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Demystifying Artificial Intelligence

Demystifying Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence became an academic discipline in 1955. Throughout the years, there have been various ups and downs, including loss of funding. The most common problems of AI research may include reasoning, knowledge representation, planning, learning and perception.


AI uses a variety of tools, such as search and mathematical optimisation, artificial neural networks and methods based on statistics, probability, and economics. However, it also draws upon computer science, information engineering, mathematics, psychology, linguistics, and philosophy, among other fields.

AI had taken a back seat up until the 21st century, when, with advances in computer power and large amounts of data, AI had started gaining more relevance and importance.

There are two kinds of AI - narrow AI and general AI. Narrow AI is what we see in our everyday lives, whereby systems have learnt or taught to carry out specific tasks without explicitly being programmed to do so. An example of narrow AI can be found in those machines which are involved in speech and language recognition such as Siri. Narrow AI can interpret video feeds from drones, organise personal calendars and reply to simple customer-service queries. It can also carry out a hotel booking or help a radiologist spot an abnormality in an X-Ray.

On the other hand, general AI is not so simple, because it tries to mimic human intellect. Such tasks need an accumulation of experience to be performed. General AI is like Skynet in the film The Terminator, which is still non-existent today. AI has brought many changes in the way we live, and one can see great advancement in various fields, such as mobile phones and the diagnosing of a disease. Nowadays, AI plays an important role, as its advances are helping humans work with better performance and more efficiency.

AI is now found in various sectors including agriculture, where we find autonomous tractors and automated machines used in the fields to assess the condition of the crops and harvesting. Society has also seen the introduction of AI-based face recognition and biometric systems which assist in the tracking of humans through security cameras.

An important field in which AI has made a huge difference is in the health sector. It has empowered machines to diagnose, analyse and predict types of diseases, monitor health conditions and help researchers discover new drugs for specific health problems. Such achievements can only be attained if there is the right machine learning training data that is able to use the ideal algorithms to be fully functional within its field. AI will make healthcare more accurate and less costly as it gives the health sector the ability to obtain data in real-time from multiple hospital information flows. Realistically this would mean optimised scheduling, automated reporting and automatic initialisation of equipment settings.

The Apple Pay Rollout and the Cambridge Analytica scandal generated this growing interest in ethical AI. 2019 saw an increasing focus in AI ethics, with the European Commission publishing a set of seven guidelines for developing ethical AI.

2020 saw exciting innovations, in what IBM calls ’AI for AI’ i.e. using AI to aid in the automation of steps and processes involved in the progression of creating, implementing, managing and operating AI models.

An example of automating AI is Google’s Auto ML. This is a tool that streamlines the process of creating machine learning models and makes the technology even more accessible to the wider audience. IBM also launched AutoAI, which is a platform for the automation of data preparation, model development, feature engineering and hyperparameter optimisation.

The future of AI looks brighter with such developments. The next-generation machines will be able to self-update and generate custom programs to resolve unexpected problems. Developments are ongoing, as there is so much to learn and discover especially in general AI. Research is a constant process and new developments are happening every day.


Authored by the Finerton.com News Team (Malta)
Images Sourced from pexels.com

Last modified on: August 31, 2020


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