What is Artificial Intelligence:
AI (artificial intelligence) is a research branch of computer science that deals with developing mechanisms and technological devices that can mimic human reasoning, i.e., the intelligence that is characteristic of human beings.
The central objective of research related to artificial intelligence is based on making computers able to "think" exactly like humans, creating, analyzing, reasoning, understanding, and obtaining answers for different situations.
Not only solving problems rationally, but the big "step" within the studies of artificial intelligence is the development of systems that can learn and develop themselves. It means creating new deductions from the junction of various fragmented information, just as it happens within the neurological system of human beings.
Going beyond the cognitive point of view, another great ambition of research involving artificial intelligence technologies is the possibility of making human creativity, emotions, and feelings able to be reproduced by machines.
The idea of artificial intelligence may seem like a sci-fi story plot. But thanks to advances in research in the area, significant results are beginning to appear and become part of people's daily lives.
How does artificial intelligence work?
The union of several technologies is necessary for the development of artificial intelligence, with emphasis on three essential factors:
- Machines with excellent processing power;
- Optimized data models (able to analyze and process information intelligently);
- A constant amount of information to feed the models.
There are also some laws that artificial intelligence software developers must follow to prevent technology from taking unexpected actions.
These parameters were created based on Robotics's Laws or "Laws of Asimov" (in honor of Isaac Asimov, one of the most essential science fiction writers in history). Among some of the principles:
- Knowledge restriction: imposes a limit on what artificial intelligence can learn and execute.
- Self-replication prohibited: prevents AI from reproducing, that is, from generating copies of its software independently.
- Prohibition of interaction: prevents artificial intelligence from contacting unauthorized people to communicate with them.
- Order: artificial intelligence must obey all laws that your programmer enters into the system, even if this includes the device's self-destruction.
These "barriers" are useful in limiting the area of operation and participation of artificial intelligence, preventing it from executing actions that have been learned, but that does not fit with its purpose.
Examples of artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is present in most people's daily lives, even if they don't realize it. Some basic examples are:
- Technologies that provide easy recognition in photographs that are available on major social networks, such as Facebook, for example. They consist of forms of artificial intelligence since the system can virtually recognize traits of the person's countenance and associate with that individual's profile.
- The ability of some software to "learn" the preferences of its users through the experiences obtained can also be considered a primary example of artificial intelligence.
- Devices that use voice processing to perform tasks, such as Siri on the iPhone, are another example of how AI is present in people's daily lives.
Advantages and disadvantages of artificial intelligence
With the use of artificial intelligence, machines can help human beings solve problems and boost research faster and with fewer errors.
AI can make everyday life more practical, since it would be programmed to interpret different situations and adapt responses or solutions according to each particular example.
Artificial intelligence devices would also be useful to replace human presence in hard-to-reach places, such as deep-sea or space exploration.
Even though machines are still a long way from reaching the closest possible concept of what human intelligence would be, scientists already consider the hypothesis that, in the distant future, artificial intelligence will be a threat to humanity.
According to researchers and renowned personalities within science, such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, the emergence of technology with the ability to act and "think" autonomously could mean overcoming and dominating people, putting at risk the existence of a civilization governed by human beings.
In addition to this fear, artificial intelligence may still have other disadvantages in the future, such as replacing professionals in some areas with machines.
Ethical issues can also be a problem if artificial intelligence technology becomes too similar to the mental process of human beings in the future.