Growing up, the movie series Spy Kids fascinated me. The last movie in the franchise featured an exceptionally smart robot dog. This was my childhood fixation for years, I understood the fact that being a robot was bound to set it apart from other dogs but I could never really wrap my head around its ability to act on its own volition. Yes, it was programmed but how did it know what to do without being directly controlled. These questions piqued my curiosity and I was led down the rabbit hole, I learnt about Artificial Intelligence, A.I.
According to John McCarthy, the pioneer : “Artificial Intelligence is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.” A.I will be able to solve so many problems in our world. It would be able to think faster than humans can, hence, providing faster solutions. It would be an answer to our limitations as human beings, it won’t grumble or complain. It will do the dangerous tasks we refuse to do, really, the possibilities are limitless. It is potentially the next big thing and its relevance to our world cannot be overstated.
‘The Artificial Intelligence Revolution’ is nearer than older generations ever imagined it. What we considered a mere dream is now a reality. Who would have ever imagined that Jarvis would one day exist? J.A.R.V.I.S. which stands for Just A Rather Very Intelligent System was Tony Stark’s A.I in Iron Man. I wished to have Jarvis when I was younger, I always wanted someone to help me with chores and make intelligent conversations with just like he did in Iron Man. Jarvis was tasked with the security for Tony Stark’s mansion and tower, he also responded to commands intelligently with speech, he was capable of sarcasm and backtalk and was a reliable source of information when Tony went about his business. In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg finally created his own Jarvis and believe me, I was stoked.
Another example of real life A.I is IBM project Debater. It is an A.I that debates with humans on complex topics. It constructs well-structured speeches and delivers it well. It will advance human reasoning by providing evidence-based arguments and limiting the influence of emotion, bias or ambiguity.
A.I varies, depending on its goal, examples of its various forms include Siri, self-driven cars, spam filters, natural language processing, speech recognition, face recognition etc. For A.I to work, the robots have to gather facts about a situation through sensors or human inputs after which the computer then tries to decipher the information after which, the computer will implement. Some present-day Robots have the ability to learn in a limited capacity. They recognize the way a certain action is performed to achieve a desired result and attempt the successful action whenever it encounters the same situation.
It is a known fact that things with good intentions can be used in destructive manner. Max Tegmark, President of the Future of Life Institute said that “Everything we love about civilization is a product of Intelligence, so amplifying our human intelligence with Artificial Intelligence has the potential of helping civilization flourish like never before, as long as we manage to keep the technology beneficial”.
This exactly brings us to some of the supposed demerits of exploring Artificial Intelligence. The world fears that Artificial Intelligence might do more harm to the world than good. But, nothing good comes without its challenges.
Terrorists could also take over the world should they get hold of Artificial Intelligence just like Tony Starks got kidnapped in Iron Man so that he could use his idea to aid their destructive agenda. Any knowledge at all can be used in a destructive manner.
In comes A.I safety. This involves studying Artificial Intelligence to know what it can do, how to curtail it and make it safe for our world to use. Isaac Asimov suggested three laws of robotics which is known as the Asimov laws. The first which states that “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction allow a human being to come to harm”. The second states that “A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders conflict the first law”. The third states that “A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law”. He also added the zeroth Law which states that “A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm”.
AI should be created to feel sympathy, happiness and other good emotions, not emotions like anger and jealousy in order to prevent rivalry between human and AI. A.I must have a standard and ethical moral system. It should be able to understand and obey humans. Humans must make sure we have the sole control of the robots on no account should control be totally given to them. Governments must do well to regulate the creation and use of artificial intelligence. Every product of Artificial Intelligence must have a working termination process should it malfunction. Artificial Intelligence products should never be programmed to kill or be destructive.
The exploration of Artificial Intelligence marked the beginning of a great technological evolution in our world. We must strive to ensure that the goals of creating Artificial Intelligence machines and tools align with ours. It must not go contrary. Frankly, we may still be a long way from Computers attaining sentience but, it is never too early to discuss it.
As much as the world is making giant leaps in the field of A.I, more research should be done to fully grasp the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence. A.I products must be critically analyzed and tested for lapses. The world as a whole has to make sure Artificial Intelligence doesn’t get into the wrong hands and make provision against that, you have seen the Terminator movies haven’t you?
However, our fear of things going wrong should not prevent us from evolving. We must keep creating, building and innovating. Understanding A.I takes time and presently, time is all we have.
Fisayo Ojo is a passion driven writer and content creator. She currently works with Aramiessentials.