Artificial Intelligence: it’s future in Pakistan

Pakistan which is facing a growing number of crises, it must be realised that Artificial Intelligence is the future

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By: Mustapha Zeb Khan

 

Artificial Intelligence is a term that is being used more and more frequently, especially in the technological spectrum. The new millennium has brought about a need for more efficient and intelligence technology. However, there are more and more people who are critical of Artificial Intelligence. These people give a number of arguments against artificial intelligence and the dangers of developing it further.

Firstly, especially in Pakistan, the religious point of view is exploited frequently. As Muslims, we believe that God is the creator and sustainer of life. This raises the argument: is artificial intelligence, if it becomes sentient, technically a creation? Philosophers have frequently proposed that anything that is sentient, is alive. This means that Artificial Intelligence may be alive, and anyone who creates artificial intelligence, may be attributed with creating life, albeit not biological.rtificial Intelligence is a term that is being used more and more frequently, especially in the technological spectrum. The new millennium has brought about a need for more efficient and intelligence technology. However, there are more and more people who are critical of Artificial Intelligence. These people give a number of arguments against artificial intelligence and the dangers of developing it further.

Secondly, people believe that if Artificial Intelligence becomes sentient, it may turn on their creators. Artificial Intelligence is developing at a rate that there may be a point where Artificial Intelligence become condescending towards the less powerful human being. Artificial Intelligence is not bound by any physical needs; therefore, they can expend more processing power on any task they are given by humans. When the point comes that they do not require an external body to give them a task, they will have no need for their human creators. This problem, especially at this point in time, is seemingly irrelevant, but considering the rate at which AI is advancing, it is a growing concern. These issues, although highlighted, are not backed by any substantial trends or evidence, and can be overlooked, keeping in mind the advantages mentioned below.

In a country like Pakistan, which is facing a growing number of crises, it must be realized that Artificial Intelligence is the future. Already considered backwards by many people, it is imperative that we, as a country, adopt a proactive approach towards AI. To prove this point, the first step is to give counter arguments to those who oppose AI.

The belief that AI has the capability to act freely, or may develop that ability one day, is driven almost completely by the media, such as movies and tv shows. In reality, whenever an AI engine is developed, it is coded with a few safeguards. Even though machine learning and automated responses are becoming the norm, especially after Google’s IO presentation in 2018, it must be understood that AI does not have the capability to gain sentience because of the very foundations of its code. Similar to as how humans have some ‘pre-programmed’ responses to certain stimuli, including crying over grief, AI can be programmed similarly to implement a self-destruct, or a memory wipe, as to prevent any actions which may cause harm to a human being. In simpler words, it is possible to code fail-safes and automatic off-switches inside the source code of AI.

As of right now, Pakistan has very little application of AI engines. Almost all of the government systems in the country depend on human based databasing and record keeping. Computers have a very nominal

role in these very offices. Because of the given reasons, Pakistan’s AI development has been hindered immensely, greatly hindering the development of the country, due to reasons stated below. Because the country does not depend on AI systems, dependence switches to educated personnel, something which the country lacks. Thus, AI is a way for the country to solve its employment mismanagement problem.

Looking forward, Pakistan has a growing need for further development in AI and to also develop systems that implement AI in the daily lives of Pakistanis. The country is highly dependent on imports from developed nations such Japan and China. Currently, all of our import processing systems are handled by humans, leading to widespread corruption and mismanagement. In fact, corruption in many governments as well as public sectors is a problem that has severely impaired the development of Pakistan. A study carried out to follow up the Indus Water Treaty of 1960, found out that Pakistan is wasting over 50% of its available water supply. With the simple implementation of AI systems in these departments, the country could easily become a prosperous nation, because a computer based can more easily carry out decisions based solely on logic, and is not impacted by bias. Sindh, KPK and Baluchistan all claim that the policies in Pakistan are all favoring the Punjab. This bias will become completely non-existent, as an AI based system will have no need or no benefits in siding with any of the provinces. Add to this the fact that AI, although having a high implementation cost, will cost comparatively les in the long term as compared to having 5 to 15 employees for 1 shift out of 3 daily.

Looking at a more micro level, AI systems can bring about little changes in our daily life. Traffic speeds can be regulated, adjusting the speed limit by judging the number of cars on the road with reference to the width of the road. This system, working in tandem with traffic cameras, could make managing traffic easier. Traffic lights could also be modernized with a system of cameras and an AI engine that judges the time which a signal should stay open by scanning the number of cars on each side of the signal, instead of there being time limits on each signal, that may lead to traffic blocks on one side while barely one or two cars pass from another.

Co-operative agricultural systems can be implemented and properly operated without any human interference if AI is utilized, leading to more productive farms by virtue of better water allocation, where the system judges the amount of water the plant requires after considering factors such as rain and moisture in the air.

The journey to a better, more prosperous Pakistan may be a long one, but implementing such AI systems will surely allow us to realize the great Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s vision for this country, something which seems highly unlikely in today’s Pakistan. It will also improve living standards for the common man, improving general morale and national spirit.

 

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