Benefits of artificial intelligence breakthroughs in the modern society
The Rise of AI
In the science-fictional movies and stories, artificial intelligence (AI) is typically portrayed as robots that often resembles humans. In movies like Ex Machina (2014), Kyoko and Ava are AI robots with human features, while in 2001: A Space Odyssey’s AI was called Hal whose human feature is its voice. However, in the real world, AI can include anything from search algorithms like Google’s to SIRI and self-driving cars.
Then what is artificial intelligence and how does science define it? AI or the concept of artificial intelligence is not a new one. According to Pamela McCorduck, an author of books about history and significance of AI, it started because of the ancient desire of humans to “forge the gods.” There are myths, rumors, and stories such as Hephaestus forging mechanical servants that have some level of intelligence.
However, the term was coined by American computer scientist John McCarthy at The Dartmouth Conference in 1956. Today, artificial intelligence development is more robust. In fact, there are hundreds of companies that are concentrating on artificial intelligence programming and innovation.
There are two general categories of artificial intelligence: (1) narrow or weak AI and (2) general or strong AI. Narrow AI are programmed to do specific tasks such as recognizing patterns in data only or driving a car only. While general AI (not yet developed) are can do more complex tasks will outdo humans in most cognitive tasks. As more investment are poured in AI studies and research, breakthroughs in the artificial intelligence field are happening such as the development of self-driving cars and virtual reality devices.
The Shift to Driverless Vehicles
Can self-driving cars exist? “Maybe possible” was probably the most popular answer to that question five years ago. But now, the answer would be “inevitable” or “yes, sooner rather than later.” Most players in the car-making and tech industries are racing to develop the first truly autonomous car. Google’s Waymo is the company that has been testing its self-driving car the longest. Ride-hailing companies (Lyt and Uber) as well as tech giants (IBM, Apple, and Intel) are developing their driverless cars too.
With the modern AI development, fully autonomous vehicles are now certainly possible. The idea is to develop an AI program that can understand what the car driver wants. The AI will also have a memory that will store data that it can use to navigate the road safely toward the intended destination. These days, companies are simulating or testing their autonomous cars on real streets.
Emulating Reality in the Digital World
As driverless cars start to roam the streets, people are now starting to immerse into digital worlds. Devices such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive Pro, and Samsung Odyssey are equipped with AI that enables their users to be a part of a 3D computer-generated environment. While immersed in the virtual worlds, users can manipulate and interact with things inside the said world.
Aside from the immersive entertainment value, virtual reality (VR) has also more serious uses. Many companies are developing VR programs that have better AI to be used in medical, military, education, and engineering trainings.
The development of AI is a double-edge sword. It certainly has great benefits, but it also brings certain risks. For instance, an AI system can take over a driverless car, and it could be out of control. That is why it is important to keep artificial intelligence’s impact on society.
Do you think AI is beneficial for mankind or does it entail too much risk? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section or chat with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads. Also, check out my book, A New Age, a futuristic journey about humanity and technology.
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Future of Life Institute.”Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence.” Accessed April 19, 2018. https://futureoflife.org/background/benefits-risks-of-artificial-intelligence/.
Rouse, Margaret. “What Is AI (artificial Intelligence)? – Definition from WhatIs.com.” SearchEnterpriseAI. Accessed April 19, 2018. https://searchenterpriseai.techtarget.com/definition/AI-Artificial-Intelligence.
Semicon West. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Self Driving Cars.” Accessed April 19, 2018. http://www.semiconwest.org/programs-catalog/smart-automotive-future-smart-connected-self-driving-cars/artificial-intelligence-ai-and-self-driving-cars.
Virtual Reality Society. “What Is Virtual Reality?” Accessed April 19, 2018. https://www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality/what-is-virtual-reality.html.