Future of AI – ‘Coz it’s time to get high on AI
Before diving into what could possibly be the future of AI, we first need to understand the journey it has been through. This will take us back to 1950, when a British mathematician and logician, Alan Turing, created a test to check the ability of a machine to think like a human. After multiple setbacks and successes, today we have reached a stage where technologies are converging and data is proliferating.
“Predicting the future isn’t magic, it’s artificial intelligence.” – Dave Waters
We can’t even imagine a single day when some sort of AI technology is not assisting us. From spam filters and smart replies in Gmail to mobile banking and Google maps, AI has not left even a single stone unturned to reach where it is right now.
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Future of Artificial Intelligence
So let us take a look at what possibly could be the future of AI:
1. Reinforcement Learning
Reinforcement learning, in simple words, is an algorithm or programming that uses a system of reward and punishment to train algorithms. A simple example of this can be. Suppose you want to teach your dog to sit. You will tell the dog to sit and at first, the dog will make a random action. If the action is not what we want then we give a negative reward so that the dog will do that action less. When we get the desired action, we will give a positive reward by giving a biscuit to the dog. This way the dog can be reinforced to learn things and then can make certain decisions.
Humans and most animals learn from past experiences. Reinforcement learning occurs when the machine uses previous data to evolve and learn. The robots of Boston Dynamics, US, have already learned how to do backflips and jump with the use of state of the reinforcement learning.
For that matter, Amazon’s Alexa is learning the flow of conversing by simulating interactions with its users.
2. Drastic Change in Employment Sector
Now that many companies are using robotic arms (like SCARA) in the routine operational aspects of manufacturing (assembly line operations, etc), employees can put more focus on the critical aspects of their jobs. Adidas is planning to start Speedfactory in Europe. Speedfactory is an entirely robot-enabled manufacturing plant. It aims to reduce errors in manufacturing and shipping time.
However, the increased usage of robots and AI in all fields might mean that companies will start letting go of employees. A recent study shows robots will take over more than 20 million jobs by 2030, thus creating mass unemployment.
Dig in Artificial Intelligence Robotics to know in detail about the usage of robots.
One advantage of this could be that robots could take up jobs that pose danger to human life, such as welding. The process of welding emits toxic substances and an extremely loud noise, which is harmful to the health of a human doing that job.
Companies like Faulhaber MICROMO, USA, have even started working on robots that could diffuse bombs.
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3. Automated Transportation
The thought that someday, we will be sitting in the backseat of our car, and the car will drive itself to places (as per our instructions) is scary yet exciting. Automated transportation is exactly that. It has five levels, which basically represents the extent of autonomy achieved.
- At level 0, the driver is responsible for performing all tasks to drive the car- from applying brakes to changing gear to control the steering.
- Level 1 is driver assistance, where the driver assistance systems support the driver but do not take full control. One such feature is the park assist feature. Here, the driver only takes care of the car’s speed, while the car controls the steering.
- Level 2 is when the car can drive alone, but the driver has to be present in case the system fails. Tesla’s AutoPilot and Nissan’s ProPilot, both provide the steering, acceleration and braking systems, but the driver has to be able to intervene in case of a failure. Here, the driver still needs to be alert and keep an eye on the road.
- At level 3, the driver can entirely disengage from driving. But, the driver has to be present to handle any unforeseen failures. Audi’s A8L can take up full driving responsibility in slow-moving traffic. This was the first car to claim level 3 autonomy.
- We can activate full self-driving mode at level 4 in certain conditions only, like cities and states. They can drive independently, but do require a driver. Google’s Waymo project is one such car, which has been operating in the US driver free for some time now.
- Level 5 is the ultimate level of autonomous transportation, which requires zero human interaction to maneuver. One example of such cars can be a robotic taxi. However, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla claims that they will be ready for this level in 2020.
4. Machines are Going to be as Smart as Humans
Vincent C. Muller and Nick Bostrom, two researchers conducted a survey in 2014 to find out when do AI experts think that human-level AI or Artificial General Intelligence will arrive. Surprisingly enough, they found that there is a 50-50 chance that we will achieve human-level AI by 2040.
Author James Barrat, in his book Our Final Invention, wrote, “Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended.” The book also states that AI will improvise itself in the coming years to become artificial super intelligence.
He compares AI to nuclear fission, both simultaneously destructive and illuminatory. (Nuclear Fission is the scientific process of splitting up the nucleus of an atom into two or more parts.)
He also believes that if humans are unable to behave in a certain manner in the presence of AI, we might have to live with whatever it comes up with.
Did you know?
Great Filter, in the context of the Fermi Paradox, states that the reason why extraterrestrial beings, or aliens, have not yet reached the earth because this filter finishes off such civilizations before they could contact us. There is a possibility that before the aliens could build spaceships that could travel between planetary systems, they invented AI, which ultimately led to their downfall.
GAN stands for Generative Adversarial Networks. Scientists and researchers regard GAN as an extension of reinforcement learning. A Generative Adversarial Network is a network wherein two neural networks compete with one another and have the ability to capture, analyze, and copy the trends and variations within a dataset.
One example of GAN can be bitmojis. A bitmoji is essentially a personalized cartoon avatar that is created to look just like the user. Here, the bitmoji app translates an image to a cartoon that has similar properties to the image. One can either choose to simply submit their face photo to the app and wait for it to translate it into an emoji or can choose eyes, nose, lips, etc that is the most similar to their facial features from a given set of options.
This technique can prove useful in criminal identification, in which eyewitnesses or policemen can create an avatar of the criminal by choosing from a set of options. This is easier as compared to the regular sketches, which can be quite stressful as drawing an image on the basis of plain oral descriptions might not be fully accurate.
This technique also allows the cartoon avatar to be translated into a photo again, which looks closely like the face.
6. Reach the Next Level in Science
Popular writer William Gibson quote, ‘The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.’ In 2018, a robot Eve developed by the scientists of Manchester, Aberystwyth, and Cambridge Universities recently discovered that a certain ingredient in toothpaste is helpful in curing drug-resistant malaria. This really proves that the use of AI is not only going to boost development in science but has a much bigger role to play for the greater good.
7. Caring for the Elderly
As AI is growing exponentially, another benefit that the society can derive from it is that of some sort of an attendant for the elderly. Scientists are working on robots that can provide medical care to senior citizens. As robotics is now moving towards a level that is higher than human efficiency levels, there will come a day when we will find robots reminding our parents/ grandparents to take medicines, or assist them in carrying out tasks involving motor functions.
The military industry has been using artificial intelligence for many varied purposes. AI’s autonomy makes them suited for hostile situations where sending humans may not be feasible. The development of autonomous weapons systems is a focus of military research in many developed nations like the US, Russia, China, the UK, and France. Here are a few military applications of artificial intelligence:
Getting up-to-date information about hostile zones is of major importance for a military response. Live updates are often not possible due to the high danger. AI operated drones are already in use by the developed nations like the US and Russia for this purpose. These drones can surveil hot zones and hostile areas. They provide instant alerts when they notice an anomaly. In certain cases, these drones are also used for pre-emptive strikes or first responses.
Cybersecurity is one of the most promising applications of intelligent computing systems. AI can monitor the state of a network and all the data transaction taking place around the clock. This makes AI uniquely suited to detect and prevent intrusions to systems and networks with sensitive and classified information. Highly important information and protocols like nuclear access codes can be protected with the help of AI’s proper regulation.
9. New Face of Movie Industry
Many scientific innovations take shape for the first time in science fiction. Artificial intelligence is such a topic that sci-fi movies love and hate. There are just as many movies with good and helpful AI as there are with the evil ones. Artificial intelligence has been featured in movies for just about a hundred years. The first time we saw an AI as a movie character was in the german movie Metropolis in 1927.
Since then, there have been many AI characters that have portrayed the worries people have about AI like HAL:9000 from 2001:a space odyssey(1968), the Skynet from the Terminator series or Ultron from Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). On the other hand, there have been AI characters that are loved by people for there mannerisms and personalities as well as there helpful nature and good deeds like R2-D2 and C-3PO from the Star Wars series and WALL-E from the movie WALL-E (2008).
Here are a few movies that changed the way people thought of AI:
2001: A Space Odyssey – HAM 9000 was different from other movie’s AI in its deceptively human traits. It experienced pride and arrogance. The reason it decided to kill the astronauts accompanying him on his journey was due to his absolute denial of failing. The movie showed how an AI was created to serve a purpose and could not comprehend failing at any cost. HAM even showed fear when its end was near.
Ghost in a Shell – Ghost in a Shell was an animated movie from the year 1995. The movie’s characters danced on the edge of human and machine. With cybernetically enhanced bodies and completely cyborg characters, the movie changed how people viewed AI and their possible synergy with humans.
I, Robot – I, Robot was released in the year 2005. This movie showed billions of AI operated robots acting as personal and public servants. The AI in the movie was built on ‘three principles of AI’ which prevented them from harming humans. But the outcome still did not turn out that well.
The above points paint a hazy picture as to what AI could really have in store in the future. But one can definitely say that AI is a violent delight. One thing is clear that it is going to be everywhere, and will be as helpful as electricity. However, the exploitation of AI could be quite destructive. Anyway, we can’t predict the future. So let’s relax and wait for it while we extensively use our Alexas and assistants.
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Here’s hoping that you liked the future of AI blog and in case you have any queries or suggestions, do drop them in the comment section below!