AI is Only Going to Get Smarter
AI as Augmentative Intelligence utilizing machine learning, algorithms, and rich data to augment the capabilities of humans and businesses could be soon an illusion.
The accelerating rate of technological change makes it likely that people will have both the technological resources and scientific knowledge to create Artificial General Intelligence.
“Success in creating effective AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. Or the worst. We just don’t know. So, we cannot know if we will be infinitely helped by AI, or ignored by it and side-lined, or conceivably destroyed by it.” — according to Stephen Hawking in 2017.
Today, Artificial Intelligence can sort out massive amounts of data and find connections hidden to us. AI can break through the noise, through millions of messages a day. It is all wrapped around data and the ability to capture data about almost anything.
Most of that data is produced by people.
How often have you lived your life by recording it, digitizing it, and eventually sharing it?
When we experience something exciting, our first reaction is to take a picture or a video and share it on social media. It feels strange how memory-less we can become, through capturing moments of our day in videos, photos, or audios. Our thoughts are digitalized into words, emoticons, or drawings which we handle down to our apps, phones, wearable devices, cars, and computers.
“People are in effect already “cyborgs” because they have a tertiary “digital layer” thanks to phones, computers, and apps” — according to Elon Musk in 2021.
We trust digital storage with our memories, which we rarely access later on. I once asked my friends if they sometimes went back to watch those pictures and tried to revive the moments connected to them. We took a moment to think and recognized that we rarely browsed past photos.
There is no time to look at the past, we are often too busy with recording the present.
Today, with the help of Covid-19, the world becomes much more digital by data being transmitted through the fringes of the internet faster, also thanks to 5G, allowing speed up to 10 Gbps.
Smartphones and the sensors around us have got access to the internet highway. The actual last mile with a slow WiFi or cable connection is disappearing.
As we navigate our new normal amid Covid-19, social distance accelerates the digitization of our memories on a large scale. When this realm ends up and nobody currently knows when this happens, our public space is going to be much emptier than it once was.
However, as social beings, we need to connect to survive. We connect from home. Working from home has largely become a new modus operandi. Children are getting their school education online. Parents are having their lunch at home.
What we see are the massive changes on the internet. Content creation is skyrocketing. The interaction rate with content is also catapulting. People are dying to see new movies and play new games. The entertainment and gaming industries are pivoting.
Amateurs and pro gamers are uploading millions of videos they recorded when playing. Conference tools are spreading because they connect people remotely to work.
With the tourism industry being disrupted, virtual traveling emerges. People are designing virtual reality experiences with hologram transmission also for sports entertainment.
We witness a revolution in healthcare, with the inclusion of IoT devices to perform digital diagnostics remotely.
In these examples, a lot of data is being produced, feeding AI. The more we rely on Machine Intelligence, the more we look at it for guidance.
Once bitten, the apple becomes irresistible. As a result, we feed on AI more and it feeds on us.
Today, AI researchers are able to go as far as implementing Weak AI, which mimics human behavior, by learning from human data. These programs currently allow computers to understand human speech, recognize objects, describe photos and videos, recommend music, or conduct searches.
We don’t have yet the Strong AI algorithms and computational structures to understand the context and to bridge the gap between these different narrow domains. Strong AI would transform machine intelligence into a general-purpose intelligence. Because human-like intelligence is general, human-like AI is therefore often called Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).
Artificial General Intelligence would confer not-algorithmic abilities to machines, such as prudence and wisdom. Prudence is the ability to make the right decisions in concrete situations, and wisdom is the ability to see the whole.
I think that this decade will emerge into the AGI revolution because of three reasons:
- skyrocketing content creation and sharing. People are digitalizing most areas of their private life at an exponential rate by virtue of social distancing, faster internet connectivity with 5G, broadband satellite-based internet systems such as Starlink. Soon there will be a data-trace throughout childhood to old age for a very large amount of people spread across geographies and cultures. Big data is the lifeblood of AI.
- a critical mass of AI practitioners. People are researching and applying AI in a rapidly growing number. The number of journal publications and conference papers grew from 52,000 in 2000 to roughly 403,000 in 2019, representing an increase of global output in AI research by more than 600%.
- quantum supremacy achievement. Quantum computing will enable future computers to process incredible amounts of big data. Google claimed to prove quantum supremacy in 2019 and IonQ has a plan to commercialize quantum computing.
AI uses human reasoning as a model but the end goal is not replacing it. Such a faith sounds too optimistic for visionaries, whose long-term plan is to be able to achieve human and AI symbiosis. They believe this endeavor to be species-level important.