Emerging Technologies: Artificial Intelligence
The term Artificial Intelligence was first coined in 1956 by John McCarthy. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the technology of empowering machines and enhancing them to such a point that they would be able to think, act and respond in a similar manner as a human being would. Scientists would perhaps say that artificial intelligence is the attempt to create artificial life by way of enhancing computer capabilities to match those of humans. Today, AI has been introduced to many aspects of life development such as computer programming, gene programming, image recognition, vision systems, logistic programming and many more. AI aims to get as close to human functionalities as possible so that machines and robotics are given the ability to perform certain jobs that require specific, detailed instructions and decision-making capabilities .
The rationale behind artificial intelligence is that it holds the crucial key to enhancing life in the 21st century and years after that. It is projected that in the not very far future one may be sitting down and enjoying a movie with the robot and actually shedding tears together. It may be unfathomable, yet scientists did not even dare imagine computers understanding the human speech, or actions but today speech aiding programs are widely used, instructions can now be issued to machines verbally and leave them to the task. It is not an impossibility as the scientists promise us. A lot of research and work has been put in the study of the brain and body functions of the human being so that the same can be replicated into robots and other computer-aided devices . However, as we share the optimism held by scientists as regards artificial intelligence, it is not without question, for example, How Can Artificial Intelligence Enhance Life In The 21st Century? Are There Any Drawbacks? If So, What Are They, And How Can They Be Overcome? These questions shall form the basis of this paper in a bid to understand artificial intelligence in a deeper way.
Humanity’s strong desire to have heightened efficiency coupled with a short period of undertaking any venture has prompted the man to embark on intensive research intended to come up with appropriate machines .These encompass robots and other similar machines whose behavior ought to mimic that of a reasoning person in quest of undertaking complex and even challenging tasks in the industrial sector. However, the possibility of devising machines, which are capable of reasoning like human beings raises numerous and varied ethical issues. These include aspects relating to the safety of real human beings such that they will not pose risks and moral status of the devised machines in reasoning as well as expected of the person undertaking a given certain task . In this case, Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially in the field of machines, focuses on imparting devices relevant ethical principles or certain procedures that will enable them to discover as well as resolve dilemmas, which they might experience while undertaking their respective tasks. Hence, making them behave or function ethically with the aid of their complex programmed decision-making processes. Artificial intelligence can be used to enhance life in the 21st century in a number of ways. One outstanding application of artificial intelligence is in the field of security more specifically in image recognition .
Security systems that are able to identify each individual's identity just by scanning through fingerprints or facial features is a clear example of the applicability of artificial intelligence. Another application of artificial intelligence in the area of developing devices and programs used to aid handicapped individuals. This is especially true for Teaching programs, reading and writing computer aids that are able to adapt to its users and provide them with what they exactly need. Replication of sight and comprehension ability of human beings to machines and robots has enhanced exploration and discovery . This is because robots can now be used in place of humans to collect data and evidence in areas where it would have otherwise been dangerous, for example, visits to other planets and outer space as well as an exploration of the deep-seas and remote areas of the world. In addition, artificial intelligence can be brought closer home to improve one’s life at a personal level. Invalids and the elderly could benefit tremendously with a little help from robots and fully automated machines. Picture a robot that can cook, do laundry, dust the house and remind you to take your medication. Not only will that save time and energy, spare one unnecessary stress the probability of injury and error will be significantly minimized. With the cost of healthcare escalating ever so high in the 21st century, hardly any money is left to hiring a nurse. Artificial intelligence can be really applicable in this area .
Security challenges in the use of Artificial Intelligence.
The debate over AI has elicited mixed reactions from many quarters and with reason. This is because it is a major breakthrough and the impacts major in terms of transforming life as we know it. A good deal of skepticism surrounds AI and certain drawbacks have been brought to the attention of consumers .One strong argument against AI is that machines are dead, therefore cannot be intelligent or have it. After all the human brain is the most sophisticated machine ever created. It is able to multitask between four to five tasks, store memory and experiences, code and decode data in splits of seconds among other astonishing features. Can scientists really create a match? This is a major drawback as the challenge is indeed great. Support is minimal in this field and many feel that the degree of illusion inherent in artificial intelligence stifles all hopes of making headway. People do not see any reason why they should bank on AI to enhance their lives in the 21st century .
Another Challenge facing AI is fear. People are afraid that “Within a few decades, computers and robots will be cleverer than us and we won’t date to unplug them, while the new biotechnologies could transform our species” Certainly, the human brain and its functions differ from computers in complexity and quality. Nevertheless, these fears are not entirely misplaced and thus would be imprudent to simply brush the idea off. AI has massive learning capability and can easily accomplish various complex tasks that humans cannot. Computers today have extreme calculating power, endless patience, and infinite memory. Adding consciousness and emotions might just be the key to unlocking AI’s potential and putting it to good use. According to , “By 2010, computers are expected to match computational capabilities of the human brain, an estimated 3,200,000 instructions per second.”
Scientists are also faced with another challenge in terms of completely assimilate the human intelligence capabilities into machines. Unique characteristics such as creativity, learning and language acquisition, reasoning, emotions, perceptions, seamless motion among other aspects peculiar to humans are still a milestone in artificial intelligence .
Countermeasures for challenges facing Artificial Intelligence.
Given the many drawbacks facing artificial intelligence, it is important to get familiar with what is being done to improve the applicability of AI. Firstly, a lot of research is being done on the functions of the human brain particularly how it works and coordinates. This is the key to unlocking the possibilities of enhanced living in the 21st century. So far a lot has been gained in borrowing from cognitive functions of the brain and incorporating it to computers .
Another thing that engineers and scientists are doing to offset the drawbacks facing artificial intelligence is campaigning for acceptance of intelligent computers by promoting the positive aspects of artificial intelligence. The many benefits brought about by an artificial intelligence far outweigh the disadvantages that accompany it. The fear, as they say, is not warranted because man remains the most supreme and the creator of AI. It is very easy to unplug and destroy machines if they feel that they will take over dominance of human beings .
In conclusion, the Artificial Intelligence has already changed the life of all humans and it will further shape the everyday activities. Artificial Intelligence contributes to improvements in healthcare, reduces the impact of aging, and offers unlimited space for advancements and innovations. The fear of Artificial Intelligence is based on the false understanding of its essence and purpose of development. Artificial Intelligence will not replace the human mind, but rather contribute to the solution of current problems in all areas of human activities. In addition to enhanced life, Artificial Intelligence provides an opportunity to explore new territories, including the space, to find medicine for numerous diseases, to maintain global peace, and to solve the problem of poverty. Undoubtedly, all of the forecasts concerning Artificial Intelligence and its potential is based on assumptions; however, the empirical evidence supports the conclusion that AI is highly beneficial for humankind.
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