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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a driving force in the global digital transformation, promising a wide range of benefits spanning from health to security, from operational efficiency to creativity. Nations are investing billions in wealth for the creation of hubs, facilities, data centers, jobs, software, and personnel training in these technological areas. 

However, along with these advantages, a series of risks and challenges also arise, requiring critical assessment and very careful management. In this article, I am pleased to share some reflections below.

Certainly, AI is a word, a concept, a set of technologies that today is in the hands and on the lips of all of us. 

Consider the case of OpenAI and how it has revolutionized the question/answer paradigm in the last two years. Today, all of us ask questions and are accustomed to receiving answers in a very short time, but when it comes to AI, what definition do we attribute to it? 

AI is the ability of a machine to exhibit and introduce human-like capabilities such as reasoning, learning, planning, and creativity, allowing systems to understand their environment, relate to what they perceive, solve problems, and act towards a specific goal. 

The computer receives data (already prepared or collected from the field through sensors), processes it, and responds.


But what is the starting point for talking about artificial intelligence? The Data.


If we don’t fuel the car, the car stops. This is the analogy I often use when talking about AI because it’s possible to set up huge machines with extremely high computing capabilities, but if we don’t then put data and information into them, these supercomputers will find themselves unable to perform their work, move, and perform their functions to the best of their ability. 

It is at this stage that IoT, better known as the Internet of Things, comes into play in many areas. 

In fact, we can define the conjunction between AI and IoT as similar to that between the human brain and body: the human body through various sensory inputs such as sight and touch recognizes situations and consequently our brain based on sensory inputs makes decisions, sending signals to the body to command its movements. 

IoT is a set of sensors connected to a network, and thanks to artificial intelligence, it will be possible to make sense of the vast amount of field data collected, allowing machines to take control of the situation directly, being able to process decisions and adopt strategies in place of humans. Imagine, for example, the automation of choices in a certification process or energy diagnosis based on the collected data.

Below, a diagram taken from the web gives us an overview of how important data is to reach the infamous Generative AI.

After understanding what we’re talking about and how it can be leveraged, I want to share, to be impartial, both risks and benefits associated with the implementation of Artificial Intelligence systems.

Risks associated with AI:

  1. Unemployment: AI-driven automation could eliminate millions of jobs, leading to economic inequalities and increased reliance on basic income and other social support measures.

  2. Bias and discrimination: AI algorithms can reflect and even amplify human biases present in training data, leading to discriminatory decisions in critical sectors such as employment, criminal justice, and credit.

  3. Security and privacy: AI could be used for harmful purposes, such as creating sophisticated malware, manipulating public opinion through misinformation, or cyber-attacking critical infrastructure. With the widespread use of data monitoring and analysis systems, there is a risk of privacy breaches and abuse of personal information.

  4. Loss of control: Increasing the autonomy of AI systems poses the risk of losing control over these systems, with potential unforeseen or harmful consequences.

Benefits associated with AI:

  1. Automation: AI enables the automation of repetitive and boring tasks, freeing up human resources to focus on high-value activities.

  2. Efficiency: AI-based systems can analyze large amounts of data in real-time, enabling faster and informed decisions in various sectors such as logistics, finance, and human resource management.

  3. Health: In healthcare, AI can be used to diagnose diseases early, personalize treatments, and improve healthcare data management, leading to more effective and personalized care.

  4. Innovation: AI fuels innovation in sectors such as automotive, robotics, home automation, and many others, creating new business opportunities and improving quality of life.

How Generative AI Works:

Generative AI is intelligence capable of creating new content based on what it has learned from existing content through statistical and predictive models.

Human mentality will play a key role in the output content and will be the real competitive advantage for continuous improvement of Generative AI. 

Here are 10 principles for a healthy “AI-oriented” mindset:

  1. Lateral thinking: explore what we have never done before. Expand our horizons.
  2. It’s not free, it’s not immediate: AI is an investment in the future.
  3. Look with the eyes of the future: aim for the future and stay updated by anticipating developments.
  4. “Reasoning Engine” not “Fact Database”: machines are engines of reasoning but not always 100% reliable. Use our reasoning to optimize the content generated by AI.
  5. Not what we need but why we need it: Generative AI… why do we need it? This drives us to exploit its interpretation capabilities. For example, when we type a prompt on ChatGPT, let’s not forget to indicate the emotions that should be present in the output.
  6. Not a substitute but Co-Pilot: think of machines not as substitutes but as processors of our thoughts and talents.
  7. More AI simultaneously, more time for us: optimize time thanks to AI.
  8. It doesn’t matter which technology we use but how we use it: use skills and our know-how.
  9. If you can imagine it, you can test it: brainstorm on impossible projects trying to transform our ideas.
  10. From science fiction to fantastic science: celebrate progress while remaining critical and aware. Remember that there was once a transition from calculators to smartphones.

Conclusions:

Artificial Intelligence offers tremendous potential to improve our lives, but it must be managed carefully to mitigate associated risks. A solid regulatory framework and ethical governance are needed to ensure that AI is used for the common good, respecting society’s fundamental values and mitigating risks to security and privacy.

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