AI: Friend or Foe

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to human intelligence in the form of machines that use algorithms and computer programs to perform tasks with human cognition. Using algorithms and programs, AI can process data, learn insights, discover patterns and state predictions based on information it has analysed.


As a friend, AI can be helpful in day-to-day life. The introduction of Personal Assistants including Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri helps manage and conduct tasks. AI can help with repetitive and mundane tasks, language translation and assist in diagnosing health conditions. 

Inflection AI has launched a new Personal Intelligence platform 'Pi' to help users improve their communication skills. Pi has been created by Reid Hoffman, Mustafa Suleyman and Karén Simonyan, who have pulled together their extensive knowledge and skills to create the platform. Pi has been designed as a friendly platform and has the ability to offer personal advice and support to its users. It provides a safe space for its users to speak their minds and always have someone (or something) to talk to, thus combatting loneliness and helping with mental health. Pi is a “neutral listener” that has the ability to listen to your problems and offer follow-up questions and advice based on the conversation.


Although Pi is friendly, it has been made clear to users that it cannot feel emotions and must be used with caution. Artificial Intelligence is unable to feel empathy and should not replace speaking to friends, family and mental health professionals.

Artificial Intelligence can also be used to carry out cyber-attacks. Artificial Intelligence can use AI-powered chatbots or voice assistants which can mimic a real human having a conversation. Hackers can use AI to trick victims into revealing personal information or details that can impact their security. Furthermore, AI has many employees globally fearing for their careers as AI is predicted to take over many jobs in the years to come.

It is important to remember that AI is simply a tool and the future of AI depends on how it is developing. If it is developed and used in an ethical and safe manner, we can maximise the benefits of using the tool and minimise the risks. Although you can never completely eradicate the risks, it is up to us as a society to use AI for good, rather than harm.  

Written By: Emma Mitchell