Sunday, June 16, 2024

No need to fear Artificial Intelligence if harnessed positively

By Dong Won Lee

Artificial Intelligence (AI), once the preserve of science fiction, is now an integral aspect of everyday life. Despite concerns that the uncontrolled evolution of AI could adversely impact society, this game-changing innovation can vastly transform human life if wisely utilized.

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Indeed, AI is already changing how we live, work and socialize. Think of a television that automatically switches to your favourite channel when you enter the living room or a refrigerator that alerts you to replenish groceries before they run out. A dishwashing machine that adjusts water consumption to the load volume. These are a few examples of how real-life applications of AI can transform our daily life experiences.

Basically, Artificial Intelligence refers to a technological innovation that enables computers and other devices to mimic human intelligence. The term ‘machine learning’ is also used to describe the process where computer systems use advanced techniques like algorithms to discern patterns in data, thus ‘learning’ how to perform certain tasks better.


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While humans are better than computers at reasoning, the latter has an edge regarding speed, power, and data analysis to make decisions. They can also accurately perform repetitive tasks that would otherwise quickly tire the human brain. The evolution of AI into a versatile technology capable of being applied to diverse facets of human life is driving its widespread adoption.

As such, global spend on AI is expected to hit $ 110 billion (Ksh 10 trillion) by 2024, according to technology research firm IDC. A recent report by Microsoft shows that Kenya has spent $130 million (Ksh 16.4 billion) in the last ten years on AI. The innovative application of machine learning in health care, agriculture, financial services, manufacturing and transport has significant economic and social benefits.


Returning to the application of AI in our daily life, imagine how you can simultaneously watch your favourite drama series on TV while searching for information online using voice commands to the television. An AI-enabled smart refrigerator cuts on time spent planning what your family will have for dinner by giving you recipe options. Such highly personalized solutions delivering the best user experience for everyday home appliances are only possible with machine learning.

As an innovative company, LG Electronics is building an AI strategy designed to make life easier for our customers with intuitive, responsive and eco-friendly products. LG ThinQ is a suite of consumer electronics equipped with AI technology. Voice and visual innovations that enable devices to recognize images, language, and space change how people interact with everyday appliances.

The philosophy behind LG’s Artificial Intelligence strategy is to develop products that can learn and evolve the more they are used by adapting to user habits. Eventually, product manuals will not be needed as the devices learn from the users themselves.

But in developing its AI assets, LG will implement an open strategy that entails collaborating and partnering with other companies to offer consumers the best possible AI solutions.

Despite the benefits, the ability to learn new things has stoked fears over the potential dangers posed by unregulated AI design, development and deployment. To ally these concerns, many countries and companies, LG included, are pushing for the development of responsible AI. However, measures to regulate this rapidly evolving technology must consider the dynamic needs of consumers and society.

In addition, we must aim to build a responsible AI regime anchored on trust, transparency and fairness. Equally important is ensuring this highly innovative technology remains a positive force for the good of humanity.

Mr. Lee is the Regional Managing Director for LG East Africa

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