In a world where technological advances are constantly on the rise, the word ‘impossible’ does not exist. From virtual reality, cryptocurrencies and quantum computing to flying cars of Dubai Police, things are only starting to get more advanced and innovative. This, in turn, has led to massive progress in countries all over the world, as well as open opportunities for people working in tech.
One of the greatest innovations of the century includes artificial intelligence, commonly referred to as AI. When people hear this term, they usually think of robots wreaking havoc upon humans on earth. They are usually portrayed as evil forces that aim to overthrow the human race, making them a debatable topic in scientific and academic circles. But are any of those portrayals real? Continue reading below for more information.
What is artificial intelligence (AI)?
Back when Alan Turing broke the Nazi cypher device Enigma that helped the Allied Forces win the war, he turned the tides and changed history once again. He wanted to ask and answer the question: Can machines have the human capacity to think?
During the 1950s, he published a seminal paper called Computing Machinery and Intelligence. It is considered to be the first scientific paper that established the foundation, goals and vision of artificial intelligence, opening new doors for further research in the field.
Artificial intelligence (AI) defines the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are automated to mimic the actions and thoughts of human beings. It often revolves around human characteristics that include the capacity to reason, find meaning and learn from previous experiences, among other things.
How does it work?
Even though the term AI has been popular for many years now, a huge chunk of the population that is not tech-savvy still doesn’t know how it works. How did scientists, robotics engineers and software developers manage to make computers act like humans? How is that possible?
Oftentimes, when people discuss the mechanisms of AI, they focus on one component which is machine learning. Before a machine can learn certain algorithms and patterns, AI should have a steady foundation of specialised hardware and software design. Some developers would use programming languages such as Java, R and Python, to name a few.
AI systems work through a combination of sets of data that focuses on analysing patterns and correlations. Through these data patterns, an AI machine can predict future events and execute human-like actions. For instance, when making a chatbot, developers will incorporate examples of text chats. This will make it easier for the system to create meaningful exchanges with people, making them feel like they’re not just talking to a machine.
Pros and cons of artificial intelligence (AI)
There’s no doubt that the invention of AI has contributed lots of progress toward machine learning, revolutionizing various fields like healthcare, autonomous flying and shopping. However, just like any other technological advance, it comes with its advantages and disadvantages. When does AI become harmful and become beneficial to different sectors of society?
If you’re an adult that has a full-time job, working for eight hours straight can put so much strain on your well-being. This is why you have to take breaks that would help you rest your mind and body so you can perform better at work. You also have to take your paid time off, rest on the weekends and prioritize other things outside of work.
This means that human workers won’t be available to provide services 24/7. Humans are not designed that way. However, with AI machines, companies can make them work nonstop without the fear of putting someone’s health at risk.
When companies focus on AI, they would increase their productivity rate, generate larger revenues and lessen costs in hiring new employees.
Takes risks that humans are not capable of
There are still undiscovered parts of the world that humans haven’t reached yet, especially the deepest parts of oceans. When basic ethics are applied, you can’t just send someone on an exploration quest and put them in grave danger. This also means no matter how trained an individual is, forcing them to defuse bombs during disasters or mine for coal and oil is still considered a risky business.
Thanks to artificial intelligence, all of these things are possible. Let’s take a look at the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion that happened in Ukraine. During that point in history, there were no AI-powered robots that can be used to lessen the effects of radiation and put the fire under control. Consequently, the humans who took the risk to get close and address the situation at hand died within minutes.
What does this mean? If AI was used during this deadly, hazardous situation, hundreds of lives could have been saved.
Handles repetitive jobs well
There are a lot of repetitive jobs in the market that can cause increased burnout, reduced creativity, less employee engagement and costly labour costs, among other things. This includes bookkeeping, telemarketing, proofreading and research analytics. These jobs, according to experts, will be replaced by automation and computerization, helping companies better analyse customer behaviour and data.
For instance, when it comes to market research, marketers and advertisers would do a great job in creating meaningful content, products and messaging. However, through AI and automated surveys, marketing companies can compile huge sets of data in one go. An example would be GrowthBot, conducting market research with just one click of a Slack command.
It can also lessen lengthy bank processes. When you visit banks, you have to undergo several document verifications when applying for a loan. But through AI Cognitive Automation, banks can speed up transactions in under a minute, increasing customer satisfaction and overall productivity.
Makes the right decisions
Since there is a complete absence of emotions in AI-powered systems, they can make the right decisions in a short period. It only works with its programmed data and previous automated tasks, helping it settle on a decision that’s not bound by emotions or practicality. This makes it the ideal choice for many industries, especially healthcare.
In Cambridge, Massachusetts, PathAI is starting to develop a machine learning system that would help pathologists diagnose illnesses more accurately. To further expand its goals, the company has collaborated with drug developers and organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
AI is also used in diagnosing deadly blood diseases in Boston, Massachusetts. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, is using AI-enhanced microscopes to look for harmful bacteria such as staphylococcus and E. coli. Doctors are now studying blood samples faster than they did when they had to depend on manual scanning. The machines have 95% accuracy after scientists fed them 25,000 photos of blood samples.
Lack of creativity
Yes, you can teach machines how to think, talk like humans and study with big sets of data within seconds, but you can never teach them creativity. Keep in mind that they can only execute the commands and data integrated into them, so when it comes to being creative, they can’t compete with the human brain.
Humans are known for their intellect and emotions. They know how to push the limit, think out of the box and make things that machines cannot do. Their thoughts completely depend on their feelings and comprehension that AI-powered systems can never replicate.
Perhaps the most dangerous effect of AI development is increased unemployment. Since more companies are aiming to generate sales and reduced costs, they are prompted to replace human workers with AI and automation. They argue that AI robots can perform similar tasks with better efficiency and accuracy, so people looking for jobs that may be repetitive might have little to no chance of getting hired.
While this can be a sign of huge progress for many companies, it can also mean that workers won’t have many job opportunities to seek.
Unable to incorporate ethics
One of the reasons why AI is still debatable despite its great potential is because of its inability to incorporate ethics in certain situations. Remember that AI only has algorithms and data that it can use to make decisions and follow patterns, so it only focuses on logical results.
This might lead to discriminatory conclusions and inserted bias. The complete reliance on AI-powered systems may lead to inaccuracies that can put someone’s life on the line. For instance, there is a software program that shows bias when identifying future criminals. It showed bias against black people, incarcerating innocent individuals just because of the colour of their skin.
If you want to know more about AI technology and other related topics about it, visit Vula Telematix and find articles that will help you understand how they work.