Artificial Intelligence or “AI” is a form of computer intelligence similar to that of human intelligence. In basic terms, AI is a broad area of computer science that codes a computer system to solve complex problems or algorithms, which typically only humans could solve. From Siri to self-driving cars, automation to robotics, AI has become a key ingredient in various new popular inventions that do well in the marketplace. Over the years, AI is a hot topic with computer scientists and inventors supporting it as revolutionary. However, there are others who oppose the idea of advanced AI and consider it a threat to the human race.
The concept of AI was first coined by John McCarthy in a workshop for the Dartmouth Conference in the year 1956. He proposed that “Every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to stimulate it. An attempt will be made to find how to make machines use language, form abstractions and concepts, solve kinds of problems now reserved for humans, and improve themselves.” The first program written to mimic the problem-solving ability of human brain was invented by Allen Newell, J.C. Shaw and Herbert Simon between 1955- 1956. This program kicked off a spree of development as year after year many computer scientists worked on developing AI and versions of AI.
Types of AI
Basically, there are three types of AI, which are: 1) Narrow AI (or weak AI), 2) Strong AI, and 3) Artificial Superintelligence.
Narrow AI is a common type of AI which is developed to do a particular task. It can only perform the task for which it was designed, and when asked to perform other tasks, it is unable to corporate. This type of AI has been integrated into most of the products and applications that we use in today’s world. A good example of narrow AI is the technology that uses big data and the algorithm to arrange the user’s timeline on Facebook.
Strong AI is a kind of AI which has the ability to learn, to give the reason, and to self-improve like a human brain. Each time strong AI solves complex algorithms and completes a task, it gains more intelligence, becoming smarter than before. It doesn’t just perform one function, it is an all-rounder.
Artificial Superintelligence is that type of AI which has achieved intelligence higher than any human brain. Computer systems with such intelligence are yet to be developed, but it is believed that in the future such computer systems or machines will exist.
Revolution of AI
Over the years, AI technology has come a long way from being just a concept to a practical application. Recent years have seen a huge success in the development of AI mainly due to the availability of high power computer processors which are capable of making sense of all the information that is available at a quicker and more precise rate. This has led to more technology companies investing in AI and introducing more advanced products and applications into the market.
In our day to day life, we encounter AI technology more than we realize but still, we are unsuccessful in identifying it. This is mainly because AI has been designed in such a way that we are not able to recognize that the computers are making the decisions for us.
Today we have successfully developed AI technology and introduced it in various fields from automation to robotics, domestic appliances to smartphones. AI has also given way to various other fields of computer science such as Machine Learning and Neural Network. Great achievements have also developed in the robotics field with robots like Sophia. Sophia was specially designed to understand and learn human behavior. It is also the first robot in the world to become a citizen of a country in 2017 (Saudi Arabia). In the past few years, AI has also involved in the creative world with producing music and writing screenplays for web-series and movies. The technology of AI has found great success in every field and has completely changed the way we see computer systems and machines.
Threats of AI
Computer systems with intelligence higher than humans, an ability to improve themselves at a faster rate, learn new things, reason millions of times faster than humans, and solve complex algorithms are a few of the reasons which have concerned many people.
Many are worried about the effect it would bring on the job status of humans. As computer systems or machines become capable of doing tasks and solving problems as well as humans, and in some cases better and faster than humans, they will easily replace humans in various fields. This will result in many persons being jobless, which can lead to poverty.
Professionals and computer scientists such as Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Bill Gates have frequently shown concern related to AI. The idea of building computer systems which may develop higher intelligence, higher reasoning and a higher ability to improve itself than human is frightening. It is concerning that once they achieve such higher intelligence and possibly become higher than humans on the ladder of evolution, they can take over control of the world. There are also concerns about the ability of human control over the AI systems once they have achieved higher intelligence. Since there seem to be no proper answers to various questions related to the future of AI technology, that mystery concerns many in the field. What will be the outcome once AI systems have achieved higher intelligence? This is the question that humans are most worried about answering.
AI provides computer systems or machines with the ability to solve complex problems, generalize learning, reasoning, language understanding and the ability to self-improve, make it among the greatest inventions of this time. The use of this technology has become common and many more technology companies and computer scientists are investing their money and knowledge into the development in order to perfect it.
But, before we reach an era of AI with AI technology having more control over our life, we need to find answers to various questions and concerns of professionals, scientists, and inventors over the years. Is it safe to have computer systems with intelligence higher than a human? Will humans have full control over such super intelligent computer systems? Will they provide a bright future or dark reality? Only time will tell about it.
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