Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly moving from science fiction to becoming part of our everyday reality. In a recent example, AI-enabled machines took on human beings in competitive poker matches, and the results were astonishing. In the U.S., an AI program called Libratus defeated four top poker pros, while in China six human players lost to Lengpudashi—to the tune of $290,000.
While many people find the idea of AI somehow replacing human intelligence frightening—largely due to the way books and films have represented intelligent technology over the years—the reality is that low-level machine intelligence is already part of our lives. For example, consider the recommendations you receive on sites such as Amazon and Netflix. These are based on the films and television shows you’ve previously viewed or bought; the low-level AI built into these websites uses this raw data to supply you with information about related movies or TV shows you might enjoy. Understanding the positive applications that such technology can have will be vital to easing the fears that some have as AI takes on greater prominence in our lives.
Tech industry experts predict that AI will be crucial to the development of the Internet of Things. Self-driving cars is one IoT/AI project that is making headlines recently. AI is crucial to making self-driving cars safe—without AI, these vehicles cannot have the flexibility to cope with all of the variables created by other motorists in real-world scenarios.
Of course, this also has implications for people who earn a living by driving, and it is likely that routine, repetitive jobs may be taken over by machines possessing AI over the next decade or so. While this will present employment challenges, retraining can help overcome them.
Furthermore, AI can also help professionals in many industries perform their jobs more effectively. For example, use of AI in healthcare could enable caregivers to dedicate more time to patients by reducing time spent on administrative tasks.
The unstoppable rise of AI will undoubtedly present challenges as well as benefits, but humanity has consistently shown the ability to adapt to disruptive technology, and it seems likely that the advantages will outweigh the problems.
For more insight on advanced technology, see Are You Joining The Machine Learning Revolution?