Artificial intelligence: Moving towards an expedient future.

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The fathers of AI i.e. Minsky and McCarthy, in the 1950s, described artificial intelligence as any task performed by a program or a machine that, if a human carried out the same activity, we would say the human had to apply intelligence to accomplish the task. The AI systems typically demonstrate behaviors associated with human intelligence like planning, learning, reasoning, problem-solving, knowledge representation, perception, motion, manipulation, and to a lesser extent, social intelligence, and creativity.

Nowadays, artificial intelligence is all around us in computers, speech and language recognition of the Siri virtual assistant on the Apple iPhone, in the vision-recognition systems on self-driving cars, in the recommendation engines that suggest products you might like based on what you bought in the past, interpreting video feeds from drones carrying out visual inspections of infrastructure such as oil pipelines, organizing personal and business calendars, responding to simple customer-service queries, coordinating with other intelligent systems to carry out tasks like booking a hotel at a suitable time and location, helping radiologists to spot potential tumors in X-rays, flagging inappropriate content online, detecting wear and tear in elevators from data gathered by IoT devices, the list goes on and on. There is a flood of virtual assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana, etc. The AI is capable of executing vastly different tasks, anything from giving you a haircut to building complex robots as commonly seen in movies, the likes of HAL in 2001, or Skynet in The Terminator, though doesn’t exist today certainly a reality of tomorrow.

What is machine learning: Machine learning is where a computer system is fed large amounts of data which it then uses to learn how to carry out a specific task such as understanding speech or captioning a photograph. Computers are programmed with rules that allow them to take a series of decisions based on a large number of inputs, allowing that machine to mimic the behavior of a human expert in a specific domain. An example of these knowledge-based systems might be, for example, an autopilot system flying a plane. AI has also made possible the production of hyper-realistic concept movies that blur the line between fiction and reality. However, concerns are also starting to be raised about how such technologies will be used to misappropriate people’s image.

In recent years, the accuracy of facial-recognition systems has leaped forward, to the point where Chinese tech giant Baidu says it can match faces with 99 percent accuracy. In China, the authorities are mounting a nationwide program to connect CCTV across the country to facial recognition and to use AI systems to track suspects, suspicious behavior and are also trialing the use of facial-recognition glasses by police. Chinese firms Alibaba, Baidu, and Lenovo are investing heavily in AI in fields ranging from e-commerce to autonomous driving. It is being planned to create a cloud-to-car autonomous car platform for auto manufacturers around the world.

The Future of AI: News like Amazon Go, a cashier-free supermarket in Seattle where customers just take items from the shelves and walk out, warehouse management by more than 100,000 bots, self-driving trucks by next decade, etc. indicates that there will be more intrusive use of AI technology if future. Notable estimates are that the essays written by AI will be difficult to distinguish from those made by humans by 2026, truck drivers will be made redundant by 2027, AI surpassing human capabilities in retail by 2031, writing a best-seller by 2049, and doing a surgeon’s work by 2053. AI will beat humans at most of the tasks within the next 45 years and will automate almost all human jobs within the next 120 years.

The impact of AI/Challenges: It is estimated that millions of people working in administration, entering and copying data between systems, chasing and booking appointments for companies will be jobless, self-driving trucks will throw 1.7 million drivers out of gear by next decade and there will be a major technological shift. But the material question is, whether new jobs with new roles will be created at an equal or faster pace than the displacement by the AI and whether humanity will proactively gear up with necessary skills or temperament to fill these emerging roles?

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk have claimed that AI is a “fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization” and there should be stronger regulatory measures for responsible research into mitigating the downsides of AI. Similarly, Stephen Hawking posed it as an existential threat to the human race the notion rejected by some AI researchers though. A better compromise may be an AI-assisted worker e.g. a human concierge with an AR headset telling him exactly what a client wants before he asks for it will be more productive or effective than an AI working on its own.

Contributed By- Siddhart Jangid, Content Writer @ Mitti Ke Rang

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