Artificial Intelligence

There are so many different technologies that have come to the forefront in the past few years. Whether it is new advances in medicine, advanced weaponry being used by militaries around the world, or incredible innovations being made in the entertainment industry, it seems as if there are news stories about amazing new technologies popping up everyday. One technology that has received a substantial amount of news coverage in the past few years, though has been around for decades, is artificial technology. Various forms of artificial technology have been around for decades; however, there have been many new innovations in the past few years that have caused many people in the scientific community to be very excited. This paper will focus on artificial intelligence’s role in the world today, having a focus on the representation of artificial intelligence in popular culture, and what new innovations in artificial intelligence mean for the future.

Artificial intelligence is defined as “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.” Now when people see this definition, and think about the term “artificial intelligence” in general, they tend to think of very advanced forms of this type of technology. These people hear the words “artificial intelligence,” and immediately think of humanoid robots or super-computers that can solve complex equations in less than a second. While these are perfectly valid examples of artificial intelligence, and will be discussed later, they have only been developed within the past few years and have little value in the everyday life of most people. There are far many more examples of artificial intelligence that people seem to forget about and actually have a practical use in everyday life. Many things that you use in your everyday life are forms of artificial intelligence without you even realizing it. For example, anytime you use a calculator to solve a math equation, you are using a form of artificial intelligence. It is considered artificial intelligence because it solves equations by simply inputting data, something that would normally require human intelligence to accomplish.

A second example of artificial intelligence that one uses in everyday life is a smartphone. It seems that wherever one goes, he/she sees someone using a smartphone. Now, it is more surprising when someone doesn’t have a smartphone than when someone does have one, something that was reversed only five years ago. Although a smartphone in itself is a form of artificial intelligence, its various apps, or applications, are forms of artificial intelligence themselves. Various diet apps can keep track of calories and determine a daily food plan. Cameras can take photographs and automatically post them to various social media sites such as Twitter or Instagram. Workout apps can automatically keep track of the amount of weights lifted in various exercises and even suggest alternative exercises based on one’s type of workout. Smartphones will even be able to track emotions and daily activities in the near future. In a report by the MIT Technology Review, researchers at Microsoft Research Asia have developed a software that mimics brain functions called “deep learning” (Metz, 2015). This software will be able to recognize facial expressions to decipher one’s emotions and even, through an accelerometer placed on one’s wrist, determine if someone is performing such activities as eating a bowl of soup or brushing teeth. These forms of artificial intelligence in the product of a smartphone are incredibly exciting as we move forward; however, the most popular and thought of artificial intelligence when it comes to smartphones has to be Siri. Siri, or Cortana in Androids, is a form of artificial intelligence that can answer almost any question asked to it. It does this by sorting through answers on the Internet or providing answers by searching the vast memory available to smartphones. Although this type of technology seems ordinary today, five years ago this type of technology was absolutely revolutionary. Being able to ask a machine a specific, personal question and receive a specific answer in return was something only seen in movies; however, now it is a reality.

I have always been interested in the idea of artificial intelligence, and what it could mean for us now and in the future. One medium in which artificial intelligence has been very prevalent, and a medium that I have enjoyed immensely throughout my life, is movies. I have always had a fondness for movies, especially sci-fi/action ones. One thing many of my favorite movies, including Star Wars, Terminator, and Avengers, all have in common is they heavily feature artificial intelligence. In Star Wars, the audience is introduced to C-3PO, a humanoid robot that assists the rebels.  The cyborgs in Terminator are sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor and her son.  Avengers has Iron Man’s artificial intelligence, named Jarvis, assist him with tech development, and the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron will see the team square off against a form of artificial intelligence in the maniacal robot Ultron, who is attempting to eliminate the human race.  What has always intrigued me about these movies is that humans either have to rely upon something that is clearly not human, as such is the case with Star Wars, or destroy a technology that man originally made to help the human race.

In my own life, I have experienced and used a multitude of examples of artificial intelligence. One of the first experiences I can vividly remember of using a form of artificial intelligence is when my parents bought their first GPS. A GPS, or global positioning system, is a form of artificial intelligence that can accurately determine the location of a person and calculate the most efficient route to the destination that person is trying to reach. It is considered artificial intelligence because, basically, it is a computer system or series of systems that does a task (give directions) that would normally require human intelligence to do. I remember being in awe of how the GPS knew where we were, not understanding the concept of satellite tracking. I was in further awe of how the GPS could search for a multitude of different businesses and places, including restaurants and gas stations. Nowadays, it is fascinating the level at which people depend on a GPS for navigation. Whether it is on their phone or a traditional setup, most people would be unable to navigate a few miles from their homes. Many people do not even know how to read a map anymore. A second form of artificial intelligence that I have a lot of experience with is video games. Video games are an example of artificial intelligence when instead of playing against another human opponent, one plays against the A.I., or commonly referred to as the “computer” by gamers. When playing against the “computer”, it makes decisions in the game that a human opponent would normally make; additionally, one can set the A.I.’s difficulty to easy, medium, or hard, depending on how difficult of an opponent one is willing to face.

There have been many positive outcomes that have come from the use of artificial intelligence in our world today. One field in which innovations in artificial intelligence have significantly helped those in the field is the field of medicine. For example, there are now devices that can be implanted into a person’s body that release the correct daily amount of medicine that person needs. Additionally, there are machines, such as life support machines, that are able to keep a person alive and keep track of vitals such as heartbeat and brain function. A second field in which innovations in artificial intelligence have been made is transportation. For example, pilots can now turn on the auto-pilot feature of an aircraft that will fly the plane by itself. This significantly reduces the stress pilots face. A third field in which innovations in artificial intelligence have been made is the military field. For example, there are now drone technologies that can locate potential terrorists and predict where they will be and the potential threat they can be. Not even ten years ago, this type of technology was only seen in science fiction.

Artificial intelligence is one of the primary scientific issues that has received many ethical and cautionary questions in the past few years. There are still a large portion of people who fear what artificial intelligence may do in the future.  In regards to AI in industry, these people fear that this technology will “eventually…think faster than us and…get rid of the slow humans to run companies more efficiently” (Holley, 2015). An example of this already being done has to do with the various automobile factories around the country, and even the world. Many automobile plant workers have been laid off because companies are deciding to use robots to build the vehicles instead. They are doing this because it costs less money and is more efficient. Famous scientists/technologists such as Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and recently Steve Wozniak have all expressed their concerns with the emerging dependence on artificial intelligence. Extremists among this group fear these devices of artificial intelligence, in time, will become so powerful that they can be used by those in power to cause harm to others. In Langdon Winner’s article “Do Artifacts Have Politics?”, he states that a form of technology can be democratic or totalitarian. It simply depends on those who use the technology, and the same can be said for those who use new innovations in artificial intelligence.

In conclusion, artificial intelligence, in short, is a technology that uses a computer system to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence to do. Although there are forms of artificial intelligence that are very advanced, there are also examples of artificial intelligence, such as calculators, that although are simple, yet very useful in the lives of everyday people. Artificial intelligence has been portrayed in various movies over the years, both in a positive and negative light. Although there have been many positive outcomes from the development of various forms of artificial intelligence, including innovations in transportation and medicine, there are still many people who are cautious of continuing to developer newer and newer forms of artificial intelligence. The verdict is still out whether or not these new innovations will end up harming or helping the human race.

Works Cited

Holley, Peter. “Apple Co-founder on Artificial Intelligence: ‘The Future Is Scary and Very Bad for People’.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015.

Metz, Rachel. “Deep Learning Squeezed Onto a Phone.” MIT Technology Review. MIT Technology Review, 9 Feb. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015.

Winner, Langdon. The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology. Chicago: U of Chicago, 1986. Print.

Observation Essay on Artificial Intelligence

Many academic papers ask you to really think critically on a topic.  They require that you think hard on the topic, and do some type of critical analysis that helps you formulate your thesis.  The topic of this particular assignment for my blog post said to “write without any judgment”; keeping that in mind while I write this, I will attempt to take an unbiased view of the world around me as I reflect on artificial intelligence’s impact and role in it.

One way I think artificial intelligence has impacted society and the world is by causing people to depend on it so much.  Almost everyone, including myself, depends on some form of artificial intelligence or another that they are unable to live without it.  For example, I know that almost all of my friends cannot live without their phones.  They are always on them, whether they are checking different social media apps or texting other people.  Additionally, whenever I am walking around campus, I rarely see someone not using a some type of function on their smart phone, whether they are texting, listening to music, making a phone call, or doing any number of other actions.  I have only recently become significantly attached to my phone because I have not even had a smart phone for a year yet.  Although I have only recently become dependent on this form of artificial intelligence, I have become dependent on many other forms of artificial intelligence, which others have become dependent on as well.  One example is a GPS, which everyone nowadays seems to be using.  Almost everyone uses some form of GPS because we don’t attempt to learn directions anywhere nor look at a map.  I would be surprised if most people even know how to read a map anymore.  Another example of artificial intelligence people have become dependent upon is the calculator.  Most people cannot even do simple arithmetic in their heads or work it out on paper anymore.  They have to put simple multiplication problems into a calculator, and allow the calculator to solve it.

Now, what does this all mean?  How does it affect society as a whole on a mental and social level?  Well, through my observations, I believe that people have become increasingly lazy.  Whether it is looking up directions or exercising their mind, people have become too lazy to do the most menial of tasks.  We have even invented forms of artificial intelligence like devices that vacuum your house or mow your lawn by themselves.  We are even too lazy to do chores!  What does this mean for us going forward?  I believe that as we move forward, we will become too lazy to even move.  I know, this probably sounds a little extreme.  But the amount of physical activity we do today, even compared to that of 15 to 20 years ago, is staggeringly lower.  We are heading down a very slippery slope, one that we need to correct before we do too much damage to ourselves.

Comments on Artificial Intelligence Posts: An Archive from Konno8

There are many great and interesting points brought up about Artificial Intelligence within these blogs. Many of these points speak on the effects that some Artificial Intelligence may bring in the future. These possible effects can be both good and bad. I’m going to analyze a few of these points and share some of my thoughts on the topic.

“You may not realize it, but artificial intelligence is everywhere.” This is a great point and one in which I completely agree with. At a basic level, Artificial Intelligence is technology created by humans, that has human like qualities. For example, things like being able to make decisions or recognizing speech may be considered Artificial Intelligence. Many technologies in the modern age have these qualities.

The idea of Artificial Intelligence in movies is another interesting topic. I think it’s important here to realize that most of this stuff is highly fictional and will not likely exist in the near future. At the same time, however, it’s exciting to think about AI in the present and the possibilities we have for AI in the future. I’d also like to comment on the possibilities of AI for good vs. bad, or the fears that it brings upon people. The good plays in where AI is able to do things for humans, often times much faster and more efficiently. This can be seen in financial technology, often making decisions for humans and taking some of the work out of their hands. AI also allows us to learn new things, and provides us with endless hours of enjoyment. This is seen through AI in video games. A new movie came out called Chappie, which involves a future where crime is controlled by a set of mechanized police. When one of them is stolen and given new programming, however, it allows him to be able to actually feel emotion and think for himself. I think this is one of the biggest worries that humans may have about robots and Artificial Intelligence in general. It’s crazy to watch movies like this and imagine that technology could go so far as to be able to have real emotions. At the same time, if technology we create can think for itself, what control do we have at that point? Also, what would stop them from doing things for themselves or even taking over the world? These ideas are interesting to explore, and this is really where the idea of fear plays in with Artificial Intelligence. For me, this doesn’t seem like it would ever be possible, but obviously I can’t predict the future.

So again, the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence in the future seem to be endless. We have no idea about the exact future of this technology. However, we can fantasize about some of these possibilities, and it often seems like AI could make the world much more productive and in many ways easier. At the same time though, people like to think about the bad side of AI, and many of the fears that come from these possibilities. Artificial Intelligence is exciting, and I can’t wait to see some of the changes that will come in the future.

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Personal Research Reflection of Artificial Intelligence

As humans, we are influenced by a great multitude of things that can vary differently.  They can be abstract, such as dreams or ideas.  They can also be concrete, such as a beautiful landscape or a bustling city.  We are also influenced in many different ways.  We can be influenced both positively and negatively.  We can be influenced both consciously and subconsciously.  Many different influences have led me to write a research paper about artificial intelligence, and this blog post will describe these many influences.

Ever since I can remember, I have always had a fondness for movies.  I love how a director is able to capture a whole storyline in only a couple of hours.  Many of the movies I especially cherish are sci-fi action movies, such as Star WarsTerminator, and recently the new Avengers movies.  While these are only a few examples of such movies, they all serve a point for this post—they all include some form of artificial intelligence.  In Star Wars, the audience is introduced to C-3PO, a humanoid robot that assists the rebels.  The cyborgs in Terminator are sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor and her son.  Avengers has Iron Man’s artificial intelligence, named Jarvis, assist him with tech development, and the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron will see the team square off against a form of artificial intelligence in Ultron, who is attempting to eliminate the human race.  What has always intrigued me about these movies is that humans either have to rely upon something that is clearly not human, as such is the case with Star Wars, or destroy a technology that man originally made to help the human race.

In the Midwest of the United States, I have lived a pretty privileged life compared to others around the globe.  I have almost everything I want, especially when it comes to technology.  The artificial intelligence I use everyday, including my iPhone, laptop, and even my calculator would be seen as prized possessions, even rarities, in other parts of the world.  This is perhaps why I take a very conservative approach when it comes to artificial intelligence.  While others may view it as something that is spiraling out of control, perhaps one day leading to our extinction, I am unable to see it in this light.  My artificial intelligence helps me in so many ways everyday that I cannot imagine what it would be like to be without it.

One of the first real experiences I can remember with artificial intelligence was the first GPS my parents bought.  I remember being fascinated by how the device knew where our car was at all times.  I tried to think of how this was even remotely possible, not yet understanding the power satellites have in our world.  I remember asking it for close restaurants, and being astounded when a list of over twenty restaurants popped up on the screen.  I thought that it was the coolest invention ever.  Now that we live in an age where there seems to be nothing our smartphones can’t do, I don’t get that same feeling of wonderment I used to.  Though I do believe all of the great technological innovations engineers are making with artificial intelligence are great, they do not give me the same sense of wonderment as the GPS did because I have come to expect these innovations.

In conclusion, I first became interested in artificial intelligence through the many movies I watched growing up.  My first real memory of fascination with a physical source of artificial intelligence was my parents’ GPS.   Finally, because of my upbringing, I perhaps do not have some of the same reservations about the future of artificial intelligence that people from other parts of the country, even the world, do.

Artificial Intelligence in Movies

There are a few motifs that have been prevalent in science fiction/action movies in the past couple decades.  These topics include post-apocalypse, such as nuclear warfare or zombies, superheroes, and artificial intelligence.  Artificial intelligence is defined as “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages” (1).  In this post I will describe three different examples of artificial intelligence in movies—TerminatorAvengers: Age of Ultron, and Wall-E.  I chose these three movies because while most movies tend to focus on the fears associated with artificial intelligence, like those fears that come to life in Terminator and Avengers: Age of Ultron, the movie Wall-E shows the good that artificial intelligence can do for the human race and the Earth in general.

Two movies that portray the very negative direction that artificial intelligence has the possibility of heading in a semi-realistic setting are Avengers: Age of Ultron and Terminator.  Avengers: Age of Ultron sees the Avengers team of superheroes face off against the robot Ultron.  Ultron is a robotic technology developed to help the human race; however, Ultron begins to think that the best way to help the human race is to destroy it.  Terminator sees a cyborg sent from the future that tries to kill a mother and her young child.  This cyborg, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger,  is sent back by a robotic race that has taken over Earth. The computer program that developed into the robotic race was originally designed to help the human race by being an overarching program that controls all of the world’s technology and weapons.  While both of these movies are slightly fantastical, they both are clear representations of people’s fears towards artificial intelligence and technology in general.

One movie that goes against the mold and portrays artificial intelligence in a positive light is Wall-E.  In this movie, the robot Wall-E is tasked with cleaning the Earth after the human race has destroyed it due to littering and not respecting the Earth in general.  Wall-E has a deep fascination with human culture, and tries to do whatever he can to become slightly more human.  He continues to clean the Earth, even though humans have not inhabited the planet for hundreds of years.  Instead of a form of artificial intelligence that actively tries to harm humans, Wall-E tries to save them.

In conclusion, the movies Terminator and Avengers: Age of Ultron both demonstrate the fears associated with artificial intelligence.  Many people fear that A.I. can become too smart for its own good, and start to eliminate human beings so that the Earth can be safe.  However, the movie Wall-E shows the good artificial intelligence has the chance to do, though it is in a fictional world.  The main thing the disparity in these movies show is the direction that artificial intelligence has the possibility of heading.  It can either help the human race or destroy it.  Only time will tell which direction this exciting technology will head.

Works Cited

(1) http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/artificial%20intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

I have always been intrigued by the concept of artificial intelligence.  I think it is simply fascinating that humans are able to create a technology that can actually learn by itself and be smarter than the humans that created it.  There are numerous positive outcomes from artificial intelligence, and many more that will continue to be invented.  These effects can be seen in medicine, education. and daily life.  However, there is the constant fear that this artificial intelligence will become too powerful and intelligent.  If this happens, many fear that this artificial intelligence will become self-aware and believe the human race to be a problem it needs to eliminate.  I will further explore these two views.

You may not realize it, but artificial intelligence is everywhere in the world around us.  It has been incredibly helpful in the field of medicine by helping doctors diagnose diseases.  It can be seen in video games when you play the “computer”, as this opponent can make decisions similar in a game that actual gamers would make.  You can even set the AI to be easy, medium, or hard.  Artificial intelligence is used in airplanes as a way to guide planes safely.  Artificial intelligence is even present in your cell phone in multiple forms.  Siri is able to respond to your requests and questions by providing answers through her memory or by looking them up through the Internet.  A type of technology like this that can respond to almost anything asked to it was revolutionary when developed.  Even something as simple a calculator can be seen as artificial intelligence because it can provide answers to all different sorts of problems entered in it.

Even though there have been all of these positive effects and inventions that have come from artificial intelligence, there are still a large portion of people who fear what artificial intelligence may do in the future.  In regards to AI in industry, these people fear that this technology will “eventually…think faster than us and…get rid of the slow humans to run companies more efficiently” (1).  Furthermore, people believe that these AI will become self-aware and begin to exterminate the human race because they believe it is what is best for the planet, and even humanity as a whole.  Many of these fears have stemmed from the many movies that have showcased this exact situation.  Movies like Terminator, a movie in which a cyborg from the future tries to hunt and kill a mother and child that will eventually take down the robots in the future, and the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron, where a self-aware robot tries to destroy all of humanity, are just two of many examples that of movies that have added to this hysteria.  Famous scientists/technologists such as Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and recently Steve Wozniak have all expressed their concerns with the emerging dependence on AI.  Only time will tell whether these fears will come true in the future.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that artificial intelligence has had many positive effects on society as a whole.  It remains to be seen whether this technology will continue to be helpful or will start to be harmful in the coming years.

Works Cited

(1) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2015/03/24/apple-co-founder-on-artificial-intelligence-the-future-is-scary-and-very-bad-for-people/