Friday, February 26News For London

AI: Our Best Friend or Filthiest Enemy?

The algorithm hype of deep learning and machine learning is invading countries and dominating major tech companies.

Robots are making fake videos, vacuuming ‘smart’ homes, identifying Uber drivers’ selfies, and monitoring the sound of dolphins.

Google says that it is even going to babysit toddlers using AI. [Photo by A Health Blog]
NASA is trying to communicate with space using software-defined cognitive radios to employ under-utilized portions of the electromagnetic spectrum without human intervention.

So with robots getting a lot of jobs, what jobs will survive their invasion? Fields of arts, maybe?

Countries are opening their ‘digital’ eyes

A report published by New York-based research consultancy Eurasia Group and Beijing-based VC firm Sinovation Ventures outlines the rapid advances of China in AI over the past few years.

One major advantage this global powerhouse enjoys over the US is access to a massive pool of data because of its enormous internet-connected population.

Zhu Long is co-founder of a technological company in China. His facial-recognition algorithms recognise faces and plots the movement of their owners on maps of each floor. Until now, 1.8bn faces have been logged and this is a way to identify criminals.

He says AI “will change the world more than the industrial revolution”.

However, some AI experts reckon that we won’t face a ‘technological unemployment’ in the near future. John Spindler, CEO Capital Enterprise and Co-Founder of London Co-Investment Fund, said: “There is nothing to worry about machines replacing humans. Machines are good at doing simple tasks rapidly, with little cost and in a way better than humans; such as, counting. There are now document readers that scan and summarize insurance claims to tell if that document is a claim or not.”

A ‘Techno-logical’ Race

Tech companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon are investing billions in this technology trying to develop Augmented Reality apps.

Google leads in the race to dominate artificial intelligence. AlphaGo Zero AI program has won at chess against world-leading specialist software within four hours of teaching itself the game from scratch, according to BBC. An early example is Gmail’s app that scans the content of e-mails and suggests quick, one-touch replies on mobile devices, according to The Economist.

In addition to that Google says that it is even going to babysit toddlers using AI.

Amazon has around 80,000 robots in its centres, and also uses AI to categorise inventory and decide which trucks to allocate packages to. For grocery ordering, it has applied computer vision to recognise which strawberries and other fruits are ripe and fresh enough to be delivered to customers, and is developing autonomous drones that will one day deliver orders.

What scientists are trying to do is finding a general basis for ethical conscience regarding Artificial Intelligence to curb any dangers that might emerge from this cutting-edge technology.