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Artificial Intelligence: Impending Doom or Empowering Future?

Have you ever heard of the term “artificial intelligence?” The concept of artificial intelligence has recently gained popularity and became a large controversy among many nations. Artificial intelligence plays a big role in innovations and developments that take place in our modern society, and it can also be seen as providing a great impact to our upcoming future. Furthermore, the notion of artificial intelligence, although seemingly far from our grasp, has been aligned with our everyday lifestyle and can be found very easily. However, there are criticisms and hazards to consider when evaluating the extent of boundaries artificial intelligence should have within our lifestyle. The Sungkyun Times (SKT) scrupulously analyzes the influence of artificial intelligence and delves into both the applicative and critical aspects of artificial intelligence to further bolster details in both arguments in order to inform readers and their stance.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Concept

According to Dictionary Reference, artificial intelligence is defined as “the capacity of a computer to perform operations analogous to learning and decision making in humans, as by an expert system.” Simply put, it is the ability of a computer to copy and follow the knowledge of a human. The goals of artificial intelligence serve to interpret connections in people, social mutual relations, thoughts, ideas, information, and even language itself. The key function of artificial intelligence comprises of processing the range of copious amount of data that a human can process on their own, but in prospects where it is simple enough for artificial intelligence to process and get somewhere with it. Many scholars and professors describe artificial intelligence as the study and design of intelligent agents representing the notion of maximizing the possible rate of success.

Artificial intelligence works through algorithmic functions. Algorithmic functions, depending on their circumstances, are input to successfully find answers for sets of unsolved problems. All artificial intelligence, once loaded with algorithmic functions, passes through the neural network system, which outlooks the stages of learning in machine learning. According to the Neural Computation Journal, neural networks comprise of a “family of models inspired by biological neural networks and are used to estimate or approximate functions that can depend on a large number of inputs and are generally unknown.” Neural networks are arranged in three layers, consisting of the input layer, the hidden layer, and finally the output layer. The networks are usually viewed as an arrangement of complementary neurons that transfer data among one another and can be altered with experiences, allowing for the efficiency of learning. For example, handwriting recognition in neural networking would be defined by the spur of pixels in an image within the input layer that would then be passed on to the hidden layers to be repeatedly weighted by a function. Then, different proportions are finally graduated to the output layer, which would determine which character was illustrated by the function.

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Artificial intelligence itself has many divisions and branches consisting of all kinds of research. However, the key branch that many professionals focus their efforts and research toward is called “deep learning.” The course of deep learning interacts with the sector of computer self-learning and self-teaching. Through this segment, many applications and novelties are created.

History

The root of artificial intelligence may have existed along with the beginning of time. Although the original interpretation did not have the modern idea of artificial intelligence, the idea of something or someone having or even exceeding the full capacity of human intelligence has always been desired. For instance, people in ancient times had some form of mythical inhumane life or an object created by the gods that surpassed human knowledge and strength. The base of modern artificial intelligence was founded in the 1940s when a group of philosophers devised ways to convey the mechanism of human thinking through the mechanical manipulations of symbols. From this idea, the first computer was then created and labeled as the first electric brain, which initiated the approach to modern artificial intelligence.

The Dexterities of Artificial Intelligence

All artificial intelligence follows a similar fundamental basis that works to apply different features. As mentioned before, the premise of all functions in artificial intelligence deals with inputting some form of an algorithmic function correlating with the different desired tasks to perform. Then, they are repeatedly integrated with a structured pattern to help identify and return the desired results.

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Facial Recognition

Facial recognition in artificial intelligence, like the name suggests, works with finding and identifying faces within data. The essential footing of this function rests in inputting algorithmic functions that aid in finding the facial shape, size, color, dimensions, and locations to calculate the construction of a face. Then, the application is linked to databases that repeatedly work on detecting different faces and learning the distinctions until it can function on its own. Global companies such as Apple, Samsung, Facebook, Google, and many more have already started this task. As an illustration, Apple and Samsung phones have camera features that allow the device to detect faces in the camera app, which then helps to adjust components like brightness, contrast, sharpness, and focus. Facebook, on the other hand, has stepped up a notch to not only recognize the facial construction, but even differentiate and identify whose face it is by directly connecting with Facebook’s database of information. Google Glass reaches an even further level of facial recognition that is connected directly with Google’s database to be able to distinguish between environmental features. This helps to show the user what and where the observed landmarks are and introduces a new concept called “augmented reality.” The term augmented reality, according to Merriam Webster Dictionary, refers to the “enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device.” Through this quality, the future innovations of security or provision of information can be further permutated for the better.

Virtual Assistance

The virtual assistance trait in artificial intelligence is also known as “machine translation,” or the ability of virtual machines to act and assist with behavior as if it were a human. This factor is directly associated with the deep learning branch of artificial intelligence, as algorithmic functions are performed in a manner where the device learns the different types of responses and answers to support the user of the device. These devices learn to think and respond to human concepts and hold the ability to calculate complicated questions and data. The most appropriate example of this form of artificial intelligence would be the voice assistance Siri of Apple’s iPhone and Samsung Voice of Samsung devices. Well assured, many people use these applications on a daily basis to check the weather, find addresses, and direct unique commands to fit the desired questions and needs of the user. Another good example of this form of artificial intelligence is the recently-developed glasses for the blind. The glasses are directly connected to smartphone devices and their programmed database to adapt to the visually blind. The glasses benefit individuals by viewing, designating objects or beings, and giving guidance. Through this function, tedious and repetitive work can be avoided by allowing computers to handle it alone. In the future, professional assistive force, depicted by JARVIS in the movie Iron Man, may be developed.

Mapping

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The elements of mapping in artificial intelligence manifest in understanding immense amounts of data, creating a map of the surrounding environment, and being able to deliver the appropriate functions concerning its own circumstances. It is essentially the ability to learn and build a map of the environment combined with motion planning (figuring out how to get from point A to point B) and path planning (similar to motion planning, but involves compliant motion). This involves an algorithmic function that essentially memorizes the whole input and creates its own hypothesis by repeated trial and error. This branch serves the human brain as the imperative model and studies by observing the different neural signals and recording how they are intertwined to master and mimic a virtual version of a brain. Although this division is not yet well-developed, scientists have completed the task of successfully mapping the brain of a flatworm, which consists of more than 7,000 connections with 300 neurons, into a machine. The goal of this branch is to perfectly mimic the human brain into a machine and further advocate finding medical advancement.

Criticisms of Artificial intelligence

Limitations

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Although there are various advantages in the growth of artificial intelligence, there are some limitations that it offers as well. First, as of now, artificial intelligence cannot function on its own without the management of humans. It cannot learn or profusely learn without the input of a human, which makes the improvement in self-teaching and self-learning still a difficult task to consider. Second, although artificial intelligence is highly independent and thorough, it still has loopholes to regard in order to bring the correct outcome. Artificial intelligence, for instance, has yet to perfect the aspect of dimensions, angles, and scales that conclude errors and mistakes. It also cannot consider the difference in times such as past, present, and future. As a result, artificial intelligence makes mistakes in interpreting languages and orders of complicated mathematical equations without precise and valid inputs. Moreover, it has problems understanding communicative values, where it understands simple values but leaves out complicated values such as representational meanings in speech.

Controversies ● Exceeding the Human Race The idea of someone or something surpassing human knowledge is one the main fears of artificial intelligence. Many scholars and scientists have likened artificial intelligence to “summoning the demon” because of the thought that human’s position in this universe depends on its superiority in intelligence. Therefore, if it were to be beaten, it is highly unlikely that humans would remain as the superior race in this universe. However, the argument of whether humans will remain as the greater force than of computers has been a dispute for many centuries and has yet to affect our near future.

● Diminishing Jobs Another predicament brought on by artificial intelligence would be the eventual lack of jobs. People are worried that computers would take over ranges of jobs because of their efficiency. Also, the fact that new teachings such as programming and technical methods are not open to the older generations brings up a big issue. However, the vision to see the number of opportunities and jobs that artificial intelligence would create has not yet been accounted for and still has to be evaluated.

● Biological vs. Mechanical The key difference between biological life in humans and mechanical life in machines brings up another apprehension when dealing with artificial intelligence. Due to biological factors, all humans must go through the slow process of growing up and learning through concentrated experiences, whereas computers can simply be updated and programmed in a matter of a couple of hours. Additionally, because machines do not require food, water, and shelter, it arouses a dispute over the differences between biological and mechanical life, causing further discussion.

The changes and novelty brought on by the applications of artificial intelligence surely cannot be denied. However, that does not mean we should blindly trust and rely upon the progress of artificial intelligence to lead our lives. As the quote “With great power comes great responsibilities,” depicts, and as the significance of artificial intelligence in our daily lives increases, the assessments and cautiousness for obstacles and disputes should also be considered. Further evaluation is necessary to find an equilibrium between the two fundamental matters and walk within a brighter future.

이동원  alex7158@gmail.com

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