One of the most controversial topics in technology today is artificial intelligence. 

The argument in favor of artificial intelligence is that it has the power to revolutionize the world by solving problems with faster and better decisions than when relying upon human intelligence alone. However, the idea of what constitutes a decision that can be made better by artificial intelligence than human intelligence poses several questions about morality. A gnarly and widely held concern is that artificial intelligence may overpower human intelligence, or even potentially make unethical decisions that a reasonable human being would otherwise not.

Artificial intelligence ultimately derives its knowledge and logic patterns from the programming and data it is fed by human administrators. And if humans are inherently biased in their judgment and data collection methods, artificial intelligence will process data and execute commands that could be harmful to those who already experience prejudice and unfair treatment. 

The new social media application Lensa AI became popular by generating dozens of digital portrait illustrations of real people. All one needs to do to use the application is upload a few real photographs of a human subject and artificial intelligence creates digital paintings in the subject’s likeness. 

It turns out that the application of AI-powered image recognition of human subjects can be very problematic. Concerns of artistic theft and identity alteration have been raised, especially when it comes to displaying these images on social networking sites like Instagram. In a world where first impressions are formed on the basis of highly curated and unrealistic portrayals of a person’s life and physical appearance, digitizing oneself into an illustration may elevate social anxiety and lower self-esteem.

However, image recognition is not inherently evil. It has many industrious applications that can help make existing forms of labor and machinery more efficient at their given task.

Artificial intelligence is now powering image-based pest control. One device attracts pests and then identifies over 60 species to analyze the potential impact of the pest given the location and weather. Behavioral data on pests can be leveraged to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their pest control methods.

Pests destroy up to 40% of the world’s crops each year, causing $220 billion in economic losses, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Can an AI-powered insect trap solve a $220 billion pest problem?

The purpose of pest control is not to remove all lifeforms—only those that cause disease or destruction or threaten the well-being of other organisms.

To exterminate responsibly and sustainably, natural methods here prioritize spot treatments using organic solutions, with tent fumigation and traditional chemicals as the last resort.

Read Corinne L.‘s review of Natural Science Exterminating on Yelp

While artificial intelligence can bear significant improvements to existing large-scale pest control, the average homeowner simply needs to hire a professional who offers high-quality residential pest control. Pest control companies are equipped with plenty of experience and expertise to remove and prevent pests that cause billions of dollars of damage every year across the United States. Property owners should schedule annual inspections as prevention is the ultimate cure.