Let’s hope AI can teach manners

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, February 28, 2024

By Bonnie Brown

What is AI (Artificial Intelligence)?  Well, it’s hard to explain because I don’t have the intelligence and training to tell you what it is.  What I have heard and read indicates that AI is now a part of our everyday lives, and we are becoming more reliant on AI with each passing day.  

How, you ask?  Well, since you’re not a high school or college student having to write a paper on a specific topic, you might be surprised that AI is a “go-to” for them.  Except, the teacher/professor insists that the paper be a product of their research, their deductions, and their presentation of facts.  How will they know the difference?  

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Let’s jump to the “15 Amazing Real-World Applications of AI Everyone Should Know About” according to Bernard Marr, a world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the fields of business and technology.  He is a best-selling author of 21 books, writes a regular column for Forbes and was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK.  Mr. Marr points out that AI has “made significant strides in healthcare by improving diagnostics, enabling personalized medicine, accelerating drug discovery, and enhancing telemedicine.”  Very important.    

Mr. Marr also points out that AI- powered customer service virtual assistants can answer your inquiries 24/7.  In transportation, self-driving cars and trucks are set to minimize human error and improve safety, and intelligent traffic management systems can help reduce congestion.  Mr. Marr tells us that AI is a “game-changer” in security.   Law enforcement agencies and cybersecurity firms can use AI for facial recognition, surveillance, and threat detection.  How many of you have had a “virtual reality” experience with a gaming device?  Yes, AI at work there.  What about all those satellites whizzing about in space?  Yep, that would be AI.  

What might be the future of AI in our everyday life?  Well, perhaps I’m not actually composing this article, but have enlisted an AI “chatbot” to write this for me.  Chatbots are taught to impersonate the conversational style.  Then there are Digital Assistants, like Siri.  Or, you might direct your digital assistant to place a call for you.  

I’m old school.  I still strongly believe that cursive writing should be required in school.  I think that students should visit a library and learn how the many books and resources are stored and accessed.  Tom and I grew up without Google and our sons Dennis and Jeff didn’t have Google to answer their questions.  It was up to us, their parents, to answer their questions.  Jeff has told his dad and me that we probably gave them the wrong answers and just made stuff up sometimes.  And he’s absolutely correct.  

Think of your cell phone and consider how many examples of AI functions it has.  For instance, you can determine road conditions, distances, make purchases, do banking, set alarms, play games, download movies, make inquiries about any subject.  And your digital assistant, Siri, is right there to help.  And you can even take photos and send them to family and friends, post on social media, send messages, and even have an actual conversation.  You also have a flashlight, just in case you need one.  

So, welcome AI into your life and let’s hope it can teach manners, empathy, and humanity.  Let’s hope that it doesn’t take over our thought processes and we become less human.