Artificial intelligence is a technological development that most experts consider to be a significant element of the future. The term Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the capability of a computer program to perform tasks or reasoning processes that relate to human intelligence. In his theoretical physics book, Physics of the Future, Michio Kaku, the theoretical physics professor, imagines and describes a future world where artificial intelligence research will evolve to the extent of human beings merging with robots (2011, p. 65). The current level of AI development has had to grapple with the limited technology that inhibits much achievement in the field. Nonetheless, it is expected to improve human lives and enable brain control of machines in every aspect of life even though this might translate to a future in which scientists predict the existence of human-like machines. Through different approaches of development and implementations of artificial intelligence, it is clear that advancing the sophisticated software and hardware will assist humans in many endeavors, but also surpass human brain and gain conscious abilities in the future.
Researchers tackle the challenge of creating artificial intelligence capable of functioning and reasoning without any human input. Kaku explains that it has been difficult to develop autonomous AIs in past research despite the existence of significant developments in the robotics industry (Kaku, 2011, p. 48). The current level is still under Moore’s Law, that is, a turing machine that consists of three basic components: an input, a central processor that digests this data, and an output (Kaku, 2011, p. 44). He points out difficulties such as lack of enough expertise, methodology, energy, and resources including financing. As a result, for most people, the idea of artificial intelligence is based on the perceptions illustrated in films containing full consciousness, and smoothly functioning humanlike machines.
Artificial intelligence refers to the analysis of data to statistically model real life events and use these models to create algorithms that determine a computer’s actions. The definition shows the level that currently exists, which might change in the future. Kaku discusses some of the famous AI systems as including ASIMO the robot, STAR, and the medical robot nurse RP-6 (2011, p. 42). Most advances are, however, being accomplished in the big data industries with companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon paying large amounts of money to develop complex algorithms in their respective capacities (Metz, 2017). Recent developments in the sector are in enabling computers to learn from experience and, therefore, eliminate the need for human inputs when making decisions.
Artificial intelligence has developed significantly in the past few years especially in areas such as machine learning and deep learning. Deep learning consists of the subgroup of machine learning that utilizes layers of non-linear algorithmic processes to classify data meaning that computers can process information and give an output or a decision with minimal human input Bianca, 2015, p. 94). To achieve level of artificial intelligence, experts agree that the machine has to be able to assess a situation, make the decision and learn from the experience. In recent times, artificial intelligence has evolved to the level that scientists are now able to produce AIs that can build other AI machines. For example, according to Metz, Google has developed the AutoML, which is a machine-learning algorithm that learns how to build other machine-learning algorithms (2017).
The uses of artificial intelligence are only limited to human abilities in applying them in and within the current level of technology. A popular and common uses of AI algorithms include the Google Translate feature which recognizes speech or text and give the appropriate translation, Amazon’s recommender systems, spam filters, Apple’s Siri and even adaptation of Global Position Systems (GPS) (Rossi, 2016, p. 2). Aside from these there are the robotic AIs such as the Roomba robots that clean floors while production companies have the Baxter robot on manufacturing lines (Rossi, 2016, p. 2). Kaku explains examples of the AIs, which are mainly robotic in nature such as ASIMO-like robots that would function in car manufacturing plants for precision.
Artificial intelligence is also indispensible in the launching, controlling and, management of drones and missiles; a feat that has had a great impact in the success of the United States’ military engagements. Countries such as the United Kingdom have smart motorways that can predict and manage traffic avoiding commotions and collisions. High frequency trading algorithms are used in financial markets seamlessly and can be set up by all users to perform tasks based on certain outcomes (Bianca, 2015, p. 93). In addition, companies such as ROSS, Lex Machina and CaseText are being used in the justice industry to sift through thousands of legal documents and matching prescribed faces, particular descriptions, analysis among other tasks that would otherwise be daunting to humans. Artificial intelligence is a major part of today’s world or business, learning, and the general life and will remain so in the future.
The continued development of AI is predicted to have real life consequences on many aspects of the society. Aside from Kaku’s predictions of developing emotional robots and merging with robots, there are other implications on the future societies. The future benefits seem to have a magical and futuristic twist where things such as self-driving and virtual assistants will be commonplace. Conversely, there are some concerns as to the effects of the technology on the future. Governments consider the uncertainty of the labor sector where these machines will now replace or not require human input in order to function. Another concern is the safety and privacy of collected data by the companies developing artificial intelligence technologies that are based on internet user experiences. While the robots are said that they will take over the dangerous jobs, it might be unattained since they will have emotions too that would lead to conflicts with humans. Also, there is the question of the ethical accountability of these systems since they essentially use stereotyping to form decisions despite gaining consciousness leading to a human-machine conflict. Michio Kaku predicts; “the computer revolution should give us the ability to manipulate matter with our minds, the biotech revolution should give us the ability to create life almost on demand and extend our life span, and the nanotech revolution may give us the ability to change the form of objects and even create them out of nothing” (Kaku, 2011, p. 190).
Artificial Intelligence has come a long way through the diligent and intelligent work of many scientists. It is now one of the most advanced research fields of technology that aims at having machines perform on their own without human control. Current level of development boasts of few tasks that require negligible human input, but solve complex algorithm, although the AI still operates as turing machines under Moore’s Law. The AI has many uses such as medical diagnosis, online translations, and are is a good precision tool among others that make it extremely useful to humans. Artificial Intelligence technology expected to have a huge impact in the future as machines are predicted to gain consciousness and try competing with mankind. While many estimates have come and passed concerning the power and abilities of artificial intelligence, it is a field of technology that has impacted the world positively and one that needs much research to realize its full potential.
Bianca, M. L. (2015). Artificial Intelligence. Science between Truth and Ethical Responsibility, 91-104. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-16369-7_7
Kaku, M. (2011). Physics Of The Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives By The Year 2100. Doubleday; Random House, Inc., New York
Metz, C. (2017, November 5). Building AI that can build AI. The New York Times. Retrieved January 28, 2018, from https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/11/05/technology/machine-learning-artificial-intelligence-ai.html?referer=https://www.google.com/
Rossi, F. (2016). Artificial Intelligence Potential Benefits and Ethical Considerations. Europe: European Parliament. Retrieved January 28, 2018 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/571380/IPOL_BRI%282016%29571380_EN.pdf
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