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Is it ever possible to justify the cost of AI?

Is it ever possible to justify the cost of AI?

As we know that AI is the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. This would differ based on the activity it needs to perform, although it is a machine learning-based solution that has proven time and time again to be effective in cutting costs across multiple industries, with the same cost-reduction strategies also proving to boost productivity.

Yet, it would be considered highly costly to purchase as AI is expensive for businesses because it is still in the early stages of its development and often proprietary or specific. Although well established businesses such as Google, Apple, Amazon can justify the purchase of AI to their shareholders and customers as they are high scale production industries they would require machinery to achieve their tasks, so in these cases the benefits of AI outweigh the costs.

For example according to a study by Accenture, artificial intelligence has the ability to increase productivity by 40% or more. Through data collection, automation, decision making, and cybersecurity, AI can boost profitability by an average of 38%. This can help free up valuable time for employees. Therefore considering Accenture point of view they will be able to justify their needs of AI and how it helps their business and since they are benefiting from this purchase and in return are making profits.

However, looking from a society’s perspective it can be useful for several reasons such as online shopping and advertising, agriculture, cyber security and others. In a global AI study, PwC estimates that by 2030, the global GDP will have increased by 26% due to AI alone. That’s more than the current GDP of China and India combined. However the concern for the economy or the government is the loss of certain jobs, while artificial intelligence will create many employment opportunities and many people predict a net gain in jobs or at least the same amount of jobs would be created to replace those lost due to AI technology. This will necessitate modifications to training and education programmes in order to better prepare our future workforce. Another threat would also be AI terrorism similarly, new AI-enabled forms of terrorism may emerge, ranging from the growth of autonomous drones and the introduction of robotic swarms to remote attacks and disease delivery via nanorobots. Our law enforcement and defence agencies will have to adapt to the threat that these pose.

Artificial intelligence holds a lot of promise and potential. However, it is still in its infancy, like practically all new innovative sectors, and everything that comes out its doors are unregulated. The risks connected with AI are also very real, and waiting for cybersecurity legislation to swoop in and save the day would be a bad idea. Regulatory compliance should, in any event, be a byproduct of effective cybersecurity. AI is truly an exciting innovation but which needs to be considered before taking any action and should be able to think about where they intend to draw the line.

-Mohammed Altaf Ahmed, Grade 12