AI: Friend or a Foe? There has been too much speculation about the future and what would change in the coming years with many global concerns rising. Such concerns include global warming, poverty, war and terrorism, pollution and health issues. The world as we know it today might dramatically change in the coming years, thanks to massive scientific breakthroughs and advances, especially in technology, and the plans put into action by authority figures that affect politics, economics and various industry sectors. It is true that no one can predict the shape of our future precisely, with too many factors to take into consideration, too many variables and too many players on the global scene; but what is for sure is that our day to day life will be more associated to technology, especially artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. Everyday more and more companies, developers and entrepreneurs join the AI race and create models for the sake of automating various functions. As the statistic shows, the global AI market is expected to be worth approximately 59.75 billion USD by the year 2025. Such number is huge and promising for such a fresh field of technology, but as the expectations grow so do the concerns, which leaves us with a single problematic and a lot of debates, claims and statements. The question being raised by skeptics and those who are concerned about AI is: “Will machines take over humans?” In an attempt to answer such question, we will first divide those who are concerned about the future of humans in the presence of AI into three groups, which are as follows: 1. Those who are not familiar with the concept of AI and think of robots as evil spirits that can learn to become evil and cause harm to them and their families. 2. Those who are not familiar with the process behind machine learning and think that intelligent machines might not be that intelligent after all, and might not trust that these machines can function properly. 3. Those who are familiar with AI and the process behind machine learning but are more concerned with the type of operations AI might get involved in. For the first group, their concern might be based on some Hollywood fantasy that they have seen in some science fiction movies where intelligent robots take over the planet and enslave humans. In such case it is important to understand that AI can never be involved in any type of action that is outside its scope of functionality regardless of how advanced it becomes or how much it learns. What we mean by that is that an AI that was built to assist you while driving for example, will only help you while you are driving, it will never get involved in any sort of operation that does not include you, a car with you in the driver’s seat, a running engine under the hood of that specific car and your permission or request for help. It will never take your kids as hostage until you set it free; it will never grab a knife and threaten to stab you if you do not charge its battery, and it will never learn how to become evil in any sort of way no matter how much it learns or how advanced it gets. The only thing it will be learning is your driving habits and how it can be more productive and more helpful to you while you are driving. It can never be dangerous because it is not a human! As for the second group it is highly important to understand that AI does not operate arbitrarily, it can never give two different results for the same input, and just like any other product it will not be on the market unless it is mature enough and had undergone enough testing to determine that it will function properly and it will fulfill the tasks it was designed to carry out. While regarding the third group; we have to admit first that they have some reasonable, and maybe even serious concerns when it comes to the type of operation that AI might be involved in. And there is basically three major concerns that you might come across while doing a basic research regarding such subject. These concerns are: “AI taking over human tasks” Which is true, and that is because AI performs better than humans and it is more efficient in terms of production, time management and cost since it learns faster and gets even better and better every time it performs a given task, a skill that might position it as a perfect replacement for humans. But the truth is that if automation takes over human tasks, then this means that humans will not be doing 8:00 to 5:00 jobs anymore, but instead they will be making a living out of what they love. Think of those kids aged 10 and 11 and 12 who make shoes for decent international brands in some factory in a developing country; AI maybe their chance to enjoy their childhood. Think of those who get stuck at rush hours every day and live on minimum wage, wouldn’t it be a relief if they get to stay home and do what they love. Automation does not mean that people will live in poverty; social policies are what determines if that will happen or not, while automation and scientific advancement creates more luxury and help humans produce with less effort. “AI helping giant data companies learn about the consuming behavior of individuals and how to affect them” Which is also true, since AI can help data companies acquire real and precise information about consumers all around the globe and it can also help categorize them based on certain parameters as well as it can help in analyzing such data and even presenting marketing modules that can work more effectively and eventually achieve higher sales. On the other hand Data giants can also use such data to even influence the consuming habits of the users through targeted advertising and remarketing tools, which AI can play a major role in too. But still AI will help you find the products you need and filter the content you see so it becomes more relevant to you personally and hence help you have a better online experience. “AI might be used in wars and weapons” Which is, again, true, and it might even assist terrorist groups or certain governments to execute hostile attacks and gather information about specific humans or groups, and it can even analyze such data and help any sort of organization to select the best setting and weapons for its attacks. It can also help improve the engineering of weapons, create lists of targets to attack, fly drones and bomb several targets at once, help detect threats and automatically respond with the appropriate defensive weapons and so on; but on the other hand, AI is not in any way more threatening that atomic and hydrogen bombs, in fact it does not change anything when it comes to military balance and the size of threat that any group might represent. Wars have always occurred before AI and after AI. AI cannot be more that a technical advantage in such cases, and since it is easily built with almost a negligible cost, in comparison to weapons, it can never be a game changer in such a field. Artificial Intelligence will never act as a threat to human beings, but it is what we make out of it that can be dangerous or threatening, and since it is being used already and it will for sure play a huge role in our future then it is better to learn how to build such technology and develop modules that defy any threats and help the human race build a better world, peaceful and luxurious.