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Future Artificial Intelligence models should be based on human values: QF professor

Future Artificial Intelligence models should be based on human values: QF professor

Tribune News Network
Doha
With technology being innovated and improved at a rapid pace, Artificial Intelligence (QI) is creating a huge qualitative shift in the way humans accomplish tasks – what would once take hours now takes minutes, and is done with minimal effort.
“AI is a conscious and systematic effort that human beings make to enhance their mental and physical abilities,” says Dr Georgios Mikros, professor in Master of Arts in Digital Humanities and Societies, at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), at Qatar Foundation’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).
“AI systems have been designed to solve a real problem for humans in various application domains. Their performance is directly related to the narrowness of their scope and the abstractness of the task. In well-defined closed problems, where vast data exist, AI systems deliver what they are designed to provide.”
However, as the application domain is becoming wider, the task is becoming increasingly general in scope, and the training data are sparser, then the AI systems become increasingly unable to achieve the required level of performance, according to Dr Mikros.
He believes AI systems should be engaged in real-life applications only when tested thoroughly in large-scale, highly diversified experimental conditions. Their performance should be sufficient and stable even when data are sparse and fragmented.
Dr Mikros notes that humanities must be seen as the cover of this technological ecosystem. “Humanities is the bridge that links the new digital era to the core values of our human civilisation. Skills like critical thinking, communication, empathy, mindfulness, resiliency, decision-making and self-awareness should be made the foundation of a new ethos that will make our societies technologically advanced and, at the same time, profoundly humane and sustainable.
“Humanities is the key to keep AI and other disruptive technologies within the bounds of the human domain. They are vital to developing the scientific and technological foundations for AI that are beneficial to humans and humanity according to ethical, social and cultural values.”
With a strong belief that humanities should be part of the foundation of AI, Dr Mikros underlines that humanities should provide the roadmap for the future development of AI, enabling technologies for systems that seamlessly fit with complicated social settings and dynamically adapt to changes in our environment to empower people.
Dr Mikros noted that the human mind offers highly abstract and complex cognitive functions that are hard to replicate artificially. For an AI system to simulate the human mind, it should at least develop a causal model of the world that supports explanation and understanding, rather than merely solving pattern recognition problems, as well as grasp fundamental and intuitive concepts of physics and psychology and learning-to-learn in order to acquire and generalise knowledge to new tasks and situations rapidly.
He indicated that the effects of AI in our societies are already profound. “In the near future, we expect this change to be generalised. Nearly every aspect of our social structure will be transformed and adapted to the new digital environment. Our workplaces will be improved with augmented human capabilities.”
For example, when AI takes over repetitive or dangerous tasks, it frees up the human workforce to do work, leaving them space for working, on tasks that involve creativity and empathy, among others.

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