How artificial is AI?


Some sort of artificial intelligence or the other has been around for decades now. So what is changing now that is and will accelerate the widespread adoption of AI? Is it truly advance is technology that are driving the wave or is the momentum....artificial? Have we, as a race, tried to be in denial and are now finally coming around to the inevitability of machines being more productive and reliable than humans in doing tasks that are increasingly technology enabled? And if so, we are, we humans, limited now only by how far we are filling to go?

Artificial Intelligence
Future of work
Anil Goel
29 months ago

4 answers


The growth of AI is the result of several technologies taking off simultaneously. First the amount of data available is enormous. Good AI needs data as a raw material. Also, the computer horse power now exists to handle the data. Finally, newer and better analytic techniques have been developed to model this data.

Donald Wedding
29 months ago

The old AI you refer to in my opinion is just automated algorithms which have given parameters and set choices. AI that we are striving for is a new kettle of fish, it learns and adapts, it teaches itself through trial and error to achieve a goal rather then been given a goal and told how to do it.

Machines are more productive and reliable then humans you are correct and we have always known that, we now have the capability of truly benefiting from it now though.

Chris Allen
29 months ago

Good inquiry but there were a lot of questions clustered so I will try to segment them.

AI is an indication of how far humans *can* go. For the time being a machine will be superior to a human in tasks which can be automated, but will be lacking in others that require advanced cognitive processes . What is common sense for us humans, will require complex instructions when building a machine learning model. For example, think of trying to teach a machine to understand sarcasm, and hopefully you will understand what i mean.

Secondly, I believe that being in denial would be to simply forego of our own capabilities which allowed us to advance technologically - something that powerful and legitimate entities (e.g. religion, government, corporations even science and healthcare) tried to do many time in the past.

Third, what is changing now is the fervent increase in computing power which, to summarize and to put it bluntly, allows for "better, faster technology". Add to this tech upgrades in everything from cloud computing, architecture, advanced analytics etc. etc. and you have an ecosystem that has no choice but to go forward. An easy-to-tackle example: Kids growing up in the '80s would see today's lowest smartphone gaming apps as the best video game they could ever hope for.

Fourth, I believe that yes humans are limited by how far we are willing to go. But you need to make a clear distinction when asking these types of questions.

  • An average functioning car would always cover more ground than a human in the long run. Would you say that cars are replacing farmyard animals in transportation? Are they in "decline"?
  • Advanced simulations can (somewhat) predict weather patterns and even perform complex calculations (e.g. for healthcare) far better than humans. Does that mean that the witch doctor profession is in decline?

Technology is simply a tool. But it can be abused. Past evidence shows that AI will probably be abused by major industry players as well (hopefully I am wrong on this prediction). But I believe it falls to the people to learn what can be beneficial or detrimental for them. By that I do not mean being in denial because a robot might replace them in an assembly line so they will boycott everything that has the word AI in it. I mean actually understanding the pros and cons of everything that is fed to them so that they can make an informed decision. And yes, they will have the power to change the course of history should they wish it (fortunately, past evidence supports this as well!).

Dimitrios Pavlakis
29 months ago

AI has been around for decades, including the Tuning Test and first Eliza-program. AI's strength is to elaborate predictions based on data input.

Early AI only received the information, which the user typed in at the moment. It was not able to save this, so could only react to one sentence, and not the complete conversation. The AI not saved the data, so every new start began with 0.

Thanks to the technological development and connected society. AIs receive high amount of data. Based on algorithm, it converts Big Data to Smart Data. To learn faster, AIs not only learn from one source of information, but numerous ones. Thanks to this, it has a "high experience" and can create precise predictions.

Patrick Henz
29 months ago

Have some input?