appeal to the sensibilities of people. Drake, The Weekend, and Schubert achieved fame and success because the listener could “feel” their music.

The same goes for paintings. How a painter feels affects the pressure of the paintbrush on canvas and influences his choice of colors.

You can pick up a Dobro but you won’t sound like blues legend Robert Johnson because the blues comes from the heart – it’s music that’s driven by hardship and tragedy.

Even with chatbots.

Chatbots can respond to queries but aren’t capable of creating a feedback loop that’s crucial in building a relationship with the customer.

AI can help streamline costs, improve productivity, and give profits a boost – but it can’t replace the human connection. In the end, people prefer to deal with people.

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