Artificial Intelligence or AI is that area of computer science that puts emphasis on the development and creation of intelligent machines that work and reacts just like human beings. Some of the jobs and activities that computers with artificial intelligence are designed to do are problem solving, planning, learning, perception, reasoning, knowledge, ability to move and manipulate objects and speech recognition. This branch of computer science deals with intelligent machines and has become a vital and essential part of the tech industry.
Knowledge engineering and machine learning are core parts of AI. Machines only have the capacity and ability to react and act as human beings do, provided they have the needed and required information and an abundance of it, relating to the world. Learning with no supervision requires the capability of identifying patterns inside streams of input data. But without access to objects and relations between them, properties and categories, artificial intelligence cannot operate. The function of machine perception is to deal with the ability of using sensory inputs for deduction of different aspects of the world. Computer vision, on the other hand, is the power of analyzing visual inputs with some sub-problems, such as gesture, object and facial recognition.
One of the major fields related to the field of artificial intelligence is robotics. The field requires intelligence for handling tasks and activities like navigation and object manipulation, in addition to sub-problems like mapping, motion planning and localization.
The Advent of AI and How It Has Changed the World
With the slow and gradual advent and growth of artificial intelligence, the world has become more and more dependent on it. The major goals of AI include artificial general intelligence, robotics, computer vision, natural language processing, machine learning, planning and knowledge reasoning. While the first is a long-term goal, the rest are traditional and conventional goals of AI research. For reaching the said aim, AI makes use of various processes and pertains to certain approaches, such as the use of evolutionary algorithms, Bayesian networks and deep and symbolic learning processes, cybernetics and brain simulation, logic and anti-logic or scruffy and finally an integration of all the approaches.
Artificial Intelligence as a separate and distinctive field was born back in 1956 in Dartmouth College, inside a workshop. Arthur Samuel (IBM), Marvin Minsky (MIT), John McCarthy (MIT), Herbert Simon (CMU) and Allen Newell (CMU) were the attendees then, who later came to be known as the founding father and lead researchers of AI. Following that period, AI became hugely popular and then experienced an ‘AI winter’, a time when its progress has slowed down significantly and no new productions were being made. After the ups and downs, came the late 1990s and the early years of the 21st century and with them came the time when AI started being utilized in extensive and widespread fields like medical diagnosis, data mining and logistics among other areas.
Various tools have been developed by AI for solving the seemingly-impossible computer science-related problems and issues. Some of those methods include search and optimization, logic, probabilistic methods for uncertain reasoning, classifiers and statistical learning methods, artificial neural networks and connectionism, evaluation of progress and others.
The birth of artificial intelligence has brought with it an immensely long list of advantages. It has several applications in numerous and varying fields like health care, the automotive industry, economics and finance, governmental processes, video games, in the field of military and defense forces, in auditing and advertising, and finally in the field of art as well.
But with such widespread interference by computers in every field, some doubts and questions seem obvious and relevant. For example, the philosophy and ethics of AI ask three primary questions- First, is it possible to achieve artificial general intelligence? Second, are intelligent machines dangerous, and if so, how much? And third, can a machine possess mental states, consciousness and a mind just like human beings do?
It is however important to observe and keep in mind that with such thorough and overbearing use of machines and artificial intelligence, there are certain threats and risks of potential harm that need to be kept in mind. The risks are somewhat unintended consequences that are highly undesirable and extremely dangerous. The risks not only include physical ones, but also emotional and psychological ones. The potential harmful effects of AI include existential risk, meaning extremely powerful (and hypothetical) AI would have the power to out-think all of humanity; devaluation of humanity, meaning no AI could genuinely replicate human emotions of empathy, love and compassion, ultimately devaluing human life and feelings; the risk of social justice not being served properly as AI is most likely to be biased against particular groups like minorities and women; a massive decrease in the demand for human labour, meaning further complications in the already-complex relation between employment and automation; and finally the risk of autonomous weapons ruling over all, meaning the fear that superintelligent AI could cause an excess of drones and artificial soldiers in battlefields.
AI in the Indian Context
Although India is not technically a hub for AI-centric developments and advancements, it has been trying to establish a future for itself keeping Artificial Intelligence and its importance in mind. A string of government, non-profit and private efforts are being put in to harness AI power and utilize it for solving societal problems in addition to focusing on areas like infrastructure, education, healthcare and agriculture. 62-year-old computer scientist P Anandan believes that India can lead the world into using AI for the good for the society, an aspect that no country is working on.
While AI is typically defined as a kind of esoteric high technology which could become too powerful for our own good, it is actually a suite of technologies such as pattern recognition, machine learning, neural networks, big data and self-improving algorithms, most of which have existed for a while now while constantly maturing. Relatively prosaic concerns in India’s socioeconomic sphere can be solved with the use of AI. Microsoft, for instance, is working with Andhra Pradesh government to determine rate of dropouts in government schools. International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics and Microsoft together have created a sowing app that makes use of AI technologies. Other areas that will soon receive AI interference are cancer screening and diagnosis, public space improvement, accident avoidance, crowd and traffic management, among others. Paul Triolo of the Eurasia Group stated that India has the ability to play a key role in important areas like AI ethics, bringing in traditions of diversity, sensitivity and democracy.
Advancing AI technology in India is also the External Affairs Ministry that recently held a meeting aimed at discussing ways to attract Indian diaspora. Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are among top Indian firms that are setting up AI laboratories. Joining the rush are startups like SatSure Ltd. Global corporations like Google, Microsoft and NVIDIA are also doing work in the field of AI. Bennett University is also emerging slowly as the foremost AI-focused University in India.
In our world, in our time, in this 21st century, Artificial Intelligence techniques have had experiences of resurgence after concurrent and tremendous advances made in the fields of computer power, huge stock of data and information and also theoretical understanding of the functionality of things in general. AI has made important and significant contributions to the fields of operations research, software engineering and computer science.