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New Technology's Social Or Ethical Implications Writing Assignment (Essay Sample)


Write a short essay (roughly 4 pages, double-spaced) about some topic related to computing and/or communication technology that interests you and has social or ethical implications. Describe the background; then identify the social or ethical issues, problems, or questions that you think are important. Don't make your essay be just an argument for one point of view. You may express your views if you want to, but first explain what the issues are, why there is a problem or a controversy.
This assignment will be worth 25 points and will consist of two parts: structure and content. The structure of the paper will be worth 10 points. This includes grammar, clarity, typographical errors, format, and proper citations. The paper's content will be worth 15 points. This includes the quality of the paper--did you address all issues and follow the assignment prompt--is the background described, is your argument supported, is the topic identified and explained, are social and ethical issues identified, is the argument made and defended, did you address both sides?
The deduction of points is based on overall structural and content issues.


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Artificial Intelligence: Social and Ethical Issues
Leading technology giants such as Google, IBM and Apple have designed a plethora of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions ranging from autonomous cars to mobile device applications such as SIRI. First depicted in sci-fi films, the area of AI has rapidly advanced to include human-like robots, advanced search algorithms such as Google search,IBM's Watson, and autonomous weapons (Future of Life Institute).In the movie Ex-Machina (2014), a robot (Ava) is tested to determine its abilities to be self-aware and it turns out that it is even more conscious than anticipated. Recently, Hanson Robotics' Sophia was awarded the Saudi Arabia citizenship, making her the first robot to earn such an achievement. While today's AI designs are capable of carrying out simple tasks such as facial recognition, the ongoing research is centered on creating robust systems capable of outperforming humans in the future. The potentials of AI are not only promising to make like easier for humans, but also worrying and controversial to even world's tech entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates, Microsoft's co-founder, and Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla (Bogot). Differing opinions about the future of AI is a depiction that the technology raises important social and ethical issues such as the irresponsible use of AI and possible harm that might ensue when robots gain human-like consciousness.
Background to Artificial Intelligence
The term artificial intelligence came into being in 1956 when John McCarthy proposed the creation of systems that could augment human cognitive (University of Washington). What distinguishes humans to others is the degree of intelligence which has been instrumental in the establishment of human civilization. AI has the intention of creating intelligent entities and be in a position to understand them fully. The entities which are created are supposed to be interesting and resourceful. Currently, it is still not clear what the future holds, although it is the wish of the innovators in technology to come up with computers that are intelligent, so that they can have a major impact on the future civilization (Future of Life Institute). To be precise, that is the reason most of the manufacturing companies are using robotics in their car assembly plants.
Social and Ethical Issues Surrounding AI
The key intention of AI is developing of systems that will augment human intelligence instead of replacing it. The systems should be in a position to scale and enhance human skills and expertise. Hand in hand with AI, there is technology referred to as cognitive computing, where machines are able learn, reason and make decisions, speak, see and further process technologies, and other human interface technologies (Rossi). The express purpose is to boost productivity of any going conc

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