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Negative effects of artificial intelligence

Updated July 20, 2017

The debate over artificial vs. human intelligence began in the late 1950s with the production of computers. The belief then was that every part of intelligence was mechanical and therefore reproducible by a machine. Memory, rapid memory access and inference were obstacles that needed to be overcome. Modern advances in nanotechnology have made these more possible and raise a new debate about the negatives of artificial intelligence.

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Artificial intelligence does not yet have the memory capacity of the human mind and cannot access such information as rapidly as the human brain. The human mind has the advantage of self-preservation instincts that aid in both learning and memory and have sensory input that is difficult to embed in practical artificial intelligence. These instincts and sensual inputs result in inferences that also are difficult to duplicate.


Human dependence on artificial intelligence for decision-making results in the atrophy of critical thinking skills. A human who becomes too dependent upon a machine to make decisions loses critical thought habits that enable him or her to make those decisions independently. The result is the loss of immediate reaction (rapid short-term decision-making) abilities that are critical to self-preservation.


Artificial Intelligence has efficiency disadvantages. While the advantage of saved payroll costs and dependability may at first seem desirable, an artificial worker only works at the speed and level it is programmed and only performs tasks exactly as instructed. It will not innovate or create new processes. Speed will only increase when programmed and is limited by mechanical constraints. Often human intelligence will work above normal levels and will innovate processes to speed work in a desire to get the job done. No such desire exists in artificial intelligence. A human intelligence works with heart; the artificial can only work with instruction.


The economy is dependent on humanity and consumerism. Artificial intelligence does not put wages back into the economy, consume goods, buy and sell houses and cars or procreate other consumers. A healthy economy is based on both production and consumption. Those producing goods must consume the goods that they produce and others. This results in an domestic economy not dependent on foreign production or consumption of goods. Humanity must do a great deal of the production and consumption of goods. While artificial intelligence may aid in production it must not be depended upon entirely.

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About the Author

Based in North Idaho, Troy Lambert has been writing how-to pieces and historical articles for magazines such as "Woodworking" and "Outdoor Idaho" since 1994. Lambert is also a novelist and has a diverse technical and philosophical education. He holds a technical certification from the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Phoenix.

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