Nowadays the artificial intelligence is playing a greater role in our lives. Autopilots, chatbots and robotics have already become a part of it. But we still perceive AI insignificantly. Face recognition is pervasive on China’s streets, though there’s another situation on ours. We can see the autopilots in planes, our car intervenes only in case of an emergency to prevent accidents. But the AI is growing rapidly. A child born today will probably never get a driver’s license or at least won’t have to do it. When he or she is old enough, all the cars will be self-propelled. And the TV will make appropriate suggestions for the evening program based on our consumer preferences. These are obvious examples, but mostly AI works behind the scenes and influences our daily lives.
What is artificial intelligence – AI – and what characterizes it?
About the origin
Historically, artificial intelligence has been developing in two directions. The first one is connected with the idea to create a neural brain structure. It looks like microcircuits and can recognize voices and images. Moreover, there are some areas (especially limited), where it is more successful today than humans. However, the fact is that the human brain is much more complex and powerful than an artificial system. And it’s also much more efficient: our brain uses about 20 watts of power, while the neural structure uses kilowatts.
The second direction focuses on complex and self-learning software programs development. A result of this development is the voice recognition.
What can AI do and what is it not able to do? "Weak" and "strong" AI.
Artificial intelligence is on the rise in many sectors today: AI machines can compose music, translate into other languages immediately, act as an enemy in combat simulations, increase data security through face recognition, analyze big data fast and make diagnoses based on findings in a split second.
An artificial intelligence that can solve a particular problem however is not able to operate or develop outside of that area is called a “weak AI”.
As a “real” artificial intelligence or so-called “strong AI” is considered an AI, which has the ability to learn and develop itself. Especially literature and film provide us with many well-known examples of a strong AI; two of the most popular are:
- SkyNET from the movie series “Terminator” – a smart computer that has got out of reach of people, spread over the Internet and taken control of all the technical devices on the planet.
- Data from the TV series “Star Trek: Next Generation” – an Android (advanced robot) with full self-awareness and own personality, whose primary goal is to become similar to humans.
There is a simple reason why we’ve used examples of the “strong AI” in literature and cinema: there are currently no functional “strong AI” in the world. All AIs in use are “weak AI”
However, anyone who considers the “strong AI” to be a phantom should know that several university research groups have been already working on corresponding programs. A joint research group from several US universities on robotics has developed a program that currently scours the Internet and social media platforms for images, footage and text to acquire knowledge. It founds its sources and the material itself. And it can connect to any Internet-enabled robot over the Internet to share its information with it. And when reading these lines, the thought comes to you: It reminds damn of SkyNET from ‘Terminator’, you may be sure, you’re not the only one.
So, the “strong AI” is a vision of the future, which will become concrete for most of us during our lifetime. But let us return to the present. Where exactly does the “weak AI” operate today?
Successful companies in AI
The interest in the AI research and its practical application, as we have mentioned, is growing rapidly today. For example, a team from Deepmind has developed a computer program that plays the game “Go”. This program has defeated the world champion in the game. Google and Amazon are very successful in language assistants (Google Assistant, Alexa). Here are some more examples:
Medicine: Thanks to AI, robotic surgery is existing. Nowadays an injured person can replace his lost body part. The AI allows a human to connect bionic prosthesis with his nervous system and to control with help of it. People can feel touching, warmth and pressure with such prostheses.
Safety: AI technologies analyze possible catastrophe such as a fire or earthquake risk and provide warning signals in time. Identifying AI’s security vulnerabilities in buildings and software AI training systems help to train soldiers and prepare for emergencies.
Education: Adaptive learning should solve the problem of different student performance. The fact is that some people learn certain topics much faster and more successfully than others. The AI monitors the student’s level of knowledge and adjusts the order of the course blocks according to their abilities. It also informs a teacher how well a student has recorded the material.
Daily life. In fact, AI is much closer to us than you think. A typical example of using AI – the Internet of Things, which is being used more and more often.
1) Fragility: AI technologies e.g. robots, like all other machines, must be maintained and, if necessary, repaired.
2) Energy consumption: The functionality depends entirely on the energy and, as already mentioned, the energy consumption is relatively high.
3) Unemployment: In the near future AI systems will replace many kinds of jobs. As a result, the situation on the labor market will worsen significantly. Experts believe that 4 out of 10 jobs in Europe will be eliminated by technological progress (often by AI) by 2050.
4) Decadence: There is a belief that modern robots can adversely affect a person in the future. If all physical and much of the mental work is done by AI, then a person could stop developing himself.
To sum up, we can say that the goal of AI is to make our lives easier. Artificial intelligence is a tool that allows a more intuitive process of human interaction with programs and helps with certain tasks. The question whether AI will replace a person at work or in everyday life cannot be answered definitively today. However, we do not consider this possible for the foreseeable future.