The Human Element in AI: Understanding Its Limitations and Possibilities
6 minute(s) read
Published on: Aug 15, 2023
Updated on: Aug 15, 2023
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AI has its limitations scientists are yet to overcome. It lacks the human element, which might be crucial in creating new ideas and making decisions.
Limitations of Artificial Intelligence
Science fiction likes to dwell on the idea that AI will surpass human intelligence. In theory, it is possible. But in reality, it is too early to be afraid of that. Today, people separate AI solutions into three categories:
- Weak – does one task;
- Strong – can learn and understand tasks as well as humans;
- Super – surpasses human intelligence.
Although people use AI-powered apps daily, the strong category is still a theory. Scientists are only working to achieve that. To make it possible, they need to address serious limitations of the technology.
One of the major struggles for algorithms is understanding context. In many cases, it is crucial for making decisions. Context defines where someone is joking or being serious, for instance. One phrase might be ironic when said to a friend and serious when used in a letter.
It is an immediate context. When people talk, we analyze lots of non-verbal cues. Even if it is a chat, we know how our friends text and what emojis they use. Or take two people from different parts of the world and cultures. Something acceptable in one culture might be offensive in another. Machines cannot understand immediate and global context yet to make decisions.
Besides the immediate one, there is a general context as well. It includes a tremendous amount of background information we operate with.
Another thing machines could be better at is emotions. Some of them understand the sentiment. But it is not enough. It is crucial to understand all potential implications of this sentiment.
We operate the world based on emotions. They constantly influence our decisions. For example, when you are confident and happy, you are more likely to make risky decisions. The way people feel affects the actions we take. We also consider how our actions and words will make others feel.
Emotions are incredibly complex. Every person deals with them differently. Your experience, situation, cultural norms, etc., define it. AI is yet to learn how to understand difficult emotions.
Imagine an AI system that makes financial decisions for a company. It is trained to find the best solution. And it will do it even if this solution means that a lot of people will lose jobs and means of living.
People can do several things at a time. Our brains are incredibly powerful. They have billions upon billions of neurons. That’s why we can process astonishing amounts of data without even noticing.
While our brain regulates bodily processes, we can read and comprehend, listen to music, and answer a message at the same time. Also, you are registering noises, smells, visuals, and other sensory information.
AI systems have yet to do it. Current hardware and software solutions limit them. Computers have come a long way. But they must be much more powerful to process vast amounts of data.
Current AI solutions are usually good at one task and cannot go beyond it. When dealing with a complex task, algorithms break it down and do it one at a time.
We’ve already seen machine-generated art and music. It should be the answer to the creativity question. Well, it is not as simple as it seems.
Creativity is an inherent human capability. People come up with new ideas and create unique pieces that do not even have to be art. Even the way you prepare a sandwich can be creative.
AI can understand the language, make decisions, and solve problems. But it cannot emulate the creative process. It can create a picture based on the text. Yet, this picture will result from an analysis of the dataset the algorithm was taught on. It is nothing new, just a compilation of previously-made work. That’s why it cannot create a unique dissertation or authentic novel. The result will always be a compilation.
Even if you consider it unique, it lacks emotional depth. All of that comes from machines having no emotions, empathy, or essential human experience to rely on.
Another limitation here is that AI cannot go over the things it knows. It cannot learn from the experience in real time yet. But this can be solved in the future with more advanced hardware and a new way of data storing and processing.
One thing AI took from people is bias. Such systems work based on the datasets they’ve learned. If something is wrong with the data, it will transfer to the algorithm.
And datasets are made by humans. If people who prepared them have racial or gender bias, AI will have it too. It cannot overcome and critically reevaluate the information learned. We’ve already seen it a couple of times. This is a serious concern as it can perpetuate discrimination and harmful stereotypes.
People want to imagine machines as being objective. But they are only as objective as the humans that taught them. People can educate themselves, become more tolerant, and learn from their mistakes. But machines cannot do it, at least for now.
AI can overcome some limitations of the human mind. For example, its short memory is not as limited. And it can easily retrieve any information at any point.
Yet, it lacks the human element crucial to the idea of intelligence. It involves understanding context and emotions, along with learning on the go and overcoming biases. If you feel like you need a human touch, particularly in academic writing and college assignments, look for the top writing platforms on NoCramming.Click here to create a mobile app