Who isn’t familiar with the term artificial intelligence technology in this day and age? However, only a few know what it truly means and what it stands for. Majority of the people know it by its various applications, the most prominent of which are Siri and Alexa. And when artificial intelligence systems are not being misrepresented by media as the evil lords ready to wipe out all of humanity, they are being undervalued as a pipe dream. So, what exactly is it. Here’s a brief overview to let you know.
What Exactly is Artificial Intelligence Technology?
Artificial Intelligence Technology, usually abbreviated as AI Technology, is a technology that develops computer systems in such a way that they become able to perform tasks requiring human cognitive abilities. For example, making decisions, solving problems, recognizing speech, etc. However, the essence of artificial intelligence lies in its ability to operate on its own, without relying on pre-coded instructions. More importantly, AI can learn from experience and interaction with its environment.
The History of Artificial Intelligence Technology
Artificial beings capable of thought and emotions, have been common in myths and stories since the dark ages. In fiction, especially, they’ve had great representation, such as Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. However, the futuristic technology that we mean when we talk about artificial intelligence technology today, was formed at a workshop in Dartmouth College in 1956. A group, lead by teachers and students, founded the field of Artificial Intelligence by manufacturing programs capable of solving algebraic problems and playing complex games like chess and Go.
Since then, the field of artificial intelligence has seen many ups and downs. In 1960, AI was heavily funded and researched on. The next decade, 1970, however, is known as ‘AI Winter’ because the progress of researches declined significantly. In 1980s, AI was revived due to the success of Japan’s Fifth generation of computers and the commercially successful expert systems, capable of simulating knowledge and analytical skills. In the years that followed, AI underwent steady progress and became what it is today.
Different Subsets of Artificial Intelligence Technology
Artificial intelligence is not of a single kind. Some might call it the branches of AI or subsets of artificial intelligence. They are, sometimes, incorrectly used interchangeably with AI. Nevertheless, there are multiple things that make a computer system artificially intelligent, some of them are.
Machine Learning (ML)
Instead of programming solutions into the computer, scientists opted for teaching a computer how to solve problems. Machine Learning was born from it. Machine Learning works on statistical methods and algorithms that enable a computer to learn from the data it is fed over time.
Neural networks are made to mimic the biological neural circuits in our brain. But while the neural networks in our brain are random and connect to the closest neuron, the neural network in a computer is designed according to specific layers, connections and directions. It can make predictions with some certainty based on the data it has.
Natural Language Processing
NLP endeavors to understand natural human language. It involves both written and oral communication. A computer with NLP can talk and converse with human naturally. It also attempts to distinguish the effect certain music has on people. For example, it can listen to a song, analyze it and decide whether it will make humans happy or sad.
Can Robots Actually have Artificial Intelligence?
When people speak of AI, they generally think of advanced human-like robots who are better than us at everything. However, the technology of today is very limited and we are nowhere near achieving that feat. Still, robots are a part of our lives and some of them do operate on artificial intelligence, albeit, within a small range. For example, Sophia the Robot, Alexa by Apple, etc.
The robots of today can move their own limbs, manipulate their environment, communicate with humans and exhibit cognitive abilities but only up to a certain extent.
Various Uses of Artificial Intelligence Technology in Today’s Society
Artificial Intelligence has numerous applications today. It is helping doctors, teachers and businessmen alike. You can see the role of AI, robotics and computer systems in every field of life.
AI in Health
With the help of artificial intelligence, doctors have been treating more patients successfully, lowering the rate of death. AI can scan the medical records of a cancer patient and suggest which combination of drugs is most effective for his or her treatment. In advanced hospitals, AI has also performed successful surgeries under the supervision of experienced surgeons.
AI in Education
In the education department, AI serve as an assistant to teachers. More and more schools are integrating AI and advanced computer systems to educate students in an effective manner. Since traditional schooling is not only boring but also ineffective, it is important that we incorporate systems which can spark interest and revive young minds.
AI in Automotive Industry
These days a lot of automobiles are being operated by artificial intelligence. Drones, cars and airplanes are prime example of it. Moreover, a lot of companies are investing in manufacturing driverless vehicles, which is not only convenient but also prevents road accidents. It can simultaneously monitor all sides of the road and stop the car when in danger of collision.
AI in Marketing and Finance
AI can monitor consumer footprints and predict the sale of items. It is also an effective tool for advertising. Hence, artificial intelligence plays a prominent role in marketing and business. In finance, it helps banks ensure safe money transactions, prevent fraud especially in cases of online trading, etc.
What does the Future has in Store for Artificial Intelligence Technology and Us
The fact is that, AI is beneficial for mankind as it is helping us make our lives easier and more fruitful. However, there is another point of view. That is, if we do succeed in creating a super intelligent artificial computer which far exceeds the limitations of human intellect, then human beings will no longer be necessary.
If AI replaces humans on jobs, then humans will left with nothing to do but play, which is unproductive and unhealthy, to say the least. AI can eradicate poverty, hunger and diseases from the world but if we let it control all aspects of our lives without any restrictions, it is bound to judge humans as an unnecessary and useless component of the universe.
In conclusion, the benefits and dangers of artificial intelligence cannot be denied. Sure, it can backfire and destroy humanity but we still have a long way to go until that. Right now, we need to focus to developing AI to be resourceful and advantageous for us. The goal should be to develop it in such a way that it aligns human’s interests with the machine’s.