AI Good or Bad?

Abdulhusain-Mohamed-Tejani Abdulhussain Muhammed Tejani (Dubai, UAE) is a Change Architect in Leadership and HR and has been involved in many capacities in the community and through pro bono work with youths. Presently, he is the Chief People Officer in Leadership and HR at People Matter, and an accredited Trainer for the Human Capital Institute (US).

Human Resources Vice President focused on designing and delivering effective people management, talent development and workforce planning strategies to create a high-performance culture. Built a 24-year career encompassing HR and Learning & Development directorships within global healthcare, banking, education, petroleum, market research and information companies covering the MENA region.

Effectively led pre and post-merger initiatives to integrate and harmonise HR personnel, systems and functions. Developed trust and credibility of the HR function, embedding processes and systems within wider business strategy and monitoring their operational impact. A key influencer and change agent who skilfully liaises with board-level executives, senior management and business unit heads in securing commitment to change management initiatives, as well as policy and procedure implementation. An engaging and inspirational leader adept at coaching, mediating and resolving employee relations issues. Experienced in modernising compensation and benefits structures, as well as establishing strategic partnerships to aid people development and the accomplishment of overarching business objectives.

Organisation Design and Restructure People Management Talent Development HR Strategy Workforce Planning Recruitment & Selection Change Management Employee Relations Compensation & Benefits Industrial Relations Training & Development Mediation, Negotiation, Dispute Resolution Project Management Policies and Procedures Development Performance Management

AI good or bad:

Whenever I hear about AI and its challenges, my mind goes back to a statistic that talks about technology replacing seventy-seven million jobs, however it will also create one hundred and thirty-three million more.

Unfortunately, very few talk about the second part. Life has not reached where it has by staying still. It continuously evolves. The static man gets left behind. There is something to be said for the need to continuously learn and upskill yourself.

The trend with AI is here to stay and we must learn to embrace it as well as understand how it relates to our world. We must also be vigilant for everything in life has its upsides as well as challenges.

One of the major challenges we see in this technological era is that we automatically accept technology for what it is rather than questioning it. We tend to give it mythical status. When technology is granted this status, it is assumed to be accepted as it is, without any attempt to control, question or modify it.

The problem is not the use of AI, but rather the indispensable dependence on technology where it becomes natural to adapt to technological values rather than questioning them. Simply put, when evaluating AI or formulating AI ethics, the emphasis is on ‘how’, rather on ‘why’. For instance, technology promotes ease and convenience, but one must ask why ease and convenience? Why a prolonged life? Why have desires been fulfilled? Technology only answers the hows but not the whys. We argue that instead of focusing on just the how, it is more important to focus on the why.

AI comes with the promise of increasing efficiency and unprecedentedly increasing our human control. From smart screens to smart appliances, everything is controlled just with a touch of a button. But this has also resulted in AI applications detaching the humane component from human societies. Why does one need to have control, and to what extent are human beings supposed to wield such control over their lives? Experiencing losses, bearing pain and suffering, and having time alone for introspection, are all part of our human condition, that aid us in moral development, growth, and character-building. Deputising valuable, virtue-instilling tasks, to intelligent machines marks the dichotomy between ease via efficiency and character-making via difficulties and challenges.

The Good:

  1. Automation and Efficiency: AI technologies have the potential to automate repetitive and mundane tasks, freeing up human resources to focus on more complex and creative endeavours. This can lead to increased efficiency and productivity across industries.
  2. Problem-Solving: AI can analyse vast amounts of data and identify patterns and insights that humans might miss. This has the potential to revolutionize fields such as healthcare, finance, and scientific research by enabling faster and more accurate problem-solving.
  3. Personalization and User Experience: AI-powered algorithms can personalize experiences by understanding individual preferences and behaviours. This enhances services such as recommendation systems, targeted advertising, and personalized healthcare, providing users with tailored experiences.
  4. Safety and Security: AI can be utilized for improving safety and security measures. For example, facial recognition and video analytics can aid in identifying potential threats and enhancing surveillance systems, making public spaces safer.

The Downside:

  1. Job Displacement: As AI and automation continue to advance, there is a concern that certain jobs may become obsolete, leading to unemployment and income inequality. It is crucial to address the potential impacts on the workforce and provide opportunities for reskilling and upskilling.
  2. Bias and Discrimination: AI systems are trained using data that reflects existing human biases, which can lead to discriminatory outcomes. It is important to address and mitigate bias in AI algorithms to ensure fair and equitable decision-making.
  3. Ethical Concerns: AI raises ethical considerations such as privacy invasion, lack of transparency, and accountability. The responsible development and deployment of AI systems are necessary to mitigate these concerns and ensure ethical practices.

The Need for AI:

  1. Complex Problem Solving: AI can tackle complex problems that require large-scale data analysis, pattern recognition, and computational power. This includes areas like climate modelling, drug discovery, and optimizing logistical operations.
  2. Decision Support: AI can provide valuable insights and decision support to individuals and organizations, assisting in making informed choices based on data analysis and predictions.
  3. Advancing Technology and Innovation: AI research and development drive technological advancements, fostering innovation across industries. This leads to new products, services, and solutions that can enhance our lives and address global challenges.
  4. Efficiency and Resource Optimization: AI can optimize resource allocation and utilization, leading to more sustainable practices in areas such as energy management, transportation, and agriculture.

Islamic Perspective:

Islam encourages the pursuit of knowledge and the use of human intellect for the betterment of society. AI aligns with this principle by providing opportunities to enhance productivity, improve efficiency, and solve complex problems. Islamic teachings emphasize the importance of benefiting humanity, and AI has the potential to contribute significantly to fields such as healthcare, transportation, and agriculture, leading to improved living standards and well-being for people.

However, the Islamic stance on AI also calls for careful consideration of ethical concerns. Islam places great emphasis on the preservation of life, dignity, and justice. It is crucial to ensure that AI systems do not infringe upon these values. For instance, the use of AI in weapon systems must adhere to principles of proportionality and discrimination, minimizing harm to civilians and upholding the principles of just warfare.

Another significant aspect is the potential impact of AI on employment. Islam encourages the provision of just and fair livelihoods to individuals. As AI automation progresses, it may lead to job displacement for many people. The Islamic approach would require society to address this challenge by ensuring that the benefits of AI are equitably distributed, and that alternate avenues of employment and livelihood are created for those affected.

Moreover, the Islamic perspective on AI also emphasizes the importance of human agency and accountability. Islam considers humans as responsible beings, endowed with free will and moral judgment. While AI can augment human capabilities, it is essential to retain human decision-making and moral accountability in critical areas. Islamic ethics would require careful oversight and regulation of AI systems to prevent misuse and ensure human accountability.

Additionally, Islam encourages the preservation of privacy and the protection of personal information. The deployment of AI technologies, such as facial recognition or data mining, raises concerns about privacy infringement. Islamic principles would necessitate the establishment of robust legal and ethical frameworks to safeguard individuals’ privacy and prevent abuse of personal data.

Furthermore, Islam promotes the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of the natural world. AI can be seen as a tool for uncovering new insights and understanding complex patterns within vast datasets. Islamic scholars and thinkers can engage with AI research and its applications to enrich their understanding of the creation and the intricate systems present in the universe.

Thus, the Islamic stance on Artificial Intelligence embraces the potential benefits it offers for humanity, such as advancements in various fields and improved living standards. However, it also emphasizes the importance of upholding ethical principles, including the preservation of life, justice, human agency, accountability, privacy, and equitable distribution of benefits. By embracing AI within the framework of Islamic teachings, we can strive for its responsible and ethical implementation, ensuring that it serves as a means of human progress while safeguarding our values and principles.

Ultimately AI offers immense potential for positive impacts, including automation, problem-solving, personalization, and safety. However, challenges such as job displacement, bias, and ethical concerns need to be addressed. Given its ability to tackle complex problems, provide decision support, drive innovation, and optimize resources, the need for AI continues to grow as we navigate the complexities of the modern world.

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