Professors explain artificial intelligence’s positives, negatives

Classical music filled the room in Avery Hall as computer science professor Mohammad Rashedul Hasan explains that the song everyone was hearing was created by artificial intelligence.

Four professors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln talked with students, professors and the public about how artificial intelligence (AI) could impact the future of employment.

“AI is awesome, it’s stupid and it’s going to kill us all,” law professor Gus Hurwitz said.

There are many different things that AI can do. Hasan explained it can detect heart disease and cancer, create music and art and help do tasks.

“This is just the beginning,” Hasan said. “But there are things that AI can’t do.”

Hasan said there are less than 10,000 AI experts in the world.

“There might be a growing concern that people have about technology replacing humans,” economics professor Daniel Tannenbaum said.

Tannenbaum pressed the importance of learning new skills, like face-to-face communication, that will outlast technology in the workplace.

“Those skills that you learn are absolutely fundamental not only in your life but in your job,” Tannenbaum said.

Hurwitz said that humans experience the world in a different way than artificial intelligence.

“There are some really fundamental weird challenges,” Hurwitz said. “I don’t think it’ll get to the point of taking our jobs.”

Senior advertising and public relations student Megan Sharp said she could see AI taking some jobs since it already has taken jobs in factories.

“I like the question of ‘Should we be compensating those who lose their jobs to AI?’” Sharp said. “I don’t know how we would do that.”

Senior criminology student Anwar Mahmoud is certain AI can replace humans for specific jobs.

“Ai is going to take a few of our jobs,” Mahmoud said. “We need to learn how to work with it.”

Hasan proposed that both humans and AI can live in the workplace harmoniously.

“When humans and AI work together we can produce better results,” Hasan said. “AI is the reality… we have to accept that.”

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