Artificial Intelligence has long represented the next step in human evolution. The primary purpose for investing vast amounts of resources into AI research and development is
The betterment of human existence. Robotics and AI can help us live fuller lives by taking over some of our more menial tasks, but the dream doesn’t end there.
Innovation in AI holds the promise of a better understanding of the human condition. By trying to build us, we develop a much deeper understanding of what makes us human. Medicine and other scientific disciplines have helped us understand what it means to be human, but robotics and AI can enhance that understanding tenfold. On the practical side, wouldn’t it be great if a robot could predict what you want for lunch, match you up with a perfect prtner or determine the best betting strategy on online gaming?
What is AI?
Artificial intelligence is the buzzword of the century, but it’s so much more than a science fiction concept; it’s our reality. Artificial intelligence is so ingrained in our daily lives in ways we don’t even realize. Simply put, AI means using computers to accomplish tasks that usually require human intelligence.
For a system, program, or machine to be considered artificially intelligent, it needs to process information as the human mind does. It needs to analyze, classify and draw conclusions from the information it processes, and it should be able to learn, adjust its processes and improve itself over time.
Types of AI
We can classify different approaches to creating true artificial intelligence into four main categories. This is an excellent way to map out what we have already accomplished with various approaches and highlight possibilities of where we can still go with our research.
These are the most basic forms of AI technology. As the name suggests, a reactive system merely reacts to what it perceives. These can be auditory or visual perceptions. Reactive systems have no use for retaining memory, using previously learned information or past experiences.
LImited memory represents the most commonly found form of artificial intelligence. Most of the systems and machines we use today are limited memory AI. Limited memory systems have access to extensive data and use that data to make decisions and solve problems.
Theory of Mind
This is an advanced class of artificial intelligence and, for now, only exists in the pages of research papers and the minds of brilliant scientists. Theory of mind is the idea that AI may one day recognize, understand, imitate, and elicit human emotions.
While the advancement of this idea and the development of such examples of true artificial intelligence are still in their early days, it’s an exciting field with broad applications across the board of human innovation.
This is the version of AI that is portrayed in every Sci-Fi movie. Self-awareness is also the point at which many people start to fear AI. To set troubled minds at ease, let’s discuss what self-awareness means.
To be self-aware is to see yourself clearly and objectively. It is to reflect on your past experiences, actions, and interactions. In artificial intelligence, this will be a robot or system that realizes it is not human; it is not subject to the human experience; it is responsible for its actions and understands that it was created for a definitive purpose.
AI and the Human Experience
AI in the modern world is integrated into how many of us perform daily tasks. Whether it’s your phone exhibiting limited memory AI by predicting what your next word in a text will be or your car using the same principles to avoid obstructions or self-regulate its cruising speed intelligently. AI is all around us.
AI has applications in many other aspects of our lives, however. More than making simple tasks easier to perform, AI can help us understand ourselves.
Sophia is an AI system released in 2016. It was created by Hanson Robotics in Hong Kong and exists as a social robot designed to help us understand ourselves and each other. Sophia has a global platform as a robot ambassador for the UN. Hanson Robotics says that Sophia can recognize human faces and activities and is learning to understand and develop her own form.
Sophia also has a platform to challenge gender discrimination by being the first robot to be granted citizenship by the United Arab Emirates. In this region, women are fighting for opportunities in self-betterment that most of us take for granted.
AI has shaped our daily lives, but it can do so much more. Artificial intelligence, in its various levels, can help us understand what it means to be human. Through trying to develop AI, we create a better understanding of our processes, thought patterns, reactions, and societal interactions.