What Is Artificial Intelligence? What Is It Really And Where Are We Going?
Artificial intelligence has become a hot debate topic right now, shading even the big data, IoT, augmented reality, and automation. And many people around the world believe that it’s nothing but a hype spread by the tech companies.
However, the truth is that we have been using different fields of AI in our daily lives and business activities. We have been using AI in healthcare, gaming, home security system, smartphones, virtual assistance devices, finance, manufacturing, and even finding the right direction, such as in Google Maps and car-booking services such as Uber.
In truth, AI is a computer program that would have a mind of its own and perform tasks and think just like humans. Or at least this is what we are trying to create. However, in its true essence, AI is a broad field of study consisting of multiple sub-fields, such as NLP, neural network, machine learning, deep learning, virtual agents, and more, to create a program that could learn like humans.
So, what AI really is? How did it start? What’s happening in the world of AI right now? And where will it finally lead us?
In this article, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about artificial intelligence right now and what the future holds for it.
So, let’s dive in…
Artificial Intelligence Vs. Machine Learning
Many people often use the terms “artificial intelligence” and “machine learning” reciprocally since they both focus on creating a system that could imitate how we humans think. And although machine learning is an important part of developing AI, they aren’t the same thing. More precisely, machine learning (ML) is a subfield of AI. So, if AI is the whole system, then machine learning is a part of it.
The basic goal of ML is to enable machines to work by observing, analyzing, and learning from past experiences instead of having to give them manual commands at every step. The same thing we humans do.
To help you understand the difference better, let’s break down the integral parts of AI that make it functional. The three parts or stages of AI is:
- Machine learning.
- Machine intelligence.
- And machine consciousness.
The first stage, machine learning, currently focuses only on performing one specific function. The second stage, machine intelligence, will combine multiple functions to perform jobs with similar skill level as us. Right now, we are trying to transition from the first stage to the second one.
The History Of Artificial Intelligence
Thanks to the tireless efforts of many experts in the last few decades, we are finally stepping closer to developing an actual AI. But to understand AI, we need to go through the history of artificial intelligence. So, in this section, we will talk about the brief history of artificial intelligence and how we went from nothing to the point we are currently in.
- Karel Capek, a Czech writer, first used the word “robot” in one of his plays, Rossum’s Universal Robots, in 1921.
- Alan Turing was one of the most prominent people in the development of machine learning. In 1951, he published an article where he talked about an imitation game, which later became famous as the Turing game. The name of the article was computer machinery and intelligence.
- In 1956, the AI era started when a research project on machine learning inside the Dartmouth college. The creator of LISP, John McCarthy, first used the word “artificial intelligence.” In the project, they tried to determine how the machine could showcase intelligence traits on their own.
- From 1960 to 1980, researchers tried to use a computer to detect images and translate texts from one language to another. They also tried using normal language to give computer commands to perform daily tasks.
- In 2016, Google created an AI, AlphaGo, which is considered a great achievement in this field. This program can beat expert players in a complex game, GO. This is a big achievement as the program learned to play the game at an expert level, all on its own.
It’s important to note that there is no machine super-intelligence that exists in this world right now. However, we did manage to acquire many achievements in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. There are many possibilities for the future. But not even the best experts can say for sure exactly what the future holds.
What’s Happening In The Field Of AI Today?
If you think that AI is still a thing of the future, you would like to think about it again. Nowadays, many Fortune 500 companies and other small and medium businesses use AI/ML tech to get an edge in their respective industry. Here are some facts you need to know:
- According to a multi-sector study, data analytics, digital marketing, and market automation are the sectors that are totally ready to implement AI/ML technology. The study also reported that around 81% of the IT leaders have already invested or planning to invest in AI. Around 43% of them are already testing AI and checking up their results. 38% of the IT leaders are happy with the outcome and plan to invest in AI/ML tech more.
- According to IDC, the total market of AI hardware and services increased 6-fold from 2016 to 2020. The current market cap of AI/ML tech and services is roughly $47 billion.
- Another report revealed that the total number of AI startup has increased by 2,000% since 2011. Today, more than 3,000 artificial intelligence companies and over half were founded in the last 2 years. The top AI companies are related to Fintech, retail, healthcare, and the transportation industry.
Let’s see how some of the companies are already using AI.
General Electronics, a more than century-old company, uses machine learning to make industrial machines smarter and more efficient. This way, they can successfully diagnose and fault and inefficiency in the machines, significantly reducing their downtime.
Starbucks are using Alexa from amazon to make the customer experience smoother.
Similarly, many big enterprises are leveraging the AI/ML tech to improve customer experience, increase work efficiency, and reduce the cost of running the company.
A lot of small businesses have also started using artificial intelligence in their business activity. However, only 21% of them are using AI technology as of now. But the adoption rate is increasing with every passing day, and one day, every business might use the AI/ML tech.
The Obstacles Of AI Technology
According to a survey, nearly 39% of the businesses don’t have a reason yet to use AI, and nearly 31% of them don’t even have the skills needed to implement it in their daily work. Another obstacle is that many companies don’t have or plan a defined budget to use AI/ML tech, and others highly doubt the reliability of the technology.
Fear is an integral part of being human. So, it’s only natural for people to be hesitant or become wary of things they don’t fully understand. Since machine learning and AI are a broad field of study, it has as many unknown risks as its potential benefits. As a result, many of the world’s top leaders, such as Stephen Hawkings and Elon Musk, are quite skeptical about AI, while Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. are excited to rip the benefits of it.
We think any technology can become dangerous if the people who handle it don’t have the right capabilities or don’t intend. Elon Musk said that someday a person might become so absorbed or obsessed with their work that they might not even think of its hazards towards humanity.
Sure, when we will have to be cautious when we get closer to create a being who will have the same intelligence as us. And meanwhile, it’s not wise to ignore the current benefits artificial intelligence is providing us too.
What Are The Importance And Benefits Of Artificial Intelligence?
Sure, creating a being more intelligent us come with its own set of risks, However, it also has a lot of benefits if we use it in the right way. In this article, we’re going to talk about the importance of AI and how it might be beneficial to us.
- Using AI/ML technology, we can improve the work efficiency and workforce productivity on a massive scale. It saves time, money, and help keep your remote workers focused on the task.
- Sure, AI technology will rob us of many monotonous jobs at first. But it can create new types of jobs to replace them that might make our career even more meaningful. Think about how many people shifted from farmers to workers in factories and urban areas, thanks to industrialization.
- With AI, we can make our healthcare diagnosis more accurate, and we can easily keep track of different files and organize them perfectly.
- Almost 95% of motor vehicle accidents occur because of some human error. With the new low-latency 5G technology and machine learning, we can eliminate those human errors. This will greatly reduce the number of accidents that occur every year.
- Since AI will change how businesses work and how we live our lives, it will bring a massive scale change in our world. This will change the world as we know it.
The Future Of Artificial Intelligence
Many people are afraid that we might cross the boundaries with artificial intelligence, which might bring peril. Meanwhile, others like Ray Kurzweil are extremely optimistic about how AI will change the world. In this section, we’re going to reveal some of the predictions by Ray Kurzweil on what AI holds for the future:
- By 2025, we will get rid of many diseases thanks to the medical nanobots driven by AI. Moreover, within this time period, the self-driving car will become a rather common thing to have.
- Within 2030, the virtual reality or VR world will be genuine. Then we can upload our consciousness to the virtual world, making us immortal(theoretically).
- With 2040, non-biological intelligence will become a lot more intelligent than human intelligence. And within 2045, we will be able to increase our intelligence a billion times by connecting our brains with non -biological intelligence.
The technology is advancing exponentially, and the computer’s processing power is doubling up every two years. So, even if these predictions seem outrageous, the fact is that the world is changing faster than we’re anticipating. And because of that, we need to step down from our comfort zone to keep up with the changes. Or even better, make money from the changes around us. So, whether you want to be an early adopter of artificial intelligence or a mediocre person who is always one step behind, the choice is totally yours.
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