We’ve come a long way since the early days of AI. Today, AI technology is capable of amazing things, like learning how to recognize faces and understand human speech with increasingly impressive accuracy. As the technology continues to advance in the coming years, we’ll likely start seeing more AI assistants in our homes and our schools. Though many people think we’re on the cusp of making machines that can think and act like humans, it’s not quite there yet.
5 Things to Know About AI
AI is an incredibly hot topic right now, and it seems like almost every week a new development in the field makes the news. However, there are plenty of misconceptions about what AI means. To help you better understand this technology, here are five things you need to know:
1. It is Not That New
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been around since the 1950s, but it wasn’t until the past decade that it has taken off. With AI playing an ever-increasing role in our lives – from driving our cars to recommending products on Amazon to teaching our children at school – understanding what AI is and how it works can be important in many different ways.
2. AI is Already Part of Our Lives
Artificial intelligence systems already exist in a variety of ways. Examples include medical diagnosis, military drones, and self-driving cars. Computers can’t replace human doctors, of course—but they may be able to help make a medical diagnosis faster or more accurately than a human could on their own.
In certain cases, computers might also provide input that prompts future research in new fields. For example, machine learning can help identify patterns from an enormous number of different inputs that would otherwise go unnoticed by a single person.
3. AI is Used in Weaponry
Before we had AI powering digital assistants, artificial intelligence was already being used to control autonomous weaponry and intelligent missiles. The Air Force started working on computerized air combat simulation in 1959, and by 1971 there were 77 such programs. That same year, with funding from NASA and DARPA (then ARPA), researchers at Stanford University developed a model of artificial intelligence called SRI, for Simon’s Reactive Planner.
Though AI was quite primitive in the early days, it worked. SRI taught itself to play the 1976 game Blockade with increased skill over time. The blockaded/blockader cycle is alive and well today in computer games like AI War: Fleet Command.
4. AI Processes Data at an Accelerated Rate
Another way AI plays a role in our daily lives is by powering our search engines through the way it processes data. It is estimated that a single Google data center is capable of handling over 20,000 searches per second. In comparison, it takes approximately 25 milliseconds for an individual to blink their eyes. In other words, it would take a human roughly 350 years to perform as many search queries as Google can in a single second.
This is because machines are designed with speed and accuracy in mind whereas humans don’t perform to these specifications and generally aren’t expected to either. Although machines may be more efficient than humans at AI data acquisition, we can hold our own when it comes to creativity and problem solving – areas where machines currently lag behind humans significantly.
5. AI Assists the Elderly
Aging populations are something of a crisis in many countries around the world, but AI is here to help. Luckily for the elderly in today’s world, artificial intelligence is currently being used to help assist older people with tasks like shopping, cooking, and day-to-day errands so they don’t need human caretakers as much. Likewise, if aging individuals would prefer to stay at home instead of moving into nursing homes, there are opportunities there too. AI can take on some or all of their household duties so they can relax more often.
AI has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its applications in technology, healthcare, and consumer products like self-driving cars and personal assistants like Siri and Alexa. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding AI, but it’s important to remember that it’s still a relatively new technology that needs a lot of testing before it can be considered safe and effective. As you continue to learn more about how AI works, keep this information in mind.