What is the current state of our artificial overlords?
What are they doing to benefit us currently?
Well, Alexa has opened its platform to other parties in order for them to create skills for Alexa to learn. Google meanwhile has been hiring comedians to hopefully improve the way the assistant interacts with humans. The Google assistant will be in Home and Allo also.
Today, most people you ask in the street will have heard of Google, Alexa or Siri, they will believe these are artificial intelligences. The thing is they aren’t. They are machines that have been taught to understand certain things, to respond to certain triggers, this does not make them intelligent. Intelligence denotes being self-aware; none of the previously mentioned devices are self-aware, yet…
At present ‘AI’ is being used in insurance companies to increase profits through payout calculation. The Japanese company (Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance) have removed over 30 positions in their payout calculations department. AI designed for this task will take over these jobs. Chicago police will soon have AI monitoring their bodycams for missing people. Facebook, Instagram and messenger, are being powered by AI every time you use them. You can buy a car that is being powered by an AI and AI is suggesting what you buy. To list a few that is.
People like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerburg have been tweeting over it recently; Musk is putting up ‘beware of the dog’ signs whilst Zuckerburg is laying down the welcome mat. Musk also believes that AI should be regulated to stop it from careening out of control. It is easy to understand both points of view though.
A lot of people are playing around in the field of artificial intelligence, due to the sheer number of different approaches and applications there is no true way of asking what the state of AI today actually is.
AI Friend or Foe?
AI will have eyes and ears. For example, a fire alarm will have a camera built in that watches for fire as well as having smoke sensors. This will enable speedier response and less danger but will also add even more eyes to watch you with. However you look at it, this blade has two edges…
Orwellian thoughts aside. Imagine you have a friend who willingly watches your front door from a seat on the porch.
They are happy to do this because they have a good book to read and it is a lovely day. Whilst reading they are not fully aware of the rest of the street but if something happens within close proximity to your friend. Enough to interrupt them from their book that is, then they have the option to react and maybe let you know by shouting or calling you. Your friends are capable of doing this because they are self-aware. AI will be self-aware.
Some are afraid of an AI event involving humanity and maybe they are right. It is good to be afraid of the unknown to a healthy level. After all, this is what keeps you checking for oncoming vehicles when crossing the road. This is part of what keeps you alive and functioning correctly.
If an AI is developed that is truly self-aware it will be a new-born regardless. With this in mind perhaps humankind will consider itself, more, responsible parent than stern teacher.
As with children, they learn from their experiences, we need to ensure the experience is a good one for the child of humanity.