An Introduction to AI
Author: Brother Mohammed Zayn (KSIJ Kampala Youth Committee Member + AYN Representative)
What is AI?
Artificial Intelligence is where computers and machines are designed to figure out things that would normally require human intelligence to perform.
What are some of the types of AI the youth have access to and is popular among them?
Chat bots like ChatGPT, auto generative fill images, voice assistants like Alexa and others.
How are the youth exploring these and what has been their reaction towards it?
A lot of the youth are fascinated by the capabilities of AI. The most famous and widely used AI amongst the youth is ChatGPT. This is a chatbot where a user simply asks a question or provides a prompt and is given a straightforward response rather than being flooded with many webpages and not being given a direct answer. This incredible ability has been extremely attractive for the youth.
Impacts & Effects
The youth are increasingly relying on chat bots, specifically ChatGPT. They often turn to it to seek information and answers to various questions. They may ask about a wide range of topics from historical events to advice on various topics, when they feel lost. This increases their confidence in the knowledge that they have. There is both a positive and negative side to AI.
Let’s start with some general positive effects…
- Academic Assistance & Research: the youth can now instantly finish their essays, homework or even read about a historical event in a few paragraphs without having to go too much in-depth, into the topic.
- Entertainment: many youths are also having fun with it by asking it questions like “how can I build a machine that can count my hair” or “how can I build a time machine”
How can you as a youth use AI positively and productively?
The short answer is to get creative. Think of something that hasn’t been done yet and do it. Explore your ideas and start working on them through the help of AI.
I have a friend who got creative with AI. He puts all his video ideas into ChatGPT to make scripts and has them then sorted into excel spreadsheets. After that he uses another AI platform to automatically generate short simple videos based on each different script. This way, he makes about 10 videos with a work time of 2 hours. He then uses yet another AI to automatically post videos on YouTube at 12-hour intervals! How incredible!
Some negative effects…
The major problem amongst the youth using AI is over-dependency. Excessive dependence on AI systems like ChatGPT for information and decision-making can diminish the youth’s ability to think independently and critically. We should be careful as to how often we use AI, and for what purposes. It should not be a substitute for critical thinking, human interaction, or professional guidance when necessary.
Another major issue the youth have encountered is that AI is evolving rapidly, and at an alarming rate. This is worrisome for the youth as many jobs are becoming automated which makes the market increasingly competitive for jobs in the near future. For example, a web developer was a highly demanded job just 5 years ago but now anyone with determination can easily make a website thorough AI, without incurring much cost. Even content management systems such as WordPress are now using AI to help you build websites. You just need to describe how you want your website and it does the whole thing for you. Hence, Web Developers are no longer in high demand. This was just one example where AI has cancelled the need for a human being, but there are many more.
In conclusion, the use of ChatGPT and similar AI technologies amongst the youth presents both challenges and opportunities. The youth must not forsake their human characteristics like critical thinking and must strike a good balance between their interactions with ChatGPT, and with real-life human connections, never forgetting what is real and what’s not.
The responsible and positive use of ChatGPT can provide the youth with valuable opportunities for growth and learning.
Nairobi Samachar (SAAJ Nairobi)
Author: Brother Mohammedmehdi Khatau (Member of SAAJ Youth Union)
Fajr2Fajr; an amazing 24-hour event that kept the youth engaged in various activities! We started the day with Fajr jamaat namaz, followed by breakfast and a road trip. We were then joined by Sheikh Yassir Rajabali for a getaway in the lush green forest, away from the city of Nairobi, in which we did various activities like zip-lining and paintballing.
Upon returning to the mosque for Dhuhr jamaat namaz, we had some lunch and proceeded with an interactive session aimed at identifying and providing solutions to issues observed and faced by the youth.
Following a short break, we prayed Maghrib jamaat namaz and dinner. We had a lovely bonfire and Q&A session with Sheikh Yasir followed by an all-nighter full of indoor and outdoor sports. Finally, it was Fajr time where all the youth prayed in jamaat, and that concluded the Fajr2Fajr event.
2. Ramadhan 1444 Food Drive
The SAAJ Youth Union, in collaboration with esteemed organisations (Who is Hussein and Green Africa Global Foundation), held a food drive during the Holy Month of Ramadhan. A total of twenty-eight volunteers from our community participated in this noble initiative. Through our collective efforts, we successfully raised sufficient funds to procure and distribute fifty food bags, comprising of essential items such as rice, sugar, unga (flour), soap, dates, milk, and tea leaves. These bags were then distributed to deserving, school-going children in need.
THE STORY OF AI…
Author: Sister Siddiqa Anwarali (Student at the Hawza (Al Mustafa International University) + AYN Member)
A researcher puts five monkeys into a cage. In the centre, there was a ladder leading up to a bunch of bananas. As the monkeys were playing around, one of them noticed the bananas and tried to climb the ladder. When doing so, the researcher sprayed all five monkeys with ice-cold water for five minutes. The researcher then put his hose away and never touched it again. Sometime later, when a second monkey tried to go for the bananas, the researcher once again sprayed all five monkeys with ice-cold water for five minutes. However, when a third monkey tried to go for the bananas, the other four attacked him to prevent him from climbing the ladder, as they didn’t want to be showered with the water yet again!
Then, the researcher replaced one of the monkeys with a new one, who wasn’t part of the original experiment. As soon as it touched the ladder to go for the bananas, the other four attacked him to keep him from doing so. Each time he tried; they would attack him. Thus, the monkey then learned not to go after the bananas because he’d get attacked if he did. One by one, the researcher then replaced all the monkeys with new monkeys, and each time a monkey tries to go near the ladder, the others attack it, so although it has never been sprayed by the water, it’s afraid to go near the ladder.
Thereafter, even after all the monkeys have been replaced, none of them dare to go near the ladder, as “it has always been that way”. Let’s put AI into this context. For the past few years, AI has become such a big part of our lives, so much so that we forget to question why it was invented in the first place. Let’s analyse the two pictures below:
The picture displayed here shows the human being and AI. What do you think is going on in that picture?
Let’s jump straight to it. Man has always been curious about everything, but most of all he is curious about himself. After the invention of the first calculator, the first computer, and the advancement of other technology, scientists realized that although these inventions could process data far quicker than the human brain, what they lacked was intelligence. This is what led to years of research that resulted in Artificial Intelligence. The scientists figured that if God was the one to create the human being and give it intellect and intelligence, and if human beings can give intelligence to AI, then there exists no need for a God. Which was one of the key goals of the creation of AI.
AI can indeed be used as a tool for positive advancement. However, we as Muslims need to remain aware and vigilant of the original goals of the creation of AI and use it accordingly, with caution, never losing sight of our core beliefs as Muslims, in the pursuit of developing AI.
Disclaimer:Kindly note the views expressed in this publication are personal views of those who have written the articles.