“AI doesn’t have to be evil to destroy humanity — if AI has a goal and humanity just happens to come in the way, it will destroy humanity as a matter of course without even thinking about it, no hard feelings.”
- Elon Musk
There is a revolutionary technology that is being used across the world in your everyday life, and you may not even recognize it. Whether that be from using a voice-assistant like Sri or Google or even browsing the internet, you have used Artificial Intelligence before.
The evolution of AI has been exponential in the last decade; for example, AI can now detect objects, which pretty much gives them eyes! We’ve also created AI that could understand what we are saying.
What is AI?
When you hear the term “AI,” many people would think that this is a super robot that is going to destroy the world. Although this is a part of AI, that isn’t what AI is. Artificial Intelligence is intelligence demonstrated by machines, which is the opposite of our intelligence, Natural Intelligence. How were we able to create an intelligence inside of code? The answer is pretty simple. Our brain sends signals and functions through neural networks. People knew about this and decided to create an Artificial Neural Network (ANN). We build these ANN with code, and it tells the machine what to do and how to do it.
Now that you have a basic understanding of AI, why is it so important, and why are we using it.
We are using AI for three key reasons: speed, precision, and cost-efficient.
First, let’s talk about speed.
Since AI is a computer, it can process and sort data way faster than any human could, which is extremely helpful when you need to sort large sets of data. It isn’t just for data, but you can also use this when completing specific tasks.
Next, let’s talk about precision.
AI is extremely precise; since it isn’t a human, it won’t have any emotions of nervousness or even miss calculation. We can see this example in surgery. These are extremely important, and in most cases, one slight mess-up will have a massive impact on that person. Machines were trained to recognize images to then accurately do the surgery 99% of the time.
Now, let’s talk about the part that most people care about… money.
When we get humans to do specific tasks, most of them will do it only for a reward, which is why we pay them through jobs. Since AI is code, you won’t need to pay for it to do its task. Depending on what type of job you want to replace, the cost will vary but still will be very cheap in the long run.
All in all, AI can complete tasks faster and more precisely than us, and it is also cost-effective.
Subsets of AI
The AI in Sri isn’t the same as Tesla. Different types of AI are used for different reasons. Let’s go over the main ones. Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Machine Learning plays a massive role in AI because it’s how a machine learns on its own. With Machine Learning, the machine will automatically learn and improve through experience. There are two main types of machine learning:
- Supervised Learning
2. Unsupervised Learning
In short, supervised learning is when you use labels in your data for the machine to classify, and unsupervised learning is when you don’t use labels in your data, which means that the machine has to analyze and organize it themselves.
There are other parts of machine learning and even branched to supervised and unsupervised learning, such as deep learning and reinforcement learning, but I won’t cover that right now.
So, machine learning is the process of how the machine learns through experience. There are two main types of machine learning, supervised and unsupervised. Supervised uses labels and unsupervised doesn’t.
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Now, let’s talk about the other subset of AI, Natural Language Processing (NLP).
NLP is the part of AI that can understand what language like we do.
I always hate seeing those red lines under my text, but like it or not, this uses NLP to detect whether something is grammatically correct or to see if you spelt something incorrectly. Whether you know it or not, you have probably encounter NLP in your daily life. This is because NLP is used in voice assistants — such as Sri or Alexa — to understand and respond to what you are saying.
So, how does AI do this?
Well, they have been programmed to follow these steps. Let’s take an example with Alexa. If I say
“What is your name?”
The AI (Alexa) will first break down each word into different sections. Then it would find the parts of speech for each word. After it has done that, it would remove any unnecessary words such as is.
Now that you know what AI is, why we use it, and the two main branches of AI — Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing — it’s time to answer the scariest question of all time….
The Big Question
“The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. Unless you have direct exposure to groups like Deepmind, you have no idea how fast — it is growing at a pace close to exponential. The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five-year time frame. 10 years at most.” — Elon Musk
So, we are now almost experts in the topic of AI, but what does this mean for humanity. We’ve all had that thought about AI taking over the world like in those cinematic movies. The AI we have right now isn’t the same as the AI in the movies. That’s called Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI); this is when AI can do any tasks far better than us. Before this stage comes Artificial General Intelligence (AGI); this is when AI develops common sense. For example, we know that in a game we have to move forward to complete it, but AI won’t know that. However, we aren’t even close to this stage either.
But still, will AI take over the world?
There are a lot of mixed opinions on this topic. Many people do believe that AI will take over the world; some even think that if we continue to evolve AI, this doomsday could even happen in the next couple of decades!! On the flip side of things, some people don’t think this will happen with AI; some people believe that AI will take over the world, but it won’t happen until a couple of hundred years or so.
Well, my take is that we have all been brain-washed into these movies. 😅
Just kidding, I do think that AI will take over the world… but not in the way you might think.
You see, we all think that AI will turn into ASI and start to take over the world, although this is possible, it isn’t how it will start.
As I mentioned earlier, AI can complete certain tasks much faster and more precise than us, and this is exactly how AI will start. Most jobs will start to be replaced with Artificial Intelligence and this process has already begun. AI is already being used in helping us complete our tasks, but there is no telling that this will be soon fully controlled by AI. There are so many other ways that AI is replacing not just normal data sorting jobs, but also high-value jobs such as completing surgical operations.
Well, that’s my take on this whole, AI taking over the world thing.
Wow! We are finally at the end of this article, so what did we learn from this? Well here are some key takeaways from this article:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) Is intelligence displayed in machines
- AI learns by using Artificial Neural Networks (ANN)
- AI can do some tasks faster and more precisely than humans and they are cost-effective.
Subsets of AI
- There are two subsets of AI: Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP)
- Machine Learning is how the machine learns
- NLP is the linguistics side of AI
- There are two main branches of ML: Supervised and Unsupervised Learning
- Supervised learning uses labels when learning
- Unsupervised learning does not use labels when learning.
- There are also another branch of Machine learning and different branches from those branches.
Natural Language Processing
- NLP is used in voice-assistants (Sri, Alexa, Cortana, etc.)
- NLP is used in writing software — such as Word or Google Docs — and is what checks spelling and grammar mistakes.
Thank you for reading this introductory article on Artificial Intelligence.