Review of the Circle: How AI will Influence Our Life and How We Benefit Instead of Being Replaced by AI

Last week, I have watched “the Circle”, stared nt Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. This movie blow my mind away. Since I am just learning about AI recently, I see that AI will have a revolutionary impact on our daily life. We need to face that AI is coming to us already.

In this movie, Mae (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the world’s largest and most powerful tech & social media company “the Circle”, she sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. In an presentation of the company’s founder Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), he shows every audience that numerous micro cameras are deployed all over the world, this company has the giant power to monitor everyone behavior. There is one time that Mae was driving the boat and encounter the storm, luckily, she was spotted by one micro camera, and was recused by helicopter in time. She was very gratified and working hard for this company. As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company’s founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics and ultimately her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment, and every decision she makes begin to affect the people around her.

This movie showed two different facts when Mae showed the audience how the new technology developed by the Circle will impact every one life: The first one is about finding an escaping criminal around the world within 10 minutes. She put the criminal face in the screen, and the machine starts to search data from surveillance camera, people’s cell phone globally. Just minutes, the criminal was found out working in a factory, and was captured by her workmates. The audience was shouted. Why not something more funny. Eamon suggest to try a second time about positioning Mae best friend by this machine. Her friend told her that he like protect his privacy, and want Mae to leave the company. Mae was reluctanted to accept Eamon suggestion at first. But the audience insist and shouted even louder. So the second game begin, just like the first one, her friend was spotted by a Lot of people cellphone, and broadcasted worldwide. Her friend was scared and driving his car run away. However, a drone and some one driving cars following him. He feels exhausted and fell over bridge in accident and died.

I think from this movie that we can witness that how AI will influence our lives in our future. Through deep learning and cloud computing, the machine can collect billions of images from surveillance cameras, analyze, identify and give a specific person bunch of information within minutes. In the future, there will be less and less criminals, our world will be more safe, however, we have no privacy, we will be recorded and analyzed by AI for different purposes. That’s the sacrifice we will make.

Not only in identifying people, AI can be applied in many scenarios. Last year, the AlphaGo beatd Lee Sedol, the world famous board game go master. AlphaGo was a computer program developed by Google, learning million of Go moves by deep learning befor this match. Currently, IOT generates ocean data every day, Cloud computing enable machine has fast processing speed, and the deep learning algorithm gives the machine learning capability. AI already comes and grows fast. AI can be applied in curing disease, learn numerous patience record, and give the right cure method; AI can be applied in law suit, IT can learning the law dictionary, and provide the right judgment quickly; AI can be applied in commercial, IT can identify individual from cameras in shopping mall, analyzing their shopping habits and give the market suggestion for vendors; AI also can fight criminals and give us a better and more safe world just like the Circle.

Like other new invention from the industry revolution, new technology like a coin, there are both good side and bad side. AI is no exception. We can easily see that AI will bring many benefits to us just like we discussed before, because IT will free our minds and body. However, the bad effect is also very obvious. In my opinion, we can not ignore two facts:

1. AI will make most current Jobs disappear in the future. Believe it or not, more than 50% jobs now in the world are related to human experience and labor. For example, doctor, teacher, lawyer, sales, etc, will be replaced by AI. AI has huge advantage comparing to human, it don’t worry about the computing speed, the eternal working capability. What’s our human value then? How we compete with machine in the future? We should know what’s the difference with machine. Our human have the imagination to create new things or new solution; we also have feeling of the human connection that machine can not provide. So if we want to find our value in the AI era, we should do creative work, or do the business that will improve human connection.

2. We will not have privacy in future. Just like there are car accident to kill people, we still using car. Because car brings us much more convenient and joy, and we can accept some risks it brings, as long as we know we can control it. This also apply to AI, AI will bring us so many benefits, it can transform every industry. Now, Internet plus has huge impact to improve most industry efficiency, in the future, AI plus will have much power to impact our society. However, we need to accept some sacrifice it will bring in the same time. In the Circle movie, every one will be spotted in the light. How we face this problem? In my opinion, first, we need to take much more serious about our reputation, because every our move will be recorded online. Every bad behavior will be witnessed by others; secondly, we need to make sure that the policy will be designed that the one who controls AI will also accepted the same impact like every ordinary people, and they should not have the except rights to escape, hide or delete their records. In the end of the Circle, when Mae put a camera on the boss of the Circle, and the screen showed the detail private information of Eamon, Eamon whispered to his assistant: we are fucked.


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