Artificial Intelligence is the talking point in every technology-based company. Technology should be aimed at making lives easier for people so that they can devote more time to the things they love doing such as spending time with family. However, the effects visible are quite the opposite. That is where technology fails to be a part of human life in all its forms. Therefore, before raving about technological advancements, we should remember the reason why we had embraced technology in the first place.
Whether AI will be able to change that in the future, or it will be able to bring back what technology was actually meant to be that is the question. Hence, before delving deep into what effect AI will have on human experience, let us briefly understand what AI actually is.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
AI or Artificial Intelligence is a branch of computer science that aims to create ‘intelligent’ machines— machines that can work and behave like human beings. Activities like learning, planning, decision-making and problem-solving— would all be done with the help of artificial intelligence. Machine learning, knowledge engineering, and robotics are the three core aspects of AI.
For a machine to behave like a human it has to have access to a lot of information about the objects surrounding it— the properties of each their relationships, and their behaviour. Making a machine that possesses reasoning and planning capabilities is a tedious and a very complex process. Machine learning intends to make your machines learn without/with little supervision, that is, learning and improving from one’s own experience. The primary aim is to make machines learn automatically and adjust actions accordingly.
Since you have already gotten a little idea about what Artificial Intelligence is, let us discuss how it can bring with it a plethora of changes in the technology world and human lives.
The following are the changes that Artificial Intelligence:
- The growth and spread of AI are limited by only human imaginations and ethos. The first step towards AI was taken long back with the evolution of robots. However, robots could perform only pre-programmed tasks. Nevertheless, in the late 1990s, IBM’s Deep Blue became the first computer to beat a human in a chess match. This was a cue for scientists and engineers all over the world to take computers beyond the realm of just problem-solving. Till today, different companies are competing with each other to unveil the next higher level of AI and their exploration is limited only by imagination and the technology we currently have at our disposal.
- AI is yet another groundbreaking achievement in the field of technology, though still in its infancy. It has the same purpose of making things easier for people as it was when the first machines were created. The difference lies in how AI can be integrated into human life, giving people the opportunity to enjoy the life that machines in the past had somewhat taken away from us. AI was born with an effort to become a part of the human world in all facets and is now evolving with each passing day.
- Human beings start the learning process right from their childhood, whether visually or by listening to something. The process of learning starts by taking in information from the outside world, processing it and deciding on actions based on it. Experience is the mother of knowledge. We go through various experiences in life to understand what is right or wrong, and what kind of action should be undertaken in a situation. For a machine to learn all this, we program it with a database of information about such different experiences and real-life problems. But the enormity of the entire thing makes it an extremely challenging and complicated job.
- A significant distinction between humans and computers is the ability of human beings to emote, feel love and other emotions; whereas, machines have nowhere come close to it. AI assumes to take on this trail to understand human emotions but how far will it be successful, that is the question. In addition, AI’s effort towards replacing a real human is not always a good step.
- Though AI will bring with it a host of facilities that people can enjoy at their homes, they will also grab away the opportunity for you to explore the real world experiences. You might have a sports video game that can give you the opportunity to play a game even while staying at home. However, this also closes the door for you to experience a real game and its excitement on the field. You need to keep yourself away from the deception of technology; otherwise, you can miss some real experiences.
- One major problem that AI could bring is the downfall of the global economy. Super intelligent machines will replace men from the most critical jobs, which required brainpower and involved a lot of thinking. Machines have already replaced men with menial work but with automation, even human supervision will become a rarity. This will lead to huge unemployment and decline in country’s economy. Jobs that were monotonous and labour-intensive will be overtaken by machines leaving labours no work for the labours. Human beings will think less about getting their jobs done which now can be done by just a pressing a switch.
To sum it all up, Artificial Intelligence is the reality of what we watched on the screen as science fiction. It will bring with it the concerns of declining job opportunities, robots infiltrating the human space, loss of human intervention etc.
However, on the positive side, AI will completely change the way we think about problems.
AI will not replace the human mind but it should be able to scale its power. The human brain, which is an amazingly developed machine (when complemented with another computer with problem-solving or decision-making skills), will enhance the entire way we look at problems. AI, when coupled with human knowledge, will definitely have a huge social impact in the best way possible, as Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM said,” Man and machine always get a better answer than man alone or machine alone.”
AI is also widely related to IoT or Internet of Things, where lifeless machines will interact with one another to get things done, leaving us with more leisure time. Companies are raving about finding ways to outperform each other in the levels of automation achieved-autonomous cars, smart doorbells, smart ACs etc. These are all by-products of the concept of AI and IOT.
Instead of spoon-feeding machines with instructions, we want them to learn on their own, which might seem to be a lot to expect from them initially.
Let us see some of the applications of AI that have already taken the world by feet:
This sector undoubtedly has proved to be the forerunner in utilising the benefits of AI. These days, with the development of advanced and smart health monitoring devices such as heart rate monitors, insulin pumps etc., it has become easier to diagnose diseases with knowledge of only symptoms and patterns of lifestyle. Several apps have been created that can help monitor your body statistics without the intervention of a doctor.
Agriculture can have a huge impact on the economy of a country, and hence, aiming to improve its conditions through AI is the noblest of all tasks. Nowadays, drones are being used to monitor the soil conditions— determining whether seeding or watering is to be done. Cameras keep a constant check on the trees and crops and in the future can be made to learn to check for irregularities or defects. All this information will help the farmers save their time and energy and yet produce healthy crops and cattle.
Banking sectors have suffered a setback from those companies that have come up with digital banking options that are customer-friendly, hassle-free, and always available. Nowadays, banking apps for smart-phones have been developed where emotionally intelligent robots deal with customers and their queries in the most efficient way, making the process of creating an account or withdrawing money a very simple job.
This is one sector that has infinite possibilities in terms of using AI to its best ability. However, it is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, in certain countries, AI has already peeped into transit sector. Sensors are present in buses and trams that can predict of any wear and tear to avoid accidents. AI is deployed to provide real-time information to the driver about the traffic jams, alternative routes in case of roadblocks, weather conditions, approximated time of arrival etc. The cleverest application of AI can be done in the transit sector for sure.
All of this sounds exciting for the future, just like when any new technology floods the market. However, rushing towards automation and smartening an enterprise just to get ahead of your competitors can spell disaster if you are not sure of how and why you need Artificial Intelligence to gain value from it. Remember what the great mind Stephen Hawking said, “In short, the rise of powerful AI will be either the best or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity. We do not yet know which.”