Ever wondered what your life would be without those perky machines lying around which sometimes/most times replaced a significant part of your daily routine? In Terminology fancied by Scientists, we call them AI (Artificial Intelligence,) and in plain layman or lazy man terms that is us, we fancy calling them machines and bots.
Let’s define the exact meaning of AI in terms of science because I hate disappointing aspiring scientists out there who don’t take puns lightly. For those that do, welcome to the fraternity of loose and lost minds. Let’s get down to business, shall we?
Definition: Artificial Intelligence or machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans. Colloquially, the term "artificial intelligence" is often used to describe machines (or computers) that mimic "cognitive" functions that humans associate with the human mind such as "learning" and "problem-solving.”
Isn’t it evident I copied the above definition from Wikipedia? And did your natural intelligence decipher the meaning of the definition stated above?
Let me introduce you to the lazy man definition of Artificial Intelligence. Like all engineering scholars, I will take the absolute pleasure of dismantling the words and assembling it together again.
Artificial – Non-Human, something that can’t breathe air or respond to a feeling.
Intelligence – the ability to display intellect, sound reasoning, judgment, and a ready wit.
Put the two words together and voila! Artificially intelligent machines are capable of displaying or mimicking human intellect, sound reasoning, and judgment towards it's surrounding.
Now that we got the definition of AI out of the way, look around you, what do you see? What’s in your hands? Do you not spot a single electronic device or bots?
Things or machines work a lot differently in this era. You must be awestruck of the skyrocketing shiny monuments. The big bird moving 33,000ft above your head carrying humans from one country to another, hospitals treating the diseased and the ill with technology your mind can’t fathom.
Fast cars, microwave and yes, we no longer communicate using crows or pigeons we have cell phones!
Don’t be surprised if I reveal that these are the necessity and an extension to our lives. And no, we cannot live without them anymore.
Our purpose of life has changed drastically, growing crops and putting food on the table isn’t what give us lines on the forehead. We built replacement models that take care of that too. We are living in a fast lane where technology, eventually, will slingshot us to the moon or another planet.
With such a drastic rise in AI and the current trend where all companies want a piece of it, there are some misconceptions about AI as well. With this blog, I try to debunk the misconceptions highlighting both the positive and negative aspects of artificial intelligence.
“If these machines are handling even the simplest of tasks, what are people going to do? Is it the destruction of jobs?”
Fret not. If there is technological advancement, there are always career opportunities as it is the human mind that does the ‘thinking.’ You are the master of your creation.
In fact, in 2020 there will be 2.3 million new jobs available thanks to AI, which results in less muscle power and more brainpower.
“Can Artificial Intelligence solve any/all problems?“
This question is debatable, while AI is designed to assist and make our jobs easier, it cannot save a human being from rubbing off cancers and illness.
Human intelligence hasn’t discovered a way to program the bots to predict or diagnose illness proactively. One must remember, bots act on what is fed/programmed by humans.
“Is AI infallible?“
If you thought it was, then I have slightly bad news. Humans are in a common misconception assuming the machines are no less than perfection and display little to no mistake. The non-sentient systems are trained by us, data selected and curated by us, and human tendency is to make mistakes and learn from them.
Artificial Intelligence is just as good as the training data used, which is created by humans. Any mistake with the training data will reflect on the performance of the system and the technology will be compromised. Ensuring you use a high-quality training dataset is critical to the success of the AI system.
Speaking of data being compromised, during the 2016 presidential election campaign, we witnessed the information of US citizens being evaluated by gaining access to their social media accounts. To proactively block their social media feeds with ads that will prove to be of interest. Therefore, stealing away the votes from the opposition.
We call this “data/information manipulation.” Sadly, the downside of Artificial Intelligence.
“AI must be expensive.”
Well, implementing a fully automated system doesn’t come easy and doesn’t come cheap. But depending on the needs and goals of the organization, it may be entirely possible to adopt AI and get the desired results without breaking your treasure chest.
The key is for each business to figure out what they want and apply AI as needed, for their unique goals and company scale. If businesses can workout their scalability and incorporate the right Artificial intelligence, it can be economical in the long run.
“Will Artificial Intelligence be the end of humanity?”
We are a work in progress, standing at the foyer of technological advancements with a long way to go. But, much like the misconception about robots replacing humans in the workforce, the question is more of smoke in the mirror.
The AI in its current level is not fully capable of self-conscious and decision making. Don’t let Star Trek, Iron Man and Terminator movies fool you into believing bots will lose their nuts (literally and hypothetically) and foreshadow the destruction of humanity. On the flip side, it is the natural disasters the bots are being designed to protect us from.
Oh, look what’s in every body’s hand, it’s what we call a cell phone. A device primarily designed to communicate with people that are at a greater distance.
Communication takes place using microwaves, very different from sand waves. Look closely and you’ll see people doing weird things using their fingers on the cell phone and a weird thing hanging from their ears going through to the same device. Yes, these devices are their partners for life.
Here we are, say Konnichiwa to the lady, don’t touch her! She’s just a hologram.
Welcome to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation simply known as the Miraikan (future museum) where obsessiveness over technology has led us to build a museum for itself.
There’s Asimo, the Honda robot and, what you’re looking at isn’t another piece of asteroid that struck earth years ago, it is Geo-Cosmos. A high-resolution globe displaying near real-time events of global weather patterns, ocean temperatures, and vegetation covering across geographic locations.
You must be contemplating why has mankind reached such level of advancement? Let’s go back to the last question “Will AI be the end of humanity?”
The seismometer, a device that responds and records the ground motions, earthquake, and volcanic eruptions. There are a lot of countries that have lost far too many lives to even comprehend the tragic events of active earthquakes.
This device is a way to predict and bring citizens of Japan to safe grounds. Artificial Intelligence will not be the end of humanity, it can, in fact, be the opposite and could be an answer to humanity’s biggest natural calamities and disasters.
The human mind is something to behold, from its complex neural nerves in the brain to the nerves connecting to every part of the body to achieve motor functions. To replicate or clone it using artificial chips and wires is nearly impossible in the current era but the determination we hold and our adamant nature drives us to dream, the dream of one day successfully cloning the human consciousness into nuts and bolts of a bot.
One day to look at the stars and send bots for space exploration. To look for a suitable second home in an event of space disasters that humans have no control over. And, why send bots into deep space and not humans to add a feather to the hat of achievement?
Simply because we breathe, we starve, and our very own nervous system advertently detects the brutal nature of space above the earth. In this case, Artificial Intelligence and robots are in fact helping humans explore the possibilities of life in outer space. Which is against the misconception that AI will be the end of humanity.
So, there we have it, all the major misconceptions about artificial intelligence and what the reality is. End of the day, it all comes down to how we incorporate artificial intelligence and what we use it for.
If used in the right way, there will be a revolution in the way humans work. Which makes it important for all of us to work on educating people about artificial intelligence and using it to make the world a better place.