Artificial Intelligence Executive Summary: What Have We Accomplished?

What is Artificial Intelligence? According to Stanford University, artificial intelligence is “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. It is related to the similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence, but AI does not have to confine itself to methods that are biologically observable.” AI is the first step towards self-learning machines that seem to have two main goals: to solve problems and to make tasks easier and more efficient. To do this, it must be a flexible, rational agent that can perceive its environment in order to take actions that maximize its chance of success. Artificial intelligence is changing our lives, it is already impacting our lives in major ways today; Siri, Echo, Amazon’s purchase predictions, and certain home devices are very common examples of this. Its mark on the world has recently started to grow beyond this, and it’s doing so rapidly. AI’s have already been able to contribute to successfully trialing autonomous vehicles, composing music, writing screenplays, and beating masters at their own game (this and more will be explored more deeply during the course of this project). It’s all very remarkable, but like any progressive movements and advances, there are concerns attached. The video below discusses the current impact that AI has on our lives and the implications it has for the future, especially the replacement of human labor with AI. The speaker compares it to the impact agriculture had in the world, (which was immense by the way).

At the moment AI is nowhere near having the same powerful cross-domain ability to learn and plan as a human being does. The cortex in our brain has ways of computing that Ai developers have not been able to achieve yet. If human level machine intelligence may arrive sooner than predicted, then will we need any further technological advancements? If super intelligence is achieved, this may be the last if not close to the final invention humanity will need. With such an ability to mature a superintelligence may be able to find a cure for cancer, expand human longevity, or even space colonization. The main question is: What will AIs impact on the world look like in the future?

One of the things AI has already started to impact is the art and entertainment industries. Most of our firsthand experience with artificial intelligence in entertainment stems from farfetched cases of an undeveloped understanding of AI in vivid Hollywood scenarios. Majority of the scenarios bring to question whether advances in technology could evolve beyond our control in movies like, The Terminator, Ex Machina, and children’s action film Spy Kids. In these notable films, AI agents develop a conscious thought process equivalent of the protagonist their up against in these films. While this gives a flowery depiction of AI, the outstanding question of AI and its affinity in the context of art/entertainment remains. It’s important to understand the original purpose of AI, which is to assist humans and their interaction with technology. “The technology we have today compared to what could be is like making a stick figure drawing of Michelangelo’s David,” stated by Tim Tuttle, CEO and founder of AI firm Expect Labs. But what if that same AI technology can produce art much greater than Michelangelo’s David? When considering art, one must at some point or another question it’s origin and what makes it so special. Some people believe art comes from something beyond our comprehension; a higher power of some sort. Others believe that art at its core is a very human thing. No matter what you believe, Artificial Intelligence has the potential to disrupt your current philosophy and force you to reflect on what it all means. In 2014, Melomics released 0music – an album composed by an artificial intelligence named Melomics109 without any human intervention whatsoever. You can watch and listen to one of the songs from the album here. Now, the music isn’t anything special; it’s no Mozart or Beatles. However, it’s lack musical greatness doesn’t take away from the magnitude of the step taken. As we’ve all learned from studying disruption innovation, most disruptive innovations start out unimpressive; that’s why most people don’t pay attention until it’s too late. There are even instances where AIs are writing film scripts. AI has written Sunspring, a movie which is said to be “hilarious and intense” according to an article by Annalee Newitz. After watching the movie myself, I realized the movie had no plot, no story, and make absolutely no sense. At first I was confused and wondered if there was something I didn’t understand, since the lines didn’t flow and were a bunch of gibberish. But then I looked at the comments and realized that other people felt the same way. They wrote things like “This was like a bad lip reading video” and “I am so confused. This is like either extremely profound or completely absurd.” So basically, AI”s music and movie writing is terrible, but that’s not the point. The point is that it’s a step and a giant one.

AI is not only affecting the art and entertainment industries, but is also affecting the education industry. Milo, “A humanoid robot that engages with children with Autism and delivers research-based lessons that teach social behaviors. Here is a video explaining Milo and thoughts about this robot from our own teammate, John Ferry.

There are also endless amount of legal implications that comes with the technology of AI. Here is a video which speaks about the legal aspects and addresses questions about morals and ethics in terms of AI posted on the YouTube channel of another one of our own teammate, Matt Ehrhardt.

Back to the question presented in the beginning of this entire journey: What will AIs impact on the world look like in the future? According to an article by Max Tegmark, the AI today is only narrow or weak AI which “is designed to perform a narrow task” but the AI in the future will be general AI or AGI (strong AI) which will “outperform humans at nearly every cognitive task.” Many questions arise with this type of change into our lives. How will we be able to stop/control AI if it is designed to outsmart human intelligence? What are some of the problems that will arise because of Artificial Intelligence and how will be combat these issues? What are some of the benefits this new technology can provide? Max discusses some of the dangers that can result from future AI. In addition to being able to outperform human, AI can also do good things the “bad” way. For example, Max states how “autonomous weapons are artificial intelligence weapons that are programmed to kill” meaning that if this technology gets misplaced or put into the wrong hands, it can easily cause mass causalities, maybe even be able to “destroy the human race” as we have only seen in movies. Also, even if the end goal of AI is to do something good, it may not take the ‘safest” way to reach that goal. Max gives an examples of how if the mission of an autonomous vehicle is to take one to the airport as fast as possible, it might get one there being chased by helicopters and being covered in vomit. In an article on Business Insider by Guia Marie Del Prado, Prado states “AI could either make all of our dreams come true or destroy society and the world as we know it.” Above we discussed the dangers of AI, but what are the possible benefits? Prado discusses a number of benefits that can come from smarter and better functioning AI. The first one is that it can keep us safer, which is an obvious fact. But if autonomous vehicles become a lifestyle in the future and there are zero to no human drivers, the road for humans, pedestrians, and animals could be made much much safer. There will be no issues regarding speeding, drunk driving, or “deer on the road”. In addition to driving, AI may also be able to warn us of coming disasters and even be able to enable appropriate responses to eliminate these disasters. AI has the potential to not only become smarter than humans, but to make humans supersmart and “better at everything”. The combination of Artificial Intelligence and humans can make history with its accomplishments and help humans achieve more than they ever could alone. AI can also be able to solve the world’s problems and save the world. As Staurt Russel writes in Prado’s article: “If you had a system that could read all the pages and understand the context instead of just throwing back 26 million pages to answer your query, that kind of program could actually answer the questions asked. It’ll be like if you asked a real question and got an answer from a person who had really read all those millions and millions and billions of pages and understood them and been able to synthesize all that information.” This type of intelligence could help the world solve poverty, or diseases, or prevent wars and find solutions without having to take lives to do it. All this can happen of course, after ethics are taken in to consideration and applied to each of these aspects that AI focuses on.

Our team has researched and attacked several aspects of Artificial Intelligence and it is safe to say that the future of AI is almost the present. We don’t whether this technology is going to help us or destroy us, we don’t know whether we’d ever be able to keep it under control, or if we could ever learn to coincide with it. All we know is that it’s coming and its going to keep improving. We have just heard sporadic instances of the successes and failures of AI in the past of couple of years, but none of us ever looked deeply into this until we started Disruption. All of the things we thought we had to do to prepare for the future: take the SATs, go to college, get good grades, get an internship, we realized are all pretty insignificant to the future that is actually coming. We don’t even know if by the time of our graduation, AI has taken over half of the jobs we thought we’d have to do. What if AI becomes better at PR or accounting or determining stocks at Wall Street than we do by the time we have to find a job? What would we do? Artificial Intelligence, and other disruptive technology, is growing faster than we can imagine the most we can do right now is be digitally literate on these topics and be prepared by being FAIR for the change that is coming.


5 Responses to Artificial Intelligence Executive Summary: What Have We Accomplished?

  1. Gregory Medina November 18, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

    When it comes to artificial intelligence, there are a plethora of things that people do not know, especially in regards to the future of such technology. This is because artificial intelligence is still in its infancy where it is constantly under development and improvement. Today, forms of AI are in use for daily life; however, their programming is rather simplistic compared to the potential of what artificial intelligence is capable of. Yet, fear of rampant artificial intelligence is real. For example, in the game Halo, the AI Cortana begins to undergo rampancy where she literally begins to deteriorate. On the other hand, her rampancy leads her to begin a conquest over various human colonies in space with alien technology. In other forms of science fiction, such as i.Robot, the AI VIKI calculates a solution for human preservation that involves the loss of free will through the control of machines. Since science fiction is an extension of the human imagination based on fact, it is easy to see that artificial intelligence has a real effect of fear. However, artificial intelligence can still bring more good than harm.

    In the terms of jobs and economics, it is easy to see that artificial intelligence will boost the overall rate of production. Moreover, artificial intelligence is likely to cause another production revolution. On the other hand, it is also likely that numerous jobs will be replaced by machines; however, like all market revolutions, such will also create jobs. For example, someone is still needed to write the code that is involved with artificial intelligence. Moreover, there is always a need for a person to continue production if said AI is incapacitated from its duty. Yes, there are aspects to the economy that will become automated such as production; however, some services will still take the touch of a person to do so. Though, it is easy to see why there is fear for job loss due to the fact that it is very difficult for people in one field to become specialists in another as a result in a shift in the market. Moreover, people are likely to have their jobs taken due to the fact that it is cheaper to manage a machine since it is both efficient and, simply, not a person.

    Though artificial intelligence and new machines will eventually take jobs, new jobs will always follow the shift in the market due to capitalism. Since the market is getting more efficient, people will move to different sectors of the market that still need its resources to be used efficiently. Moreover, artificial intelligence can open the door to new forms of technology and make modern technology more efficient. For example, consider the AI in Star Trek, Star Wars, and any other space sci-fi. Their presence makes the ventures of space more efficient and practical. Although there is still HAL9000, artificial intelligence can play a key role in the pursuit of space exploration and transportation. Instead of sending people to uninhabitable worlds, society can just send robots to explore for us, much like the Mars rovers. Overall, there is still much to learn and discover through artificial intelligence.

    Nonetheless, artificial intelligence is still in its infancy so its future cannot be fully determined. Though the study of such can promote ethical questions, it might be a necessary step for the advancement of our species as pioneers.

  2. Hakeem Marshall November 18, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

    If you have read anything I have written about these assignments, you would know that I am a huge fan of technology and the positive effect it has on all of our lives. You will also recall my distaste for these modern day luddites who want to regress our society or stagnate our society. Technology is always a good thing and we should be embracing it, not rejecting it. However, the ultimately misguided squeals of the technophobes do not come from nowhere. There is some validity to their cries. While it is absolutely false that our gains from technologies are outweighed by the losses and need to be halted, there is something to be said from the losers of automation. While the increasing of economic efficiency per capita has been shown to be the greatest way of increasing societies wealth, it is also true that this change comes with losers. It is also true that these losers have not be fairly compensated for their loss. We should be seeking to make our economy Kaldor-Hicks efficient but the politicians seem reluctant to act. AI is absolutely wonderful and will make us better off but that does not mean we do not have a responsibility to those who lose out from the process. AI has positives and negatives that I will try to discuss in this response to the essay posted.
    The first benefit is an obvious plus in AI favor. Jobs as AI continues to take over will take on an entirely new character. Some labor under an increasingly steady stream of AI will be automated, this is true. However, not all work will be automated. A mistake I think we tend to make when it comes to AI and our jobs is assuming that they are in constant competition with each other. AI does not have to be in competition with labor. In many ways AI can and will complement labor, making it easier for us humans to do and making it more efficient increasing our wealth in a macro sense. Doctors will work with the machines to perform complex surgery rather than have the robot do all of the work. The Lawyer will work with the AI rather than it replaced with a Judicator machine. AI will assist the service sector, making us better off. However, the downside comes with those that lose work in the process. These people ought to be compensated via redistribution of wealth through greater system of welfare as well as job training programs to push these people in a new industry.
    The next benefit comes from making our economy more efficient. Robots do not need to sleep or eat. Robots do not need to take a break or rest. They are on 24 hours of the day. Because of this, they will produce more than humans ever could and this will make us all better off. Robots will produce more wealth which will be used by us to improve our social welfare via the exchange of money for goods and services. AI also have greater functionality than humans. They can do more than us. Because of this, things that we never thought were possible suddenly will be.
    While this is all well, not all will be perfect with AI. While AI will make us better off, they will not be perfect. Programs not made correctly will have an incredibly negative effect on those afflicted by the faulty program. The errors or mistakes in the code will be passed on those it teaches through the incorrect transfer of wrong information. Basically the telephone effect on a much larger and more complex sense. All great technologies have the potential to be misused. This is especially true when it comes to AI. AI will be playing an incredibly large role in our future economies and societies. Because of this, we must be vigilant in ensuring that tyrants do not abuse the authority they may potentially have.
    AI is a good thing but we must be careful with it.

  3. kaitlyn healy November 22, 2016 at 7:58 pm #

    In the article” Artificial intelligence Executive Summary: What We Have Accomplished” by Neeraja Thakur, it is discussed that artificial intelligence is here in the present and not something that we can look forward to in the future. Yes it will improve and become more integrated in our lives but it has already making an impact in our world. I remember watching movies as a child and seeing robots that were communicating with humans and computers that controlled homes and our everyday lives and here we are in 2016 and we are seeing that this exist right now.
    The article starts to discuss how artificial intelligence is being invented to actually out preform humans. Right now artificial intelligence can write music and even screen plays by themselves. According to the article the reviews aren’t’ very god but the point is that it is possible for these computers can complete a human task without the help of humans.
    The point that I found most interesting in this article is the fact that we are about to make our last great invention as humans and that is super intelligence. Super intelligence is something artificial intelligent developers are working on to make an intelligent that can mimic the cortex of the human brain and once this happens all great mysteries can be answered. Some examples are a cure for cancer and human longevity and living in space.
    There are some things that will really benefit from the expansion of artificial intelligence and that is the use in the medical and education fields. In medicine this could expand a doctor’s knowledge and skill base. We already see that doctors are doing robotic surgery more and more because they are seeing better results with intricate procedures. In education the article speaks to a “team member” from this blog that discusses artificial intelligence and autism. A robot named Milo is helping autistic children with social skills and apparently the autistic population responds to this. These re huge strides for humanity but we have to look at the good side and the bad before we keep creating.
    Some of the bad things that can cause problems are if we create these artificial intelligence without having a plan in place for if things go bad. For instance the article brings up a few examples and one is the use of artificial intelligence with weapons and how they are made to kill but what if they don’t stop killing and we end up with mass causalities. The other invention that is causing some concerns is the automatic car and how we have to prepare as a society for this technology. We need to ensure the safety and once this is implemented appropriately it is guessed it will reduce traffic accident, drunk driving and many other human errors associated with driving.

    There is a quote in the article by Guia Del Prado that says “AI can either make our dreams come true or destroy society and the world as we know it” and this quote sums up how I personally feel about AI. I think it can help the world but at the same time people will lose jobs we will have to rethink society as a whole but if it can help humanity it can’t be suppressed, we are going to have to embrace it and hope the developers can create a safe environment for all.

  4. Joselito Abarca December 2, 2016 at 9:19 pm #

    An innovation that has intrigued humans for many years is Artificial Intelligence. Artificial intelligence is already revolutionizing transportation, home/service robots, health care, entertainment, education, public safety and security, low-resource communities, and employment and the workplace. Artificial Intelligence can both beneficial and detrimental to society. The benefits of AI, is that it can be used to combat crime. I read an article before which talked about how in collaboration with Microsoft, the NYPD, has begun a surveillance program known as Domain Awareness System (DOA). Through the DOA, The NYC police department have access to 3,000 CCTV cameras around the city which checks criminal and terrorist databases, radiation levels and license plates 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. For corporations, it will help boost up the factor of production because it will work more efficiently. Firms are always looking for ways to cut cost. Integrating Artificial intelligence will helps firms accomplish that. They will no longer have to pay salaries, health insurance and all these other expenses because employees will no longer be needed. Robots can work longer than any human because they do not have to eat and rest. However, for employees this is disastrous. Many of them have families to take care of, and given the current job market it will be hard to find jobs if firms begin to rely on artificial intelligence. Some jobs will be eliminated and others will be created in order to sustain this rapid growth of AI. Autonomous vehicles are already beginning to eliminate jobs. For example, Chief Executive Travis Kalanick is to eventually replace Uber’s 1.5 million drivers. AI has almost made us more vulnerable to government entities and corporations. Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s search assistant use AI to analyze what the individual is asking and return the information. . It might make out life more convenient, however, the tradeoff is that these computers will know your location, preferences, highly detailed profile of you and can utilize this information for numerous things. Another major concern that rise with AI is that we are unaware of who will have access to this array of information. What is this information gets in the wrong hands? A growing concern in for consumer is that as AI starts play an integral role in our daily lives, how our information is being protected. I find the quote by Guia Marie Del Prado ““AI could either make all of our dreams come true or destroy society and the world as we know it” interesting because it is possible that robots can outsmart humans. What will happen then? The article argues that it help prevent wars but I feel that if in the future robots are the ones who get sent to war, the outcome is not looking so pretty. Eventually every country will have it. For example, the United States were the first ones who had nuclear weapons and as time progressed most nations have it. I feel this will occur with artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is still in its early stages, however, given how fast technology is advancing I would not surprise if these machines hit the market soon.

  5. Thomas Batelli February 6, 2017 at 11:18 am #

    I have always found the topic of Artificial Intelligence to be an interesting one. The first thing one thinks when hearing the words “artificial intelligence”, are robots. Thinking back to the movie “iRobot”, starring Will Smith, there is a negative correlation to artificial intelligence understanding human intelligence. However, artificial intelligence is far more, and can be referenced to many other objects you use in your everyday life- such as computers, cars, home devices, cell phones, etc. Artificial Intelligence poses many questions to society in regards to safety, reliability, efficacy and ethical stance.

    We live in a world of instant gratification. The second an idea crosses the forefront of your brain, you are already on the computer on Amazon Prime and two days later, it’s on your doorstep. Voice-activated devices answer questions aloud in a human voice and some cars drive themselves, as well as respond with voice activation. We are living in a future ten years ago we would have never imagined. The artificial intelligence revolution certainly poses apprehension, however, as we ask the question, how far is too far? Is it possible to create a product that could potentially overpower human ability? It is scary to think so.

    “At the moment Artificial Intelligence is nowhere near having the same powerful cross-domain ability to learn and plan as a human being does”. This may be relieving to those who fear that robots will one day walk the Earth as we do as humans. However, replicating similar brain functions to that of a human is not impossible. If this were to be done, other issues surface in regards to the economy. Artificial Intelligence could certainly impose risk to unemployment. However, rates of production could be positively enhanced from the use of man made machine. It is also important to ponder the safety of these man-made artificial intelligences. If a machine were to be more powerful (in strength, endurance, etc.) than a human being, where is the dominant means of safety and protection of the people being implemented, given something were to turn south?

    “No matter what you believe, Artificial Intelligence has the potential to disrupt your current philosophy and force you to reflect on what it all means.” I thought this to be an attention-grabbing statement. When referencing artificial intelligence and the ability to construct human actions, it is also essential we tackle the means of ethic. Is there room in the world for complex artificial intelligence? Should we even attempt to create something which replicates the actions committed by the human cortex? Although Artificial Intelligene could be of great assistance to human beings, I also believe that a strong disconnect will be created and people will lack to succeed their full potential.

    All in all, Artificial Intelligence will continue to prosper as the future turns to the present. “In an article on Business Insider by Guia Marie Del Prado, Prado states “AI could either make all of our dreams come true or destroy society and the world as we know it.” I think it is important for everyone to understand the potential risk at stake when exploring Artifical Intelligence, just as anyone would with something as serious as nuclear radiation, pollution, etc.

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