Physicist Stephen Hawking, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Space X founder Elon Musk have expressed concerns about the possibility that AI could develop to the point that humans could not control it, with Hawking theorizing that this could “spell the end of the human race”
Despite this concern, I don’t think AI will spell the end of he human race. I believe it will save us instead. AI will have pros and cons just like the industrial revolution and other disruptive technologies the world has had before. All we need is to be careful on how we use it just like we control nuclear power or any other risky business.
Why we need AI
There is a lot of things we need to see happen that only computers and robots can do well. So, the disadvantages of using machines should all be welcomed because nothing is perfect. We will have to learn how to cope with whatever comes up with AI because its need will not go low. It will grow as days go on.
We need AI:
- To explore the universe and capture information about things we don’t know yet, store that information in a safer place, and access that information anytime we need it.
- To identify diseases-causing agents, fight them with high tech we don’t have yet and improve the health system as a whole, using AI facilitated disease/outbreak records
- To monitor weathers and climate change for us to know when, where and how to act; even years before disasters strike us.
Why Rwanda needs AI for the environment
Like all developed and developing countries will rely on Artificial Intelligence, Rwanda will mainly need to use it to forecast agricultural patterns: rain intensities, droughts, crop resilience, irrigation water, pests, and plot sizes.
Rwanda’s protected areas will also need AI for security reasons of endangered species in the parks [such as lions, rhinos, tigers and elephants]. We will need AI for tourist rescue missions, as well as for forests protection against cutting by illegal charcoal manufacturers.
Often we don’t know how much rain will fall and hence lack the chance to time cropping seasons or to practice erosion control measures. As a consequence we face devastating disasters like the ones we had in 2018.
What we should do now
Since Rwanda doesn’t have much data ready for AI analysis, and since computer literacy is still basic among Rwandans, IT education is crucial in catching up. At all cost, we have to stand tall in the face of environmental issues that are hampering our development. AI ca help!