AI or Artificial Intelligence is defined as a branch of computer science dedicated to the creation of intelligent machines. AI has been around for decades now and has become an important part of the technology industry. While most people think of AI as Terminator type robots, who will destroy mankind and take over the world, the truth is that we have been using artificial intelligence for a very long time. It is artificial intelligence that is behind Siri, those GPD devices, those automatic vacuums and lawnmowers, and those extended arms on assembly lines designed to perform simple repeated tasks.
The Growth of Artificial Intelligence involves the best and the brightest in the fields of computer programming and engineering. In order for AI to reach its full potential computers are going to have to be programmed to have certain traits. These traits include:
- Problem Solving
- The ability to move and manipulate objects
Artificial Intelligence or AI has knowledge engineering at its core. In order for machines to “think and act” like humans they need to be given an abundance of information relating to the the world. While machines can be fairly easily programmed to perform some human like functions, Initiating common sense, reasoning and problem solving in machines is difficult to achieve.
While there are some machines that perform human or human like functions and are even to act rationally and perform some human acts that doesn’t mean that they process the information that enables them to perform these functions in the same way that the human mind does.
The Goal of Artificial Intelligence Creation
There are 4 main goals of AI creation including
- Creating machines that think like humans
- Creating machines that act like humans
- Creating machines that think rationally
- Creating machine that act rationally
AI can be programmed to do various tasks, but still has a long way to go to reach its full potential. For example, while machines have come a long way in facial recognition they don’t recognize faces in the same way that humans do. For starters a face has to beside a “frame” in order for the computer to recognize the face at all. Then recognition comes from pixels rather than for actual sight. Machines performing facial recognition still has a long way to go.
One of the most difficult part of programming for AI is trying to program a machine to have common sense. While it relatively easy these days to program a computer to see that a task needs to be done and even to perform the task to accomplish that task, it is extremely difficult given certain situations to program a computer to know when the task should be done or should not be done.
While you can program a robot to recognize an empty cereal bowl, put in cereal and add milk, If the cereal bowl has blueberries or even a bug in the bottom the robot or computer won’t be able to reason it out whether they should still put cereal or milk in the bowl or not.
The truth is that Artificial Intelligent machines can handle certain tasks well and even act much like humans when performing those tasks. You can even program machines that look almost like humans if they were given enough data. Less successful so far is getting humans to react in a way that we expect humans to react in given situations, especially those situations that have elements of emotion.
Benefits and Dangers of Artificial Intelligence
There are some benefits to the development of Artificial Intelligence and these benefits include:
- Error Reduction- Human error is the cause for many problems both large and small. AI reduces the number of errors across the board in all types of activities or problems. However, you do have to be aware that computerized programs do sometimes malfunction or have glitzes, which may result in some errors still occurring.
- Artificial Intelligence Can Overcome Human Limitations- AI can be used to overcome human limitations especially in situations that would be dangerous to humans such as mining for new fuels, or exploring the ocean floor.
- Artificial Intelligence Can be Used for Repetitive Tasks- AI can be used to perform repetitive tasks such as assembly line work.
- AI Machines can work without Breaks- Humans need to take breaks to eat, sleep and take care of their personal business. Machines have none of these needs and are able to work without breaks.
AI is all ready being used in various fields, including in manufacturing, medicine, transportation and public service just to name a few.
Potential Problems or Dangers of Artificial Intelligence
There are some potential problems or dangers of artificial intelligence. These problems or dangers include:
- The Development of AI will Cost Jobs- The development of artificial intelligence will cost many people their jobs. While it is true that it will also create more jobs the jobs they will take will be mainly unskilled labor. The jobs that AI will create will be more technical jobs that requires more educations. For those people who can’t afford to further their education or pay for retaining they will be out of work.
- Artificial Intelligence Will Only be as Good as the People who are Programming it. Since not all the engineers or programmers will be equal in their skills some of these machines will function better than others.
- AI Will Lack Human Creativity- Since machines can only know what the programming teaching them they will lack the creativity that can only be found in humans.
- AI Will Never be Able to Show Sympathy or Empathy- Artificial Intelligence will never be able to show sympathy or empathy, which is sometimes needed in even work situations and makes for a better working environment.
There is also a very legitimate concern that artificial intelligence in the wrong hands could become a threat to mankind.
Here is an Interesting Video with a lecture of Juergen Schmidhuber: