Artificial Intelligence The Beginning of the End..?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, artificial intelligence is:

"1. a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers"

"2. the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior."

John McCarty of Stanford University says that artificial intelligence is "the science and engineering of making machines and computer programs 'especially intelligent'."

What makes computer programs and machines 'especially intelligent?' you ask.

There is a test called the Turing Test, proposed by Alan Turing in 1950 that says, if a machine is able to fool people into thinking it is human then it is, in fact, intelligent.

bUT WHY DO WE WANT AND/OR NEED ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WHEN COGNITIVE science hasn't completely mapped out just exactly what humans are fully capable of?

Systems of artificial intelligence have been making positive impacts in business, professional and personal, for years, if not decades already:

People knowingly and unknowingly make use of AI on a daily basis. Social media platforms and the delivered content therein make use of algorithms to personalize your daily news feed(s.) Flying home for the holidays and have to use a credit card or other online monetary account? Artificial intelligence exists within the software that makes it possible for you to buy your airline ticket online and have it sent to your e-mail. Expert systems are also an application of AI, which have allowed experts in fields such as medicine and law, to take the knowledge of multiple specialists within those fields, and dump it all into one place. Expert systems are beneficial to us, the novice know-ers, so that we can gain information without having to physically seek an expert out about whatever you have questions about.

(That's not to see expert systems are fool-proof or altogether wise to use: self-diagnosing medical problems because you looked up your symptoms on WebMD might not be the best way to go.)

Now, I, myself don't spend a lot of time browsing webmd, looking at symptoms of illnesses, but I do spend a lot of time on social media and taking pictures.

Of the many platforms available, I find that I spend the most time on facebook; not necessarily posting but checking in with family and friends. It might seem weird that my number one reason for facebook is my family but with my closest relatives just under 400 miles away, and my farthest ones 3,000 miles away, it's just a platform that in a way, disregards time zones and that physical distance.

My brother uses FB mainly as a comedy side-show since he's in the Navy and can't post much about what he's doing. He's always able to find a meme or caption that fits his mood at that moment in time. It may not be a "deep" way to communicate, but we always know how he's doing, good or bad.
I'm pretty sure that each time his phone lit up with so-and-so Wenning calling, he wanted to trash his phone.
I'm not a huge fan of Fireball, even if it fits that collegiate drinking stereotype, but I haven't seen my brother in person in 4 years, so I'm looking forward to this Holiday Season.
My older brother is a long-haul truck driver, so we don't see or hear much from him, but he lets us know the woes of being a truck driver, being worried about other people driving around him.
And of course what is Facebook without it's algorithms that read your browsing cookies to tailor it's content specifically to you? This picture and the one above directly show how artificial intelligence is at work within machines, and its not something we necessarily think of. I go to WSU so that's somewhere in my profile, I bought my dad's gift from my mom (she's trying to be sneaky) from Amazon.

Instagram is the other social media platform I use the most, and while most of the pictures I post there also end up on facebook, the pictures themselves seem to attract a different group of friends.

Winter Has Come 2016, People Be Stealin' My Parking Spot, and WSU Football.
Be Prepared, Attack of the Onion, The Light

All of the above images Usually get "Likes" from the same core group of my friends and are pretty typical of what i post to instagram. not all the pictures have a huge social significance or deep meaning, but all demonstrate the ways that i, among thousands of other individuals, use artificial intelligence without thinking too much about it.

During this semester of school and mainly due to project assignments, i have seen a major uptick in my computer use; i have more actively thought about the programming/coding of computers and their software and programs because of some of the assignments i've turned in the last four months or so. for one of my dtc classes a group project was to build a website from scratch - it's design and layout, the contents from text to pictures right down to the color scheme.

This was our initial index page for a website we decided to do about being a pedestrian in a college town like pullman.
And this was our style sheet to achieve the look and content that we wanted. some of the coding went away as we put finishing touches on the site, but for the most part it stayed close to these codes.
This was our first "final" draft of the page, and was pretty close to the actual final website we turned in. There were four of us in the group and we were all pretty satisfied with our work since none of us had any prior coding knowledge whatsoever.

So why are these personal instances of how artificial intelligence is involved in my daily life, important?

everyone knows that as soon as you touch a keyboard, a tablet, or a phone we're being tracked. and i'm not talking about big brother. i'm talking about cookies and computers.

we may be a long time off from anything remotely close to realities resembling "the terminator" or "I, Robot" and the thought still may be more science fiction than not, but the truth is, technology and artificial intelligence are two growing fields that are picking up steam with more achievements occurring; where the fields are so intertwined that we don't have one without the other. talks about "the singularity" where humans finally build a machine that is capable of building a better version of both itself and other machines. when that happens, human involvement with technology becomes obsolete, some may say humans themselves may become obsolete because the robots are indistinguishable from humans.

I leave you with these questions: are humans slowly creating a means in which we ourselves become meaningless? and if that time comes will the machines which saw their beginning by human endeavor decide that only the machines can protect humanity from itself?

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.