Artificial Intelligence: are we headed for a robot takeover?

Artificial Intelligence: are we headed for a robot takeover?
In recent years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made great strides in its ability to mimic human intelligence. Shutterstock

In recent years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made great strides in its ability to mimic human intelligence. In the 21st century, it is not uncommon to see AI in our everyday lives. We use AI when we ask Siri or Alexa to play music, turn on the lights, or set a timer. We also see AI in self-driving cars and in medical diagnosis.

With big names like Bill Gates and Elon Musk warning of the dangers of AI, it's no wonder people are beginning to question whether or not robots are taking over the world. While this may seem like a far-fetched idea to some, it is not impossible.

The robots are coming for us. They're getting smarter and faster and before long they'll be able to do everything we can do, only better. So what does that mean for the future of humanity? Are we destined to become slaves to our own creations? Or will we find a way to coexist with our robotic overlords? Let's find out.

Table of Contents

What is Artificial Intelligence

AI has been a subject of fascination – and fear – for centuries. But what is AI, really? Is it the stuff of science fiction movies, or is it something that can help us in our everyday lives? Before we answer these questions, let us first understand more about what AI really is.

In the early days of computing, the idea of artificial intelligence was first floated by a handful of scientists and thinkers. But it wasn't until the 1950s that the term "artificial intelligence" was coined, acording to The Guardian. Computer scientist John McCarthy defined it as 'the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.'

"The ultimate effort is to make computer programs that can solve problems and achieve goals as well as humans." - John McCarthy

How does Artificial Intelligence work?

How does AI actually work? Is it already possible to use this technology in our day-to-day life? The answer is yes. And much more than you might think! Here's a brief introduction to how AI works and some examples of its current applications.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning

You know when you're browsing Netflix or Amazon and a series of product or content suggestions appears?

This is done by computers through 'Machine Learning' technology. Machine Learning is a method of teaching computers to learn from data, without being explicitly programmed.

The Netflix suggestion algorithm is a good example of machine learning in action. The algorithm looks at the movies you've watched and rated, and suggests similar movies based on that data.

Natural-language processing

Natural-language processing is a field of computer science, artificial intelligence, and linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages.

NLP techniques are used to analyze and understand natural language data in order to enable computers to make better decisions.

NLP techniques can be used for various tasks, such as sentiment analysis, text classification, topic modeling, named entity recognition, machine translation, and so on.

Deep Learning

Deep Learning is a branch of machine learning that uses algorithms to model high-level abstractions in data.

By doing so, deep learning can enable machines to automatically learn and improve on tasks without human intervention.

Deep learning has been shown to be effective at a range of tasks, including image classification, natural language processing, and computer vision. Additionally, deep learning models are often more accurate than traditional machine learning models.

Despite its successes, deep learning still has limitations. For example, deep learning models can require a large amount of data to train effectively.

Additionally, deep learning models can be difficult to interpret, making it hard to understand how they arrive at their predictions.

Smartphones

If you use a smartphone, like the vast majority of people do today, you already use artificial intelligence daily.

Your smartphone is constantly collecting data about your location, your usage patterns, and your preferences. All of this data is used to improve the user experience by making your phone more “intelligent”.

For example, if you frequently check the same few apps every day, your phone will learn to automatically open those apps for you when you turn it on.

When your phone automatically updates its software or adds new features, that is AI at work.

Even the simple act of taking a photo with your phone uses AI to improve the quality of the image.

So if you use a smartphone, congratulations! You are already using AI every day (or too much to the point that you're a slave to your smartphone?).

Facial recognition

When you post a photo on Facebook, the site's algorithms are at work identifying faces in the background and suggesting friends you may want to tag. This facial recognition technology is powered by AI.

Facebook isn't the only company using AI for facial recognition. Google, Apple, and Microsoft have all developed their own versions of this technology. Each company has different policies around how they use facial recognition data, but all three are clear that they see a future in which AI-powered facial recognition is a part of our everyday lives.

So what does this mean for our privacy? Some experts believe that AI-powered facial recognition could be used for mass surveillance, while others believe it could help reduce crime. Whatever the future holds, one thing is clear: facial recognition technology is here to stay.

Intelligent apps

You know the feeling. You're trying to get work done, but you can't focus because you keep getting distracted by things that don't matter.

You wish there was a way to be more productive, without all of the hassle.

Luckily, there is.

Introducing intelligent apps - the solution to your productivity problems.

One of the most popular intelligent apps is Siri, which is available on Apple devices. Siri can answer questions, provide directions, set alarms and reminders, and much more. Other popular intelligent apps include Google Assistant, Cortana, and Amazon Alexa. Each of these apps has its own unique capabilities that can make our lives easier.

Intelligent cars

We all know the feeling of waking up to another day and going about our business as usual. But what if, instead of driving to work, you could simply relax in your car as it drives you there? What if your car could park itself or even drive itself home if you're too tired to do so?

This may sound like science fiction, but the truth is that intelligent cars are already a reality. Most car companies are in a race to create the most intelligent car. They are adding features that will make driving easier, safer and more fun. The features that they are adding include:

  • Self-driving
    • This is the most hyped feature of intelligent cars. Many believe that this will be the future of transportation. Car companies are still perfecting this technology, but it is getting closer to reality every day.
  • Connectivity
    • Intelligent cars will be able to connect to the internet and other cars. This will allow for a variety of new features such as being able to stream music and movies, get real-time traffic updates, and even call for help in an emergency.
  • Personalization
    • Intelligent cars will be able to learn your preferences and automatically adjust things like the temperature, seat position, and music to your liking.

Intelligent search

In the past, if you wanted to find something on the internet, you had to type in all the words related to what you were looking for.

But now, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence technology, Google can predict the subject you want to search for without you needing to type all the words related to it.

This is because Google's Autocomplete is able to understand the context of your search and come up with the most relevant results.

So if you're looking for information on a particular topic, chances are that Google will be able to provide it without you having to type in all the keywords related to it.

The Future of Artificial Intelligence

World domination

Russian President Vladimir Putin has publicly stated in an interview that whoever dominates AI will rule the world.

“Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”

According to The Verge, China and the United States are the leading countries in funding Artificial Intelligence.

Jobs

Quartz Media has done a study that relates the increase in Artificial Intelligence to the risk of human jobs being lost, based especially on the case of Amazon. 

Worldwide, a billion people could lose their jobs over the next ten years due to AI, and 375 million jobs are at risk of obsolescence from AI automation, according to Zippia.

Allies or rivals?

But will robots destroy humankind as in the movies? According to the Deccan Chronicle, during a conference in 2016, the humanoid Sophia suffered a technical failure and stated that it would destroy humans.

New love?

But some say that in the future, robots could be friends and solve one of the greatest problems of humanity: solitude.

According to the Daily Mail, robotics expert David Levy has argued that humans and robots may have intimate relationships and even get married.

New religion?

According to Wired, Anthony Levandowski, a former corporate executive, had the idea of ​​creating a church linked to Artificial Intelligence, which he considers sacred!

Conclusion

The future of humankind and artificial intelligence is shrouded in mystery. Only time will tell what direction these two forces will take. Some believe that artificial intelligence will eventually surpass human intelligence, leading to a future where machines rule the world. Others believe that humans will always maintain the upper hand, using AI to enhance our own abilities. Whatever the future holds, it is sure to be fascinating!