Updated: Feb 26, 2019
Author: Siggy Kahama
“Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we'll augment our intelligence.” —Ginni Rometty
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic in society for decades. With the rise of portable and efficient forms of AI like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, the world has become dependent on the smarts of technology. However, it wasn’t always this way. A few decades ago, the definition and appearance of AI were disparate to what we know as AI today. Artificial Intelligence is the concept and development of technology and digital systems able to execute jobs that normally require a human.
The dawn of the age of artificial intelligence was an introduction to another phase of the industrial revolution. It all started in World War II before the term Artificial Intelligence was coined. Through the Bombe machine, computer scientist and mathematician Alan Turing decoded the “Enigma” code, created by German forces to send protected messages. After this, In 1955, computer scientist John McCarthy thought of the term Artificial Intelligence. However, despite the tremendous efforts of multiple artificial intelligence scientists and researchers throughout the 1970s to the late 1980s, AI failed to be implemented in a lot of machines.
Artificial Intelligence made its comeback in the 1990s, mainly through computers and gaming systems. Countries like Japan and the United States began to demonstrate curiosity and interest in machine learning and its societal implications. Applications like chess on early generation MacBooks and PCs were seen as revolutionary. In 1997, a computer named Deep Blue beat a world chess champion for the first time.
In the early 2000s, artificial intelligence proceeded to move from a fantasy that was only portrayed in science fiction movies like Star Wars and Star Trek into completely operational and functional systems. In 2012, Media Arts and Sciences professor, Cynthia Breazeal, founded Jibo, Inc., a company focused on the intersection between technology and emotional interaction. The company is most known for its own social robot, Jibo.
Ever since then, AI has taken over how society interacts not only with technology but with daily routines and human interactions too. With the recent rise of conversational AI, anyone can simply call on a device’s name and ask it to purchase, remind, teach and entertain them. Major companies such as Google now use AI to create opportunities for students who have limited access to educational resources and aid people of all ages in monitoring their health. AI is also being used in psychological research to improve cognitive analysis and assist individuals with psychological abnormalities.
By the end of this decade, the world will move into the second phase of Artificial Intelligence called Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), whereby the technology used can think and solve problems at the same level as a human adult. The rise of smart and emotional technology frightens most people.
However, research has shown that this will majorly improve society, through the improvement of both the global economy and research in natural sciences and technology. Technology is advancing, and society and research are keeping up.