AI or artificial intelligence is a field of computer science that’s been relevant ever since the first computer was created back in the 1930s. Over the years, we have seen countless AI applications in both the social and technological aspects of our lives, but there is a still a significant part of this rapidly growing field that is unknown to most people.
We will go over 7 things you didn’t know about artificial intelligence that could be affecting your life right now.
The turing test and its significance
Do you ever wonder why you have to figure out all the CAPTCHAs to identify yourself? Well, back in 1950, Sir Alan Turing devised a test to determine if the user taking the test is either a computer or a human. This simple test, while flawed in design, has led us to devise a relatively straightforward mechanism to counter various bots running on scripts that use AI principles for the benefit of the person behind the scripts.
So, while a minute of solving CAPTCHAs might feel annoying, it’s actually helping the site verify your humanity.
Artificial neural networks are the future
At its core, artificial intelligence aims to replicate human behavior and exceed it, but to get there, we need to first replicate the human brain. Neural networks push the usage even further by allowing us to use the principles governing the human brain and apply those in our daily lives.
Artificial neural networks are a massive set of connections, where the network working on the principles of artificial intelligence decides which connection it has to create, move to, or connect based on its given parameters. These networks can help us in developing market infrastructures, strengthening medical research, and designing automated vehicles.
AIs are beating us at our own games
Modern AIs have been beating us at our own games for quite some time now, from solving a Rubik’s cube in only 0.38 seconds to beating the world champion of the strategy game Go. Elon Musk’s OpenAI has managed to beat some of the top DOTA 2 players in the world, a game known for its deep complexity and high-level skill ceiling.
It’s only a matter of time when AIs analyze us enough to beat us at everything that requires intuition and deep thinking. There have been numerous accounts of AIs managing to beat chess champions and grandmasters as well.
AIs are restoring vintage and damaged photos
NVIDIA has developed an AI that uses a process called “image inpainting” to successfully restore damaged pictures. These images could have full holes in them, they might be ripped from a side or are generally missing some pixels. The AI, which has been trained and fed thousands of images, will analyze the given photo and automatically add pixels to the destroyed area.
Apart from adding pixels, there are hundreds of free-to-use AI applications online that can colorize vintage photos. Through deep learning, color pattern recognition, and being fed large amounts of visual data, these AIs can colorize your great grandparents’ photos in a matter of seconds.
AIs are helping us fight cancer
The contribution of computers in the medical field is vast and continues to grow on a daily basis. The fight against cancer has been a bloody one, but with the constant technological advancements, we are close to understanding and ultimately eradicating its influence through computers.
The AIs developed by a collaboration between the University of Surrey and the University of California in San Francisco can detect symptoms of cancer in its early stages.
These AIs have been fed with thousands of accounts of people affected by this deadly disease and are able to predict which patients are most likely to develop cancer cells. This allows doctors to get a head start on their treatment based on their patients’ results.
AIs are creating art
While computers aren’t capable of original thought, they sure come close to it. Depicting AIs in science fiction as fully self-aware entities is common in mainstream media.
AIs have proven to create remarkable pieces of art, music, and literature. A team involving researchers from Rutgers University in New Jersey and Facebook’s AI lab in California has managed to create a modified version of the generative adversarial network that is a form of an artificial neural network. It constantly cross-examines various inputs to create something unique. Around 81,500 paintings were fed to this extremely powerful AI to create art pieces that are indistinguishable from the work of top artists.
Royalty-free music generation sites are already on the rise, as AIs create melodies and full musical pieces for content creators to use in their videos, without any cost.
We can predict earthquake
While the general interpretation of AIs is that soon robots will take our jobs or take over the world, AIs are more helpful and can prevent damages caused by natural disasters.
The National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering under National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) have been able to create a machine learning-based AI, that can predict the magnitude of upcoming quakes in a total of 3 seconds.
This is made possible by feeding it data of many accounts of previous occurrences and through the detection of P-waves (high-speed waves). So essentially, AIs are actually saving lives, rather than the assumption that they will be taking them in the future.
It can be argued that in the near future, everything around us will be automated and our reliance on AIs will increase tenfold. While it may sound troubling to some, the benefits, implementations, and usability will always triumph over any missteps.
There are still countless applications of AI that we haven’t discussed here, that you probably use without even knowing that a computer is making decisions for you. From social media to finance, AIs are the future of the world and the tech industry.