This technology imitates the functioning of the human brain in machines
Artificial intelligence AI is fashionable: electric cars, new medical treatments, personal assistants … In the last few years, hundreds of applications that use this technology have come up.
But what is artificial intelligence really? What impact will it have in the future? AI developer Dani Jarne explains some key ideas of this revolutionary technology.
A vast field
Often, the term artificial intelligence (AI) is used to refer to robots or machines that behave intelligently or carry out extremely difficult tasks, similar to those that could be performed by a human being. Actually, AI is a scientific area that includes a great deal of concepts, technologies and theories, all related to the idea of using simple and logical processes to obtain very complex behaviors.
These programs work through algorithms called “neural networks”, which copy the functioning of the human brain. Developers train them so that they can learn and make decisions depending on the context.
Among the experts working in the field of AI, we can find robotic engineers, mathematicians and physicists, but also professionals from other fields.
There are philosophers who study the ethical implications on letting a computer make decisions that can affect humans. Linguists also play a part to develop models so that the machines can interpret the language we use.
AI in our day to day
This technology has an impact on our everyday life, without us even realizing. It is present in spell checkers on computers, in virtual assistants such as Siri or in autonomous vehicles that are beginning to be used.
Social networks like Facebook or Instagram also use artificial intelligence to suggest which sites or people that may be of interest to you. To do this, they analyze your posts, pages you follow and your friends’ likes to predict what you’re keen on.
AI will be applied in many different fields in the future, especially in medicine, allowing for the development of new tools for diagnosis and disease treatment.
Diseases will be able to be prevented by analyzing human genetic information and doctors will be able to detect diseases at a very early stage to treat them more effectively.
We also starting to see examples of cars that are able to move around the city autonomously. Within a few years time, they will be more common, especially in cities and traffic areas.
“It is very complicated to know how AI will affect us in the future: it is like trying to predict phenomena such as Snapchat or Instagram 20 years ago”
DANIEL JARNE, AI Developer
Smart machines: a danger to humanity?
Just like every technological tool, AI is a double-edged sword and can be dangerous if it isn’t used properly.
Some people like Elon Musk, founder of the technology company Tesla, think that AI is more dangerous than other earlier technologies, because if computers become too intelligent, we humans could be in danger.
If you're not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea. pic.twitter.com/2z0tiid0lc
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 12, 2017
The best way to prevent these dangers is to work actively in order to create safe AI. Fortunately, researchers worldwide study how to keep developing this very interesting technology without putting ourselves at risk.
“AI is one more technological tool, such as engines or electricity. In itself it is not dangerous; the danger is in not using it correctly”
DANIEL JARNE, AI Developer
Translated by Chaplin’s Languages | Find out more in Junior Report