Tue, 13 Apr, 2021

A.I as We Know It

By Bimal Gaire

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When the word AI strikes our mind we suddenly get excited and specially think about the fictional characters that are portrayed in various Hollywood movies. We think of a future where robots work as slaves to mankind. This can be best depicted by 2006 movie “I Robot”. But, AI is not only limited to robotics; it is much more than that. It is the study of cognition, action and deliverance of naturally existing phenomena. Artificial Intelligence has been a subject of keen interest for many of us these days. It is really amazing to see that a machine can work by following our instructions, recognize our voice and even give logical answers to the questions asked. We are very interested in robotics and Artificial Intelligence because of the science fiction movies and the stories about extra-terrestrial things. We are highly influenced by these movies right from our childhood days. The adventures of Star Wars where R2-D2 and C-3P0 talk funny have fascinated us long before. Hollywood contributed a lot in the field of AI. Different science fiction movies are displaying various technologies that have not yet been built. These are setting a path for the development of AI. A glimpse of the world in near future has been predicted in different movies which has affected the thinking of humans. The gadgets that are shown in the movies are quite advanced and beyond our capability at present. But, we are not far behind in terms of thinking. Yes, many things that we have seen decades ago in the movies are not yet built. But it’s just a matter of time these inventions become a reality. Talking in the context, my favorite one is “Samantha” of the film “Her”. I was really intrigued to see an OS acting like a human being and processing on its own just like a human does. The discoveries in the field of AI have not been as we expected to be. When the computers were built, everyone was saying that it will take the humanity to the next level. It was anticipated that the field of AI will get a boost and soon a machine like HAL will be created. But that prediction was quite premature. Actually we are not that intelligent as we believe we are. Nonetheless, a lot of research work has been carried out in this field. Countries like Japan, South Korea, China and USA are leading in this field. Every day a new prototype is being built to test the capability of machine acquiring human intelligence. Companies like Google, Apple, Samsung, etc. are also contributing to this field through their advanced gadgets and devices. These companies are also working in the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP) which is regarded as one of the most important studies in AI. Yes, the road ahead is long. There are many things that need to be done. Humanity is at stake now. With the growing population, earth has become a dangerous place to be in. Time and again, natural calamities are testing human adequacy. The advancement in AI can at least ensure that life would be a lot easier with the help of sophisticated tools that can help humans in every field possible. Early predictions can save a lot of lives. High productivity can be gained with minimum effort. But, we are far from glory. We want a robot that just looks like a human being but we are not quite there yet. It will take some serious effort and a huge amount of time. And we never know a few years down the line robots will be an integral part of human lives; Robots will assist in cooking, plowing field, construction work, and even changing diapers of the babies. With the development of robots, it is guaranteed that many people will lose their jobs. Robots will increase benefits in some areas but will become a matter of big concern for those who rely on their middle range jobs to support their families. Specially, laborers in the mines and factories will have to bear the maximum damage. Apart from that, many fear that with the advancement in this technology, mankind will fall in their own pit. We will be haunted by these intelligent artificial beings. But, these are only predictions and thoughts driven by stories and never ending Hollywood Sci-Fi. We must learn to handle our own inventions. We should have a strong hold upon technology. We should use technology; not be controlled by it. So, what do you think? How scared are you regarding the advancement in the modern technologies?