What is AI?

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.

Although AI has power unimaginable to our minds today, it may also have the power in the future to work in a way which prevents the destruction of the human race. Elon Musk, an individual heavily integrated with the creation of several different types of technology, believes that there is a possibility that good can come to the human race by AI.  At the 2016 Code Conference, Musk stated, “If AI power is broadly distributed to the degree that we can link AI power to each individual’s will — you would have your AI agent, everybody would have their AI agent — then if somebody did try to something really terrible, then the collective will of others could overcome that bad actor,” This however, is just Musk attempting to look at the bright side of things and find a way for humans and machines to coexist. We never know how much exactly AI can change our lives in the future. There are still concerns stressed by many, including Elon Musk and Bill Gates in the brevity of artificial intelligence magnitude capabilities exceeding human order. This may be a far-fetched case to spectators prior to an undeveloped understanding of AI such as vivid Hollywood scenarios.

Speaking of artificial intelligence 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. Objective breakthroughs or expeditions can be optimized to steer the future into a state of global sustainability. So what are the limits to an AIs intelligence progression? Is it possible for it to evolve to a point where it wants to surpass humans? In the short term, how will the global economy react when AIs fill in positions that humans used to fill? What if someone with bad intentions gets their hands on a super powerful AI? How will humanity react when the gap between us and machines starts to close? I guess the main question is: What will AIs impact on the world look like in the future? Making solid predictions for the future is something that can now be done since we’re already seeing a taste of it right now.

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