No matter where you look these days you’ll read, watch or hear about Artificial Intelligence (AI). So what is AI? And, more importantly, will it lead to the end of the world as we know it?
Let’s find out!
Overview of AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of a machine to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. At a high level, AI works by using algorithms to learn from data.
For example, an AI system that is designed to recognize faces might be trained on a dataset of millions of images of different people. The AI system would learn to identify patterns in the images that are associated with different facial features.
Once the AI system is trained, it can be used to recognize faces in new images that it has never seen before.
What’s The Difference Between AI and Generative AI?
Another buzz word that you’ve probably heard is ‘Generative AI’. Let’s define normal AI and how it compares with generative AI.
Discriminative AI (Normal AI)
It’s primarily used for classification tasks. The AI learns the boundaries between classes in a dataset. Great for image classification, text classification and object detection.
It’s designed to generate new data samples that resemble those it learned from. It sees patterns in data. It’s great for generating (amongst other things) images (including some of those ‘great’ deepfake images we’ve seen).
How Is AI Used In The Real World?
Here are just two quick examples:
Medical diagnosis: AI systems are being used to help doctors diagnose diseases more accurately and efficiently. For example, an AI system might be used to analyze medical images, such as X-rays and MRI scans, to identify abnormalities. AI systems can also be used to analyze patient data, such as medical history and symptoms, to identify patterns that are associated with different diseases.
Why is this good?
This is great because it can analyse images or test results more intently than a human, and can potentially compare imagery from millions of scans in just a few seconds.
Why is this bad?
Maybe it can falsely diagnose problems, or, it can suggest that nothing is wrong, when in fact, something is.
Facial Recognition From CCTV cameras:
An AI system can ‘sit’ and watch hundreds or even thousands of cameras, far more easily than a human. It can examine, in intricate detail, the facial and other features of each person it sees and flag people of interest to operators.
Why is this good?
Do you want to find a criminal?
Or a missing person?
It will definitely help in both of these situations. And allow operators to react to potential matches that the AI has found.
Why is this bad?
There is always the question of mis-identification. What if the AI matches you as a criminal, and 10 minutes later 25 police officers tackle you to the ground? It’s an extreme example but it’s a possibility.
Ultimately it’s why, with any application of AI, checks and balances are needed. And don’t get me wrong, these are DEFINITELY being implemented by most ethical users of AI.
Will It Affect Me?
The short answer to this is yes!
The use of artificial intelligence in just about *everything* is on the rise, and will probably continue to accelerate over the next few years.
Why Should I Care?
They say knowledge is power. So knowing even a little bit, based on this article, will help you understand what’s happening now and in the near future.
Many people leap to conclusions (or have already leapt to them) and state that AI is bad, and will kill us all.
Frankly, that’s not likely. We’re doing a good enough job of that ourselves!
Will It Lead To The End Of The World?
Sky Net from the Terminator films is not a reality – it’s a film. Not real. Realistic, yes. Possible, well, yes. Likely, hmm no. At least not in my opinion.
Still, many people are calling for restrictions on the use of AI. I would suggest a more measured (less extreme) approach than outright restrictions. We need to implement checks and balances.
Remember that AI is just a ‘simple’ tool. If you ask any of the online AI tools to generate text for you, or an image for you, the MORE explanation and detail you give it, the better. Just like with a human!
If you start off with a human and say:
- Write me a 1000 word article on how inflation affects bank interest rates
You will get an article, that the human has to research, after a period of time. The human might be busy, and might not be familiar with the topic, so it be longer than you would like.
If you start off the same way with AI, you’ll get the same or similar output, only much much quicker. You can then (with either the human or the AI) further clarify your requirements and close out some of the assumptions that might not be correct.
For example, with the idea of the article on interest rates. Who is the audience? The average home owner needs a very different article to an economics student. So, tell your human writer who your audience is, and likewise tell your AI writer.
All will be good.
Continue refining what you want, and your audience until ultimately, you get the article you want / need.
If anything, in my opinion, you have to do this ‘crafting’ much more with an AI writer, because they have ZERO context. A human on the other hand, knows who they are, they know the company or reason behind the article (a bit) and will likely make some ‘correct’ assumptions in terms of the audience, depending on their experience with your writing requests. The difference with AI is primarily speed.
And now the real question:
Did I use an AI writer to create this article?
That would be telling wouldn’t it?