How much you know about Artificial Intelligence
Definition – What does Artificial Intelligence (AI) mean?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. Some of the activities computers with artificial intelligence are designed for include:
- Speech recognition
- Problem solving.
Techopedia explains Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that aims to create intelligent machines. It has become an essential part of the technology industry.
Research associated with artificial intelligence is highly technical and specialized. The core problems of artificial intelligence include programming computers for certain traits such as:
- Problem solving
- Ability to manipulate and move objects.
Knowledge engineering is a core part of AI research. Machines can often act and react like humans only if they have abundant information relating to the world. Artificial intelligence must have access to objects, categories, properties and relations between all of them to implement knowledge engineering. Initiating common sense, reasoning and problem-solving power in machines is a difficult and tedious task.
Machine learning is also a core part of AI. Learning without any kind of supervision requires an ability to identify patterns in streams of inputs, whereas learning with adequate supervision involves classification and numerical regressions. Classification determines the category an object belongs to and regression deals with obtaining a set of numerical input or output examples, thereby discovering functions enabling the generation of suitable outputs from respective inputs. Mathematical analysis of machine learning algorithms and their performance is a well-defined branch of theoretical computer science often referred to as computational learning theory.
Machine perception deals with the capability to use sensory inputs to deduce the different aspects of the world, while computer vision is the power to analyze visual inputs with a few sub-problems such as facial, object and gesture recognition.
Robotics is also a major field related to AI. Robots require intelligence to handle tasks such as object manipulation and navigation, along with sub-problems of localization, motion planning and mapping.
Dealing with mundane tasks
One massive advantage of artificial intelligence is its potential to complete mundane tasks through intricate automation that will increase productivity. Theoretically this can even remove “boring” tasks from humans and free them up to be increasingly creative.
Using artificial intelligence alongside cognitive technologies can help make faster decisions and carry out actions quicker.
The phrase “human error” was born because humans, naturally, make mistakes from time to time. Computers however, do not make these mistakes – that is, of course, assuming they are programmed properly. With artificial intelligence, data could be processed error-free, no matter how big the dataset might be
Taking risks on behalf of humans
With artificial intelligence, you can arguably lessen the risks you expose humans to in the name of research. Take, for example, space exploration and the Mars rover, known as Curiosity. It can travel across the landscape of Mars, exploring it and determining the best paths to take, while learning to think for itself. Using artificial intelligence in this manner could potentially lead to massive benefits in areas such as demand forecasting, medical diagnosis and oil exploration.
There is little doubt that artificial intelligence will displace many low-skilled jobs. Arguably, robots have already taken many jobs on the assembly line – but now this could extend to new levels. Take, for example, the concept of driverless cars, which could displace the need to have millions of human drivers, from taxi drivers to chauffeurs, very quickly. Of course some would argue that artificial intelligence will create more wealth than it destroys – but there is genuine risk that this will not be distributed evenly, particularly during its early expansion.
Distribution of power
Artificial intelligence carries the risk, in the minds of some, of taking control away from humans – de-humanising actions in many ways. Nations that are in possession of artificial intelligence could theoretically kill humans without needing to pull a trigger.
Lack of judgement calls
Humans can take unique circumstances and judgement calls into account when they make their decisions, something that artificial intelligence may never be able to do. One example occurred in Sydney, Australia, in 2014 when a shooting drama in the downtown area prompted people to make numerous calls to Uber in an effort to escape the area. The result was that Uber’s ride rates surged based on its supply and demand algorithm – there was no consideration involved for the circumstances in which the riders found themselves.
So is artificial intelligence really a threat?
If you think that artificial intelligence is just a futuristic, Jetsons-style image that is unlikely to ever affect humans on a mass scale then look no further than the employees of Fukoko Mutual Life Insurance in Japan. In January 2017, 34 of its employees were dismissed from their jobs because the insurer had installed a new artificial intelligence system that could read medical certificates, gather data on hospital stays and surgeries, and, in the process, save the company an estimated 140 million Yen per year in salary costs.
Indeed a World Economic Forum study in 2016 predicted that around 5.1 million jobs will be lost to artificial intelligence over the next five years alone, across 15 countries. Yet, to counter-balance this argument, looking at the same industry – insurance – there are advantages to be gained too. In February 2017, Tractable launched a system it claims could “radically transform” motor claims by simplifying the tedious manual process and helping to fight insurance fraud by flagging suspicious claims – potentially removing stress and expense from the process, leading to cost savings for companies and policyholders alike.
Clearly, artificial intelligence has massive potential advantages. The key for humans, however, will be to use their own judgement to apply it productively and ensure the “rise of the robots” doesn’t get out of hand.