• Question: What is your opinion on Artificial Intelligence? Do you think it will be useful, or do you think it may hinder us in the future?

    Asked by Logan to Vassilis on 14 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: Vassilis Sideropoulos

      Vassilis Sideropoulos answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      Thanks for the question Logan. So here’s my long answer to you

      We are living on a world of machines and it’s the era where we are actually depending a lot in these machines. For example, we are getting the news through various devices (iPads, PCs, TVs, radio and so on and forth). These devices, or at least some of these, are smart devices, they do use different algorithms to produce a list of the news that you are interested the most – this is a type of artificial intelligence. Thinking about A.I. in a more grande way, I am actually a supporter of it. I think A.I. is very important at this moment – mainly because it attempts to replicate human thought and the human brain’s processes and functions. Achieving this would only mean that Psychology and Neuroscience has finally found the answers to a myriad of questions. And there’s progress, we are not still at the stage where robots or systems are autonomous (in terms of thinking, speaking or acting), but we have developed systems that are able to learn behaviours [physical and mental] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn4nRCC9TwQ and this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba1tND0B0xk) and I believe these developments can be used in a way where society can be benefited.

      Now, there’s huge debate, and I think it existed in Philosophy long ago. It’s about whether A.I. will be the solution to our problems or the extra problem in our list of unsolvable problems. In my opinion, I think it can be the solution to many of our problems – and I will argue for it by drawing an example from healthcare. There are many difficult surgeries which have been achieved by A.I. robotic assistance. There’s a study that says that 379 orthopedic patients found that AI-assisted robotic procedure resulted in five times fewer complications compared to surgeons operating alone (https://hbr.org/2018/05/10-promising-ai-applications-in-health-care). There are also surgeries that require intelligent systems and devices in order to be successful – therefore I think having them could only prove to be a solution to our problem [similar case studies can be found here: https://www.lasserouhiainen.com/9-reasons-why-artificial-intelligence-is-important-now/%5D. However, people seem to have the wrong idea about AI – it’s not like the movies (e.g. EX-Machina, where a robot will create its own consciousness and then kill everyone). Even if we wanted to create such catastrophic machines, it wouldn’t have been now – but in the very long future. But in general, I think we have an ethics debate here – how does one uses science? Is it for the good or the bad? For instance, nuclear power is not only used for catastrophic bombs, but also for diagnosing and treating certain illnesses, so I would say it’s up to us whether A.I. will be useful or it will hinder us in the future.