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Artificial Intelligence: A Tool For Humanity?

Posted by jeremybosch on November 19th, 2019

From “Ok Google” to self-driven cars, our world is progressing very quickly with artificial intelligence and its applications. Chances are, we are exposed to AI every day, whether doing a Google search or talking to a friend on Facebook. While we often consider AI being portrayed to us as robots doing human tasks for us, it can pretty much do any complex task from Google searches to handling weapons. Artificial intelligence can be defined as the science and engineering of making intelligent machines that are able to read and analyze huge volumes of data, algorithms and programming to perform actions, anticipate problems and learn to adapt to a variety of circumstances with and without supervision. AI can be divided into two categories, weak and strong AI, where weak AI have limitations to perform a single task effectively, the strong AI is believed to perform all cognitive tasks better than humans. As of 2019, the strong AI is an area which is being heavily researched by over 40 organizations all over the world. We already live in a world where machines have replaced humans in various sectors to perform particular tasks, and the time is not far away when we would be replacing humans completely with robots and depend on them to do daily tasks in our lives. This has prompted many people to start learning online artificial intelligence course.

As of this date, however, our lives mostly involve usage of weak AI around us. We are exposed to different kinds of weak AI every day. Weak AI is designed to be a supervised form of programming that is a simulation of human thought and interaction. However, ultimately it is a set of well programmed responses or supervised interactions that are merely human-like. Siri and Alexa are a good examples of weak AI, because, while they seemingly interact and think like humans when asked questions or to perform tasks, their responses are programmed and they are ultimately assessing which response is appropriate from their bank of responses. For this reason, weak AI like Siri or Alexa don't necessarily understand the true meaning of their commands, merely that they comprehend key words or commands and their algorithms match them up with an action. Whether we make a Google search or we talk to our friends on Facebook, we are basically interacting with AI. We have all noticed getting ads very related to our recent searches. Five years ago, we had a completely different way to market products and services. Now, one of the main ways that AI has revolutionized the advertising and marketing sector is by processing all available data, and having the ability to create the ideal audience for the products or services that can be used to target in a variety of different ways. This is just one single sector that has been using AI extensively to achieve its goals. There are many such sectors that utilize the features of AI to their benefits. In the near times, the aim of keeping AI’s impact on society beneficial motivates research in many areas.

In the long term, the important question would be what would happen if the quest for strong AI succeeds and an AI system becomes better than humans at all cognitive tasks. Such a system could potentially undergo self-improvement recursively and could easily leave human intellect far behind. Strong AI is largely unsupervised and uses more clustered or association data processing. Strong AI is typically known for being able to "teach" itself things. For example, in 2013, an AI system taught itself the classic Atari games and ended up breaking several of the records made by humans. Apart from learning games however, strong AI is often associated with the destructive forms of robots that tend to think smarter and faster than all humans. This can also be put into control though because on a basic level, unsupervised learning gets into problems without any pre-programmed answers or instructions. Thus, it is better to use a mixture of logic and trial and error to learn the answers or categorize things. Maintaining safety while handling strong AI is very essential since these machines cannot exhibit love or hate. Given into the wrong hands, an AI system can be programmed to do something devastating. An AI system could intend to do something beneficial but end up completing the task using a destructive process. All these cases indicate the fact that AI systems are very competent and would be very good in achieving their goals efficiently, but could pose big problems if their goals aren’t aligned with ours. Thus, the main concern with strong AI is the misaligned intelligence or goals which only need an internet connection to run their process. So to ensure everybody’s safety, extensive research is required to make strong AI safe before deploying it to the world.

As far as the uses of AI are concerned, they are boundless. AI has been used in business sectors for various purposes including process automation, cognitive insight for predicting a customer’s preferences and other advertising activities, and cognitive engagement which is used to provide customer service 24/7. As examples of weak AI, Siri and Alexa are programmed with responses and actions based on commands or questions posed to them by the phone owner. Even social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram use AI extensively. The posts on our feed are actually using AI to predict which posts we want to see and push it higher. Such algorithms work in almost every social networking site. Automobile companies like Tesla also make great use of AI to generate self-drive features in their cars and also makes use of crowd-sourced data to learn and improve its own system. Even while watching Netflix or shopping on Flipkart, the content we get to see is decided by their AI system, and it aims to determine our best interests so they can display the content accordingly.

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It is quite clear that we are moving with a great pace in the world of technology. It is also predictable that we will continue to discover newer forms of technology to make our lives even more easier. However, every good thing can turn bad quickly if the goals are not aligned or the intentions aren’t right. Thus, while moving forward with the technology, we must ensure that it only used to make this world a safer and better place. Doing that, requires a lot of patience, research and a will to live around robots acting like good humans!

Also See: Strong Ai, Weak Ai, Artificial Intelligence, Ai System, Strong, Ai, Weak

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