How Intelligent is Artificial Intelligence?

By Avi Ben Ezra Saturday, August 15, 2020

“Can machines think?”

Alan Turing, the world-renowned mathematician, asked this question a decade after encrypting the Enigma code and saving many lives. Indeed, Artificial intelligence (AI) can learn human actions and replace mundane tasks to eliminate human error.

Additionally, AI can easily adapt to new waves of information, both manually and automatically. Hollywood movies depict AI as human-like robots taking over the world, and while that makes for high ratings, the current evolution of AI isn’t that scary or quite that smart.

Common Uses for AI

Whether for email, social media, or driving directions, AI is involved in your everyday life. While it might sound intimidating, it’s more common than you think:

Healthcare

AI applications can be used for personalized medicine, x-rays, and clinical diagnosis. It can also suggest treatments to patients.

Retail

AI helps thousands of online and in-store shoppers find the perfect item. For added convenience, the software manages to give personalized recommendations on items previously searched for online.

Education

Long gone are the boring parent-teacher meetings happening at eight in the evening when everyone wants just to go home. Now, those meetings can happen at the convenience of your own house.

AI is used in the education department more so than ever. Schedule a meeting using software like Doodle or Acuity Scheduling. Both parents and teachers can meet at a convenient time in their own home.

Email

Google uses AI to filter the email landing in your inbox by sorting it in different categories — Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Spam.

The program helps to organize your emails so you can find your important emails quicker. Another great feature are the “smart replies.” Smart replies offer a way to respond to emails with simple phrases like “thanks” or “I can’t make it” smart replies are tailored to each email.

Pinterest

The LENS tool used on the Pinterest app can identify certain objects in images. Users can now take a picture of a certain item or piece of furniture via the LENS tool. The AI software will then do an online search of where you can purchase or find a similar item.

In some cases, you’re even able to find the seller of the item so you can purchase the product.

Google Predictive Searches

Type something into the search box of your Google home screen, and you will immediately find recommendations for you to choose from.

Predictive searches work on previous searches done on the Google search engine. This is done by collecting data such as location, age, and gender. The AI software uses previously collected data to predict what you're typing or searching for.

Music Recommendations

Music websites use AI to track what you’re listening to. Using that data, they will offer suggestions on other songs you might like.

The music app, Spotify, uses software that reads and tracks the listener's most frequented genres and most listened songs. This enables Spotify to create personalized playlists and new music recommendations each week.

Mobile Map Apps

Direction-apps like Waze sometimes help you find the quicker route by calculating traffic and construction. That’s AI at work.

Ridesharing

Uber, the world-famous ride-sharing app, uses AI to determine how long it will be to get from your location to the destination.

Uber also uses AI to set prices based on what they think you might be willing to pay.

Commercial Airline Flights

Have you ever wondered how the pilot manages to fly your entire destination without taking a break? Well, you’ll be surprised how little flying the pilot does.

A 2015 survey, according to Medium.com, airline Boeing 777 pilots reported spending only seven minutes manually flying the airplane during a typical flight, the rest being done by AI.

When AI Goes Wrong

There’s, unfortunately, a dangerous side to AI. According to an article published in the Future of Life Institute, most researchers agree that AI will never exhibit human emotions like love, anger, or hate. Instead, when considering how AI can become dangerous, experts think two scenarios are likely:

AI Designed to Be Malicious

The autonomous weapons make use of AI in and various other systems that are designed and programmed to harm individuals in the active line of duty. The AI is programmed to do something beneficial, but it develops a destructive method for achieving its goal.

AI Designed to Be Beneficial, but Still Causing Devastation

Where humans fail to program AI following their needs and goals, the AI will take over to some extent. Artificial software has become integrated into our society, in many ways to assist and relieve our overwhelmed systems.

In modern society, it’s easy to see how AI has quickly adapted to complete tasks and actions where humans can’t. In doing so, AI is transforming the world, making it possible for humans to realize where their errors and own intelligence are lacking.

About the Author


Avi Ben Ezra

Avi Ben Ezra is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Cofounder of SnatchBot and SnatchApp (Snatch Group Limited). He leads the Group’s long-term technology vision and is responsible for running all facets of the tech business which includes being the architect of the platforms and UI interfaces.

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