The buzz word in the mouth of every technical geek these days is Artificial Intelligence(AI). Technically I am novice to this subject having almost no exposure to it on technical facet. But having drawn to this idea and being an employee of Information Technology industry, I will try to delve deep into the subject rather qualitatively in this article.
Artificial Intelligence has been around with us for a long time but we were generally unaware of its existence. The basis of AI is formed by the concepts of Neural Network. A neural network is an artificial computing system that has been inspired from biological neural networks that constitute the human brain. Rarely did the pioneers of this subject know that one day (as near as 2018) AI would be perceived as one of the threats of modern human existence. And let us be clear on this, it is still ‘perceived’ or thought of as a threat.
The main reason for it is that AI is supposed to follow an exponential growth curve that was once predicted for the electronic transistors using Moore’s Law. So as the application of AI has increased in leaps and bounds, we suddenly started procrastinating about the bane and boons of AI. But certainly, with my little knowledge, I do not yet see a reason why a normal human being should start fearing AI at this point of time. But rather we should fear that AI growing in such exponential manner, would we have enough time to control it? Or rather would we have enough buffer time on our hands before we perceive that AI would be going haywire.
Recently by researching on the Internet, I came to know that only 2% of the work that is currently been done in Amazon Cloud is based on AI. This is indeed a proof of the fact that though we are skeptical of AI, we hardly know how much AI may well impact our lives. This brings me to think that AI as a technology and its associated applications is still so naive or primitive that it would be a folly to think AI as a threat to humans. When we talk of AI as a threat, it very well bogs down to a term called ‘Singularity Point’ of AI. This is defined as a stage where AI would eventually exceed human intelligence or will be equal to it. At the present state of development, it seems that such a singularity point would never arise or that point of time is very far away.
Having given my argument, I hope to convince you that it is indeed necessary for us to explore the realms of AI. Recently Elon Musk has thrown forward him skeptism on AI but at the same time he has setup two important organizations to take forward the study of AI. OpenAI is one of them. It is a non-profit organization that aims to develop AI in a way which is safe for humans. The other being Neuralink, a start-up in its nascent stage which aims to create devices and softwares that can be implanted in human brain with the eventual goal of making sure that humans can keep pace with AI advancements.
If you have noticed that I have till now compared AI with human intelligence. Human intelligence is itself a very broad term and includes numerous complex connotations with it. One of such factor that its sets itself different from AI is its emotional value. So unlike human intelligence which is blend of emotion and logic and many more factors, the AI algorithms that we have designed is just based on logic and visual optimization. Till now there has never been a single algorithm that can replicate human emotion and its intelligence. Thus, we can very well narrow down our purview of discussion to a brand of AI called narrow AI or soft AI.
Narrow AI or Soft AI can be such AI Systems that are used to perform specific cognitive tasks. This is where AI does have excelled humans. And it is not something new to us. More than 20 years back in a 6 series chess match, GM Gary Kasparov was defeated by IBM Deep Blue machine in 1997 by a score margin of 3.5-2.5. This was a rematch of 1996 match between the GM and Deep Blue which Gary Kasparov won by 4-2. And this trend has recently been followed when AlphaGo defeated 18-time world champion Lee Sedol in a board game called Go. It is here that we need to understand the importance of narrow AI in our lives. There are several opportunities and capabilities that AI can potentially develop for us. It can potentially bring in a new technological revolution similar to the likes of Industrial Revolution or the Internet Boom. We would definitely need to explore such possibilities of leveraging the most out of Narrow AI.
But for the time being we need to wait until we actually feel threatened by Artificial Intelligence. Let us go on exploring the field at least till the point of time an AI driven system can pass the Turing test. Hindu Mythology tell us about the holy trinity in context of the existence of Universe. Lord Brahma – The Creator, Lord Vishnu – The Sustainer, and Lord Shiva – The Destroyer. And when we talk of the universe of AI, let Human Intelligence be its Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and more importantly Lord Shiva.