The world is fast evolving, with Artificial intelligence (AI) at the forefront in changing the world and the way we live. This article is Part 1 of a 2 part series.
An important question: What is AI? For many people, it remains unclear what this technology is all about, so this is a good place to start the conversation. AI is a branch in computer science that deals with the intelligent behavior of machines. It is an ingeniously simulated ability of a machine to imitate human behavior and our conventional response patterns. This is made possible with specific algorithms that make the AI function in a specified scope of activities (according to what the algorithm codes for). This means that with AI, many of our everyday activities can now be carried out effectively by programmed machine technology.
Over the years, a number of technocrats in the field have carried out extensive work in broadening the prospects of fundamental AI innovations. However, one of the prevailing concerns is in the need for a structure where both male and female genders participate as innovators and active movers. This concern comes as a result of overwhelming male-driven dispositions being incorporated into finished Al functioning products. The reason for this is that few women are present and involved in the development of artificial intelligence.
The importance of AI technology: How can AI change the world?
Speaking on the relevance and implications of AI adoption in the world’s general operational systems, Microsoft’s chief envisioner David Coplin had this to say:
It will change how we relate to each other. I would argue that it will even change how we perceive what it means to be human. – David Coplin
The use of AI in organizations, governments, security frameworks, energy and natural resource management, etc., is drastically on the rise. Although AI advancement levels and use may differ substantially from one geographical region to the other, there are clear indicators pointing to the fact that more people are acknowledging the solutions that the technology brings.
This leads us to acknowledging the center of focus for AI developers. Most AI developers are now ultimately directed towards achieving a basic goal. They are charged with the responsibility of building AI models that would aptly substitute direct human efforts. This need comes in recognition to the inadequacies of human labor efforts, which are characterized by inaccuracy, inefficiency and other failures. For example, artificial intelligence has been pointed at to possess the potential for more accurate medical practices. Thus, you can be sure of a more accurate surgical procedure using this framework than is currently available by most humans. Hence, we can say that the opposites of the inadequacies of human efforts are precisely the benefits of artificial intelligence to our world.
However, even though work is ongoing in significantly constructing the usefulness of this technology, truly significant achievements are yet to come. AI is all around us, but often times we don’t notice it. For instance, Facebook uses AI technology for its image recognition. AI has also played roles in managing calendars, political campaigns, and is fast approaching basically everything!
According to John McCarthy – one of the founding fathers of the technology:
The study is to proceed on the basis of the conjecture 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 simulate it. – John McCarthy
This conveys that AI can imitate any aspect of our life, and hence presents a different and more advanced world to help us!
Let’s consider some obvious reasons why AI will become pervasive in the near future:
AI virtual assistants
Using AI, more people would be able to step down on having to carry out so many tasks by themselves. With a personal assistant AI, we’ll be able to remove the more mundane tasks from our lives. For instance, there may be no need to go to the grocery store, meet with an appointment, or make that deadline yourself as your AI assistant knows just what to do, and when to do it. Consider the value of such help in managing your messages, helping to sort out your wardrobe, doing your laundry. However, the AI would only function according to its developed programming. Hence, one AI may be programmed to work on multiple assignments, while another may be far more narrow in scope of application.
Increasing effective labor input with guaranteed corresponding output
Businesses today are realizing the prospects of AI; they know how valuable the technology is for achieving increased productivity. Unlike human labor that can be very limited, artificial intelligence provides more input with a corresponding positive output – on average. The technology is able to achieve this through the use of innovative diffusion, apt and proactive decision implementations, and other roadmaps that ultimately jerks up positive output.
Accenture has estimated a minimum of 40% increase in realizable productivity for companies that would be adopting AI by the year 2023.
Most artificial intelligence modules are connected to other frameworks such as cloud database and storage, big data, cryptography and blockchain, internet of things (IoT), etc. As such, they are able to facilitate the speed and effectiveness of information transmission and reproducibility, from end to end.
Improving operational costs
Utilization of physical manpower requires sustained salaries and allowance costs for the company. This directly effects the company’s net profits and increases operational costs. An AI operated company, where costs on human labor are largely removed, has huge gains in the long and short run due to impactful salary reduction. Although analysts consider the high costs of AI development, the utilizing firm will likely benefit significantly in the long run, and it may just keep the firm alive.
The prospects for AI future use are enormous. This is already indicated in current use of AI in the medical, banking, gaming, transport, manufacturing, and defense sectors.
Artificial intelligence guru and industry influencer Andrew Ng has likened the expected impact of AI, to that of the impact electricity has had on the world. He had this to say in his comparison:
Just as electricity transformed almost everything 100 years ago, today I actually have a hard time thinking of an industry that I don’t think AI will transform in the next several years. – Andrew Ng
Elon Musk speaks of the great potentials of AI in bettering the world systems. However, his latest concerns are on the possibilities of an inability of humans to ultimately control its accompanying negative effects. According to Musk, human designed AI may end up becoming a kind of nuisance to man – if it finally becomes pervasive.
But irrespective of how analysts, stakeholders and enthusiasts perceive things, the basic importance of artificial intelligence is undeniable and is adequately acknowledged by all.
AI is expected to be a species on planet earth (and maybe in space too).