The digital age has opened the door to many inventions. New technologies are
growing rapidly today and with them their application. But there are also
those old inventions, unfulfilled dreams of many scientists, who rely on the
possibility that this explosive growth in innovation opens the door to
something that would fundamentally change everyday life. It is, of course,
artificial intelligence (AI).
For years, popular culture (films, comics) has introduced us to various depictions and personifications of AI, and the development in the film industry has only facilitated their presentation on the big screen. Thus science fiction can and strives to touch as much as possible on the issues that have been the subject of debate for decades, the possibility of creating an artificial mind, a machine that works and, more importantly, reacts as a human or intellectual being. The ethics of this endeavor has been debated since the idea came about.
A few years ago, the secret of the British Secret Service was revealed, that during the Second World War they managed to break the German ENIGMA and thus shorten the war by at least two years and win. They achieved this primarily with the help of Alan Turing, a British mathematician, and decoder who found a way to create a computer that would solve a given problem, in this case, coded messages from the German navy by behaving like him and testing combinations until an exact solution is found. ENIGMA was considered invincible until this discovery. Turing is considered the father of artificial intelligence.
Of course, making supercomputers in the middle of the 20th century was unimaginably difficult, considering that it was an incredibly "expensive sport". Only the most prestigious universities with the best computer labs had a chance because of funding.
In the '60s and early '70s of the XX century, this field is in great development. The machines could store much more data, which was a prerequisite for AI. Scientists themselves have become more experienced, and they have better defined problem-solving algorithms and better determined which of the algorithms to apply to a particular problem. What particularly interested the financiers, at that time government organizations, was the recording and translation of the direct speech. It does not even have to be emphasized that this application was of great value at that time, during the Cold War and the golden age of espionage.
After advances related to the algorithms themselves and the development of the machine in terms of memory and speed, as well as advances related to certain fields of application, AI has stopped developing. Although with predictions that they are close to the development of the artificial mind, however, there was no result.
In the absence of government investment, the field of artificial intelligence flourished at the end of the last century. Private IT companies have started to deal with this, and the first result that will be remembered in history is the victory of IBM's Deep Blue in a chess game over Garry Kasparov, then the best chess player in the world and considered one of the best of all time. 2 games of 6 matches were played and those matches were very well covered by the media. This was an unprecedented shift in the development of artificial intelligence that opened the door to further success.
What exactly is intelligence?
A word with many definitions, but here we are talking about machine intelligence, artificial. We are talking about computers and robots. Therefore, we must mention the Turing test. It is nothing but a test for computers to check the intelligence of the computer, that is, whether the computer is intelligent (whether it thinks). The participants are a computer, an examiner, and an examiner. The examiner asks questions via a keyboard that the computer and the other person answer. The examiner can ask whatever questions he wants and as many as he wants, and the test is completed when the examiner assesses whether he is talking to a computer or not. The other person's goal is to help and direct the examiner to the correct answer, while the computer tries to deceive the examiner and convince him that he is a human being. So far, no computer has passed this test.
This field, in addition to answering many scientific, research, and mathematical questions, but also one philosophical one. How we perceive human intelligence. What elements do machines need to be given to behave and "think" like a human being? Certain functions such as learning, understanding, problem-solving, perception, and language (speech) have emerged.
Types of artificial intelligence
There are many divisions based on various criteria. Whether by the job they were designed for, by the years they were designed or by the success they achieved or to what level they were developed.
So here we will use this last division into:
- Jet machines
- Machines with limited memory
- Theory of mind
Jet machines - as their name suggests, react to the environment and the situation. What is interesting about them is that they do not have a memory of what they did before. Every action is purely reactive and focused on a given problem. In the case of a chess game, their condition on the first move is identical to that on the 20th move. Each subsequent move requires an analysis without memory of previous moves. He can neither form memories nor apply past experiences. He reacts to the world at a given moment as he sees it. Many scientists have stated that this is the furthest thing to go because everything beyond this is a violation of ethical principles.
Machines with limited memory - are just a few steps ahead of the previous group. They can create short-term memory that you use to perform certain tasks. Certain driverless cars use this system where they track the road at the same time, other drivers, their speed, and so on, but very limited. Such systems cannot gain experience like humans when driving. Although, although limited systems, they laid the foundation for later progress.
Theory of mind - the first two groups are the ones that exist, this and the next are predictions, the goals of those who deal with the development of artificial intelligence. The theory of mind deviates from the first goal, designing a machine that will make complex decisions in a short time and perform complicated tasks, and moves a step further. It moves towards what separates us from the rest of the living world, which is part of consciousness, ie understanding others and their decisions, desires, etc. This is an area studied by psychology, the need to socialize, so it is appropriate that artificial intelligence systems level.
Consciousness - The last step on the journey from a computer that performs a complex task to an artificially created intellectual being is consciousness and what goes with it. Specifically, awareness of oneself, one's existence, and understanding of one's own needs. This is considered to be the ultimate level.
Application of artificial intelligence and influence on society
The possibilities, as we have stated, are endless. And the controversy is about several segments. First and foremost, is AI a threat to humanity, and second, how will the development reflect on the current situation and specifically the jobs we have today.
Many world entrepreneurs, and IT experts, and famous scientists have touched on this topic, with different opinions. So Elon Musk, one of the most successful entrepreneurs, and Stephen Hawking, a world-renowned astrophysicist, agree that if there is no control over the development of AI, there can be catastrophic consequences for humanity, to the limits we see in sci-fi movies like Terminator. Elon is trying to create a controlled environment for AI development by establishing OpenAI, but also Neuralink in response to the potential lag of the human race behind AI-backed machines.
On the other hand, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg disagree with their statements and claim that this opinion is paranoid. They see infinite potential and support every kind of development of artificial intelligence. The epilogue of this debate will show itself.
Artificial intelligence and the jobs of the future
This is a topic of controversy and a topic that is skillfully avoided in the media. There is fear among workers that the emergence of AI will result in the loss of millions of jobs. It is cheaper for business owners to pay for a machine than workers who pay for years, train, and who in the end still make mistakes. As in the previous case, we have two aspects of observation.
The first ones are optimistic. They believe that the emergence of AI could create more jobs than it would close. According to some estimates, up to 500,000 more occupations would shut down. This would mean opening schools to train and teach people to work with these highly intellectual machines. People would grow and learn with them and vice versa. According to them, there is no reason to worry.
On the other hand, as would be expected, pessimists fear that machines will take over jobs and thus erase certain occupations for people, and thus damage millions. AI is already used in banking, and an incredible amount is invested in medicine due to the fear of falling behind the world. Routine jobs could disappear altogether, such as workers in certain factories or workers at counters.
These machines would spend less, they would be able to process a huge amount of data in real-time, and they would function more reliably than humans, but they could also repeat the same job over and over again without mental fatigue. Of course, applications have already been found that man could not do on his own, but help humanity, such as detecting the early stages of cancer and the like.
Aware of the problem, and that is the ignorance of people about the benefits of artificial intelligence, there are organizations everywhere that raise awareness about this world phenomenon. Every day there are new applications and new variations of algorithms that change reality, and AI is slowly pulling in all aspects of human functioning, making it easier and opening up new possibilities.
This is a topic that touches every individual, and we should not accept or reject this phenomenon lightly, but we should study it carefully and, as in everything in life, find the right measure.