Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 23-3 - 27

Artificial Intelligence
Veronica Scotti

R

ecently, we have observed an impressive evolution
in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which aims
to reach any area of human activities to reduce the efforts of people related to boring daily jobs. AI is defined as the
capacity of a computer to perform tasks commonly associated
with human beings.
The enhancement of this new technology applied to new
products (robots and AI in general) raises some problems that
should be considered and solved and are related to:
◗◗ Ethical implications and
◗◗ Legal regulations.
Talking about this matter means talking about our future
when AI will be considered as a normal complement to our
lives.

Ethics
Even if this matter is not so clearly related to human beings
(such as biogenetic), nevertheless the use of AI in useful machines to help human beings (for instance, in reducing waste
of time, energy, etc.)
involves, undeniably,
some ethical implications connected to
the evolution of this
technology.
Nowadays, AI is no
more a simple machine
which makes computations or operations
correctly in a short
time, but it is fast becoming a complement
to our lives as a sort of
a human alter ego that
could replace human beings in many tasks.
Originally, AI was thought to become a helpful element in
executing activities under human instructions or surveillance
through algorithms designed for this purpose, according to
the idea that life could be more comfortable when avoiding

unnecessary wastes of time. The previous AI products were
concentrated on three main aspects which represented key
tasks demanded to AI:
◗◗ Finding information
◗◗ Analyzing the collected information, and
◗◗ Taking a decision on this information.
But now, things have changed. New AI products are oriented to become more and more similar to human beings:
they are designed to be able to learn autonomously, so that
Rosenberg calls them brain of brains [1] because of their skill in
performing unpredictable activities which were not in their
designers' minds.
Moreover, the new trend is that AI is going to feel and
think like humans do, using algorithms that reproduce human emotions and features of human behavior, not linked,
where possible, to (strict) rational parameters. This scenario represents a relevant and crucial ethical challenge
for scientists, technical experts and designers, because
they should take into account the implications deriving
f rom th i s a p p roa c h
t o w a rd s A I , w h i c h
could be considered as a kind of new
Frankestein creature
that could potentially
lead to the end of human race, according
to Stephen Hawking's
thought.
Anybody who is
involved with the
AI-world as a technical expert, designer,
manufacturer or user
ought to be aware that this is not a simple activity of producing something new and exciting. Rather, it implies
other evaluations related to human status and humankind
change, because it is not an evolution but a revolution bringing benefits and risks.

It was on a dreary night of November
that I beheld the accomplishment of
my toils. With an anxiety that almost
amounted to agony, I collected the
instruments of life around me, that I
might infuse a spark of being into the
lifeless thing that lay at my feet.
(Mary Shelley, Frankestein, Chap. 5)

May 2020	

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine	27
1094-6969/20/$25.00©2020IEEE



Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 23-3

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