2017 can be considered a benchmark in the field of Artificial Intelligence, as it was applied in China for the very first time!
In May 2017, the International Go Summit took place in Wuzhen, with Ke Jie, a renowned Go World Champion competing against DeepMind’s AlphaGo. Three Matches were completed in May 23, 25, and 27. The result was 0-3, a decisive victory for AlphaGo! Clearly, AI has tremendously developed since Deep Blue defeated Chess Champion Kasparov in 1996. Human’s defeat at the hands of AlphaGo proved that AI has the potential to surpass human intelligence.
In recent years, the hardware advancement has made computers run even faster than before. Sophisticated programs like artificial intelligence are able to work more efficiently. A part from an evident improvement in the hardware sector, three key technologies have brought AI’s computing power to a much higher level, namely Big Data, Cloud Computing and Robotics.
Big Data empowered AI – Advanced Reality Check
What we call “data” is actually a description of part of the reality. Whether text, audio, or images (video), data can all be compressed into strings of 1s and 0s. Big Data processing is a computation process involving a huge amount of data, which is too large or too complicated for a normal data processing software.
By incorporating advanced data analysis tools, AI can reconstruct a better and clearer reality than humans could ever imagine. For example, with prediction algorithm, not only can AI predict the weather or a ballistic trajectory course, but also human behavior and emotions in a specific setting. AI simply understands this world in a more detailed and precise manner, whereas humans would have to undergo a special training and use sophisticated tools to obtain the same result.
AI with Cloud Computing – An Omnipresent Being
Cloud computing is an Internet based technology that enables AI to compute remotely without being restrained by the hardware location. How is that possible? A program needs CPUs and other hardware to process data and work. When a program is too big and complicated to run on a local device, it can be outsourced to other computers or servers via Internet.
Modern day computers are hardly reliable platforms for programs as complex as AI. Therefore, Cloud Computing is a perfect fit for it. In brief, the majority of computing is done by different servers or computers while at the same time the program maintains its connection with all the processing terminals, becoming omnipresent.
Advanced Robotics – Potential Terminator?
Mechanization and automation have characterized the entire human history and they are likely to continue to do so in the future. Machines and robots are getting increasingly complex and capable in the 21st century. At GMIC multiple tech companies exhibited their creations and some dancing robots were among them.
Some more advanced and sophisticated ones were developed by Boston Dynamics and MIT Biomimetic Labs, which respectively gave birth to Atlas, a humanoid robot, and the incredibly skillful Cheetah robots. These creations can make complex moves and maneuvers like walking in the wild, lifting boxes, or jumping over obstacles. They have the best balancing system in the world. During their testing phase, engineers tried to topple these robots, but they still managed to stand upright after only a few seconds of maneuvering.
Robotics provides a way for AI to directly interact with the tangible world. Perhaps in the future, physically capable robots will be designed to help with geological researches or emergency rescues. However, there’s still the possibility that catastrophic events might happen. Who doesn’t remember the Terminator movies, where the Military AI Skynet went rogue and started an all-out nuclear war…will that be the scary outcome of this ever-increasing technology development?
Some among the most brilliant minds have raised concerns over the potential risks coming from an indiscriminate development and application of AI. Professor Stephen Hawking from Cambridge University spoke openly against unrestricted research in AI at GMIC. He stated that several regulatory organizations for AI research have been established in Europe as well as in the US. We are treading on dangerous water, so caution will help human a lot in the long run.