Does Artificial Intelligence Matter?
Published in 1986, ‘Understanding Artificial Intelligence’ is a great read for anyone looking to get a basic understanding the AI and the changes that have taken place within the last 25 years.
A Definition on AI
"Artificial Intellience is the study of how to make computers do things at which,at the moment, people are better.”
Elaine Rich, ‘Artificial Intelligence’
To put it simply, AI is a tool to assist and in some cases replace humans in various different tasks. There are many things computers can do better at than people, like statistical and numerical computation, storing and remembering information, and repetitive tasks. Tiny calculators can outperform mathematicians in complex problems, databases can store and query massive amounts of data no human can store, and programs can execute tasks over and over again without diminishing quality of outcome.
What can humans do better than AI?
The Industrial Revolution opened the door for machines and technology handling different activities in business and personal life. After the era’s technology improved productivity, health, and society, humans accepted the fact that machines are in many cases superior in performing mechanical and physical labor.
Now, as computing continues to accelerate, we’re being faced with a new technological revolution. One where mental activity will be influenced by technology, different to the physical activity influenced during the Industrial Revolution. All industries will continue to be disrupted by artificial intelligent and computer technologies - from medical, logistics, marketing, trade, and more.
But to this day, there are still many things humans remain superior to AI systems, mainly being true intelligent behavior. In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid”, Douglas Hofstadter lays out what makes true intelligent beings (qualities we still remain superior):
“To respond to situations very flexibly”
“To make sense out of ambiguous or contradictory message”
“To recognize the relative importance of different elements of a situation”
“To find similarities between situations despite differences which may separate them”
“To draw distinctions between situations despite similarities which may link them”
And to put it further, activities that come natural to us, where we do not have to think about them, leave little interest for AI applications. This explains why most AI applications are in industries where activities are different, require details, and large amount of thought behind it. AI will find its optimal position in assisting those that work in fields that are hard and require a lot mentally.
Major Applications of AI
Machine Learning: ML provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and use it learn for themselves. This is currently a major focus in the AI field.
Natural Language Processing: NLP is the use of computers to understand and generate language that is comprehensive to humans in their natural language. These methods are used to give computers the ability to understand instructions given in English so that computers and AI systems can comprehend meaning, and give computers the ability to generate English content.
Expert Systems: EPS’s are designed to act as an expert in a particular field and assist humans in their line of work. This form of AI is commonly used in medical, business, and science industries.
Speech: The goal of speech recognition is to give computers the ability to understand human speech and interactive based off their meaning and intent.
Vision: Similar to speech recognition, computer vision is focused on giving computers the ability to comprehend visual images and interact based off specific images and events.
Robotics: Robotics is focused on giving computers the skillets to move material, parts, tools, or specialized products through programmatic motions to performance specific tasks.
Automatic Programming: The focus here is to give computers the ability to take input from any developer and create the program based off their specific requests. Essentially, give computers the power to create programs based only on inputs given.
Planning and Decision Support: AI for planning and decision making purposes is a major focus in today’s work. Business owners, decision makers, and researchers can use computers to make smarter, more efficient decisions based off the data they have in hand.
So…does AI matter?
Do you think AI matters? Should better education be given to every consumer, professional, and citizen on the powers of AI?
We certainty think so!
Let us know your thoughts. Email me…