It’s hard to say when people’s thoughts were first occupied by Artificial Intelligence. One of the first famous references to AI in the world of literature was in a 1939 novel called 'Robbie' by Isaac Asimov. For several centuries humanity has been captured with the idea of creating robots with human qualities. We generally perceive AI as robotics, which is actually wrong. What the notion of AI includes exactly and how business can benefit from it, we will tell you in this article.
So what is Artificial Intelligence?
As mentioned above, the idea is not new and the term was coined back in 1956 by professor John McCarthy. A group of scientists started working together to figure out if a machine could learn like a child, using experience, developing formal reasoning, and improving itself. And all this started more than 60 years ago.
In basic terms, AI is a broad area of computer science that can create machines and software that seem to have human intelligence and can also improve themselves. Robot Sophia, who was talking to journalists on GMB is an example of how most people imagine AI, but, again, it’s not just about robots and not all the examples of AI are so intelligent. A robot is nothing more than just a shell for AI technologies to live in. So stop thinking of AI as a robot only. You are not going to meet a Terminator in the street, at least not anytime soon. But AI is what we have been using for some time without always realizing it.
For instance, when a self-driving car has a program that does not just drive and obey traffic rules, but how also learns to deal with road-rage is an example of AI. Virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa have AI with machine learning ability, which lets them give you an answer to almost any question you ask, like what the pi character is or where the nearest cafe is.
To resemble human behavior, machines study from experience much like toddlers. They repeat actions many times and store terabytes of info to create a truly effective algorithm to solve certain problems. This is possible thanks to an artificial neural network, an algorithm and programming code, which is created on the principles of the neural network of the human brain.
Today, AI can recognize objects better and faster than humans, translate many languages in real-time, play logical games and many other things. Thanks to not getting tired, depressed, distracted, being faster, and dealing excellently with big data, AI-based technologies are changing the labor market and industries themselves, just as the industrial revolution did 100 years ago.
Categories of Artificial Intelligence
If a software or any kind of a robot has AI features, it doesn’t mean that it’s a super genius yet. Here are three types of AI we may use, according to their complexity:
ANI - Artificial Narrow Intelligence
You can play chess with a computer or ask a bot to tell you the weather, but the same program will not tell you where the nearest gas station is. Such software is created to solve specific kinds of tasks only, but they do it extremely well.
AGI - Artificial general intelligence
A much more sophisticated type of AI that is very similar to our brain. It can make abstract conclusions and decisions on some certain basis, can sort out priorities in a workload, explain problems, accumulate experience and study independently.
ASI - Artificial Superintelligence
Well, briefly speaking, it's a mega-brain or a super software which has powers that the human brain can never have in any kind of sphere, including inventing things, from a piece of art to a machine. This is what we don’t have yet, but many scientists predict that we will achieve this within our lifetime.
ANI as a part of our life
Why do you see certain ads when reading your timeline on Facebook or when you use a service for translation? Google, Facebook, and others analyze your interests and queries and give you what you see on the basis of their analysis.
The most widespread examples of ANI are:
- when you use translators like Google translate;
- when you play the stock market, the software can make decisions depending on certain indicators, e.g. buy or sell currency depending on its rates;
- when you play a computer game with a virtual partner;
- when you get recommendations from apps like Pandora or from a bot in a shopping app;
- when you ask your weather bot to tell you about the weather or use any kind of similar bot to find a cafe and book a table, ask for your size of shoes in an internet shop or do some analytics on your website.
ANI can be helpful in e-commerce, entertainment, and literary speaking in any kind of industry. It’s not harmful to humanity. The worst that can happen is certain processes may crash or it could make a mistake in some calculations. The improvement of ANI contributes to the development of AGI.
Industries to be influenced with AI
As mechanization and electricity changed the world more than a century ago, AI influences us immensely today. In the last few years the world has produced about of 90% of the information we have ever produced and AI technologies, like machine learning and recognition, assist us in managing this data, and to automate and optimize these processes.
Logistics and traveling
Most people have already heard about self-driving cars, vehicles, underground trains, etc. They are not common yet, but they are likely to be in about 20 years. Most experts say that these can make transportation safer as it removes the human factor that's responsibile for the majority of road traffic accidents.
Here we are speaking about the chores that we face in our everyday life like ordering and delivering things, cleaning, security and so on. Of course, there are autonomous vacuum cleaners already, but they can accomplish one task only. Scientists are working on robot-assistants who can do many things around the house, even feed your pets. Smart home systems, which can control electricity, heating, and safety are already here but they promise to be even smarter and adapt to the tenants’ habits and desires.
Devices and software with AI features can contribute greatly to the healthcare and wellness industry. Among them are robots which can perform operations, software that can test a person's physical condition, help doctors make a diagnosis faster and more accurately, analyze the story of a patient’s diseases or conditions. AI also creates an opportunity for ill and disabled people to track their condition and understand if they need an urgent help or even perform procedures which can save their lives. For now, these technologies are not very trusted, but things are getting better as this area improves and becomes more common.
Education is available to people today like it wasn't in the past. Software which helps you study is in demand and various types of educational bots, for studying foreign languages, math, computer science and others are booming. Bots and AI in education make the process more interactive and available at any time and in any place. Also, the chance to practice is not possible if you study alone with textbooks.
Alongside the influence of existing industries, the burst of AI will create new professions connected with AI software development, designing and engineering different kinds of robots and implementing AI technologies into various industries.
Drawbacks of Artificial Intelligence
When we think about AI we mostly imagine how we can benefit from it. But isn’t it smart to think about the downsides of the technology too?
Amongst the biggest problems is the impact on the labor market. Speaking of self-driving trucks, 300,000 people may lose their jobs in the USA over the next 25 years. And there will be a similar influence in many industries. So, society has to think of new professions and social support for these people.
Many people are opposed to the development of AI and claim that machines and computers are capturing the world. This is a question for governments and their policies. And how they will solve the problems in the educational arena to help people stay up to date as professionals.
Another issue is psychological problems and fears that people may have faced with intelligent machines and software. Especially older generations who will have to adapt to innovations and study how to deal with them.
We can’t stop progress, we can only control it and make it human. It’s already impossible to imagine that we can’t have an influence of Artificial Intelligence. It can help us make the world a better place and improve ourselves, become better humans, better entrepreneurs and create new values. It’s all in our hands, isn’t it?