Technology has played huge roles in global development, mostly in reducing human efforts and addressing commercial challenges. But these impacts are not felt in the most difficult challenges facing humanity. Though artificial intelligence offers the opportunities to remodel predictive human behaviors and structures challenging social justice, a few challenges have kept this from not happening.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming more ubiquitous in the processes of our daily lives. Most significantly, industries are gradually transferring corporate routines that are time-consuming, cost-efficient or considered hazardous to AI-powered mechanisms. These tasks represent various predictive human behaviors such as problem-solving ability, physical movement, learning, speech, and planning.
In recent decades, the global community has made tremendous strides in reducing human efforts using AI technology – an intelligent machine designed and programmed to act and think like a human. We are getting close to an error-free world – accurate and faster results by developing machine slaves to perform various activities that can also be handled by humans. Also, the connection between AI and our lives cannot be argued and does not imply that everyone has a robot chef or personal machine slave. Your clicks and posts online are being mined by sophisticated algorithms. AI ensures that you access the closest answers each time you search for something online. In real life, AI helps us to navigate all sorts of traffics; finding information quickly and navigating city streets easily using applications like Waze and Google Maps. But there are more disturbing roles AI can play in our lives.
AI As A Tool For Social Justice
Despite a vast role credited to AI technology in our society, some of our most difficult challenges such as inequality are yet to be managed better. Preventable diseases and malnutrition continue to end the lives of millions, substandard health-care systems found in both poor and rich countries and the threats of fairly contributed climate change hitting the poorest far more. Humanity has the potentials to come up with bold new solutions using AI to handle the world’s problems associated with social justice. Most of its achievements so far in the industrial space were possible by facing what was seen impossible considering human limitations and biases.
The guiltiest factor fueling unfair practices in our society is embedded in human nature which constitutes the way we learn, plan to solve problems and perceive others. These behaviors can be replicated without the strings contesting social justice.
Some of the roles of AI in our everyday life
In our quest to evaluate the effectiveness of artificial intelligence in managing very sensitive issues, which can also include the cause of social justice, here are some AI roles in our everyday life.
Numerous banking activities such as money investing in stocks, financial operations, property management, and a lot more are easily handled with the help of AI technology. The operational systems for these sensitive activities inarguably beat human capacities when it comes to speed and accuracy. These systems were developed from existing challenges and operational models that override human weaknesses for the provision of quick and reliable solutions.
The face of medical science is gradually changing since the advent of AI technology. And this promise should not be limited to the provision of health care, which is more complex, but its fair distribution. The application of virtual personal health care assistant, advanced medical analytics/research, appointment scheduling, and customer support systems are all products of AI technology in our medical sector.
Autonomous transportation available in vehicles is an insight into how much we can achieve with AI. And the technology is gradually winning more space in air transportation which can’t survive with meaning learning. Systems for decision-making and in planning for performing different functions used in transportation are all AI-based. Several software applications for better flight are all designed on the AI platform.
Other sectors where AI has made a tremendous impact include investment decisions, marketing, space traveling, customer service, etc.
Social justice issues AI can address
Social justice is a cause of achieving just and fair relations between people and society. It indicates the explicit systems for wealth distribution, societal privileges, and opportunities for personal activity. Social justice is mostly referred to as the process of making sure that people fulfill their societal obligations and earn what they deserve from society. In recent global campaigns for social justice, it has been demonstrated as disarming the barriers surrounding social mobility, economic justice and the creation of safety nets.
The primary flaws in social justice are in the execution of rights and duties assigned to societal institutions to ensure that people receive the primary benefits and burdens of cooperation. These institutions cover the public health, social insurance, taxation, labor law and market regulation, public services, public school, equal opportunity and the sector that ensure fair distribution of wealth.
However, aside from the mentioned sectors where AI could be deployed to support the cause, inter-social treatment is another category confronting social justice. AI may struggle to address social justice associated with inter-social treatment since it involves how a group is treated based on personally-held biases and prejudice such as race, gender, education, etc. But firmly upholding discrimination law and inflicting full penalties on defaulters through AI-powered legislation process will improve compliance with the cause of social justice.
Job placement, loans, prison sentencing, and healthcare provision would be great and support social justice if algorithmic systems are used. Most organizations claim to run inclusive culture in view of complying with discrimination laws and yet the trending hiring skew remains on the rise. While a few have indicated using AI technology in the recruitment process, it only identifies partial implementation or the deployment of a faulty technology since the systems are mostly created by private companies that won’t disclose the algorithm used.
AI can improve our health care system, which is increasingly costing more to access, to save millions of citizens that suffer preventable diseases. For instance, every year, some 250 million people worldwide suffer from different problems that would cause them to lose their sights. Sadly, these problems are curable if caught early and more disturbing is that the figure is expected to grow 300% by 2050. Whereas the eye-scanning technology needed to detect these problems early is widely available, the systems required to include these individuals remain ineffective or not established.
Problems facing AI technology in social justice
The promises of artificial intelligence are not entirely painted good. Last year, some of the world’s top scientific minds signed a pledge that calls for “laws against lethal autonomous weapons,” and never to delegate machines to take a human life. The society is partially afraid of the projected job lose in the near future credited to AI emergence. While these problems shouldn’t deter the use of AI technology, it has discouraged grassroots campaigns for the use of AI in determining their fate.
The biggest truth is: only a few of our top scientific minds are focused on using the technology to solve factors strangling social justice. More individuals with access to artificial intelligence have focused the technology more on commercial benefits. For instance, we now have AI-powered platforms that have established robust ways to order food whereas over 800 million people are malnourished. There is a need for new incentive structures that will encourage technologists to focus more on social justice issues. Of course, AI technology doesn’t need further development to be impactful in social justice.
We need to encourage our institutions to adopt new technologies in the preservation of human dignity and guaranteeing ethical outcomes. As technology transforms every aspect of our lives, there is a need to implement the process in our social challenges. It’s high time we re-imagine the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to clearly include digital rights. If AI is purportedly serving the society, the technology should be held to the highest ethical standards and incorporated with intrinsic human rights which represent the foundation of every fair society.