Bits & Bytes

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – A Time To Ponder

“Jamilah, soon writers like you will become obsolete. AI will do all the writings that humanity need to digest.” So I was told when AI came into the picture. Will this ever become true? Only time will tell; your guess is as good as mine.

AI is a fascinating topic. Essentially, AI is all about making computers smart enough to do things that humans do, like learning, problem-solving, and understanding language. It’s like teaching machines to think and act like us. Some people seem to think that AI are becoming clones to humans. Is this true? I don’t think so.

As a writer, I can totally relate to how AI can be helpful. I have discovered that ChatGPT, an AI tool can assist with generating ideas, writing content, and even providing suggestions to make my writing better. ChatGPT has become a writing assistant to many writers. Pretty cool, right?

If you have Netflix at home, have you ever wondered how Netflix seems to know exactly what shows or movies you might like? Well, that’s because Netflix uses AI to analyse your viewing history and preferences to recommend personalised content. It’s like having your own virtual movie consultant.

Translation accuracy is an area where AI still faces challenges. While AI-based translation tools like Google Translate have improved over the years, they may struggle with idiomatic expressions, cultural nuances, and context-dependent meanings, resulting in inaccurate or awkward translations.

From personal experience, though, AI does help to break communication barriers and enhance cultural understanding. Recently my son married a Japanese lady, and thanks to Google Translate, instead of hours of awkward silence, my husband and I could actually communicate rather effectively with her family members, who only spoke Japanese.

At the wedding reception in Japan, my new daughter-in-law’s parents and grandparents were curious about the recent Ramadan, which prompted them to ask about Islam and its practices. There you go, AI-driven language translation tools can bridge linguistic barriers and facilitate cross-cultural communication. By promoting cultural exchange and understanding, AI fosters empathy, tolerance, and appreciation for diverse perspectives, nurturing wisdom and intercultural harmony.

But, of course, with all this talk about AI, there are some concerns too. People worry about the potential impact on jobs – will AI automation lead to unemployment? There are also concerns about privacy and surveillance – how much do AI-powered systems know about us and who has access to that information?

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom. AI also brings some pretty cool benefits. Take precision farming, for example, like they do in the Netherlands with onions and potatoes. In 2017, my husband Ahmad and I went to the Netherlands where we sighted some farms. We saw how one single farmer could control a huge farm, just because AI was there. Armed with an iPad, the farmer could tell you how much each plant needed fertilisers, water and weed killer. AI helps farmers analyse data about soil conditions, weather patterns, and crop health to optimize their farming practices. It’s all about using resources more efficiently and producing better crops while being kinder to the environment.

So, back to the question I mentioned in the beginning, will AI ever make writers like me obsolete? At the moment, I’m happy to report, it’s a myth. In fact in some ways it does make my job easier. Still, AI is definitely something to think about. It’s got its pros and cons, just like anything else. But if we use it responsibly and ethically, AI has the potential to make our lives better in so many ways. It’s definitely a time to ponder, but also a time to embrace the possibilities that AI brings.


Featured image by Michal_Beitz




About Jamilah Samian

Jamilah has written 538 articles.

Jamilah Samian is an author and speaker.

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