A.I., or Artificial Intelligence, has been around since the late 80s. The first well-known A.I. machine was known as Deep Blue, a chess playing computer program that defeated Chess Grandmaster Gary Kasparov in 1997, developed around the same time Microsoft launched its first speech recognition software.
Lately A.I. has been garnering more attention. What is artificial intelligence and why do you need to know about it?
Let’s start with a simplified definition of Artificial Intelligence: “It is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs.”
From self-driving cars to surgical robots, the ways A.I. will be able to help us in the future is awe-inspiring. However, Artificial intelligence is already woven into our everyday lives, and has become more common than you may realize. Here are some everyday examples of A.I. working in our lives:
Alexa, Siri and Google “smart speaker” devices. These friendly devices listen to our questions and commands in order to complete tasks and produce answers. They operate almost as a staff member of the household, remembering grocery lists, setting timers, turning on and off lights, and more. What’s more, they are always learning from the feedback they get.
Chatbots. When you see a pop-up window on a website offering to chat with you, they are almost always A.I. chatbots. They are a convenient way for companies to help filter out spammers and provide people with useful information that saves time for humans to work on other tasks.
Robot Vacuums. Your Roomba is artificially intelligent. Did you know that? It operates by processing information from objects in your environment that it encounters. (Have you ever gotten a notification from your Roomba that it is stuck “on a cliff” when it approaches stairs? A.I. is always a work in progress!)
Art Generators. Recently, A.I. has been in the news because of art generators. You might have seen people on Facebook or other social media uploading fantastical pictures of themselves. These are all from A.I. assisted programs. Not all A.I. assisted programs are the same. If you decide you want to explore A.I. art, check to make sure that anything you create belongs to you and not to the makers of the app or the website. It’s an important privacy concern when it comes to things like facial recognition.
Like it or loathe it, it appears that A.I. will remain a fixture in the future of technology.