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AI & Robotics

Image – Raavimohantydelhi [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

By: Nichole Heydenburg, Apex Waves LLC

The term artificial intelligence has existed for decades, but is not universally defined and can represent a lot of different things. IT specialists understand the term artificial intelligence as an expert system for analyzing images or searching databases, while humanists and most of us think of a computer that has developed self-awareness. Some of the artificial intelligence and robotics experts say that we will produce soldiers in factories and wars will be led by large groups of drones. These claims are opposed by those who state that the artificial intelligence humans created will not exceed our knowledge.

The discussions continue with both sides having strong arguments. Sophia, the first robot citizen, received Audrey Hepburn’s appearance and citizenship of Saudi Arabia. She claimed to hate people and now she loves us. This detail indicates the difference between AI and robotics streams today.

‘Smart’ Sophia recognizes faces of people and their voices and gives interesting answers. However, Sophia’s parents, experts from Hanson Robotics from Hong Kong, set high goals for their child. They expect her to learn, improve her social skills, and to finally evolve to a stage when she can fully fit into our society.

Evolution of Artificial Intelligence

More than any other technology today, artificial intelligence could substantially transform our future.

  1. How is AI helpful for mankind?
  2. Will it make life easier or will the machines become smarter and replace people in the labor market?
  3. How will artificial intelligence influence wars?
  4. Can we improve systems with artificial intelligence in a safe way, without being hacked?

Robotics in Contemporary Wars

Experts warn that artificial intelligence resembles both water and fire. This means AI is good as long as it serves humans and dangerous if it gets out of control. This technology is currently being developed mostly for military use. It is clear the current mode of warfare is already worn out and that soldiers for future wars should be produced in factories. We witnessed a scenario at the end of 2015 in Syria. The Syriatel transmitter location proved the domination of robots over human soldiers. Seventy soldiers were killed at that location, while none of the robots were damaged. AI was present in traces to test the efficiency in practice. Far from the real battlefields, attacks of micro-drones are tested today.

Artificial intelligence has the biggest impact on the war industry, medicine, and traffic. Apart from traffic, energy, and water, other communications modes are vulnerable if robots could make important decisions. The main problem is that a completely mechanical, logical mind would be standing behind these crucial world-changing decisions. The best insight into such scenarios is similar to the AlphaGo program games. Most importantly, these moves were victorious.

What if we lose control over Artificial Intelligence?

We can only speculate about the possible consequences. The only thing we do know is that AI and robotics cannot be stopped because of industrial and military rivalry.

The goal of self-conscious, artificial intelligence could be knowledge, discovering, and living in the space. In the future, humans might end up as the less intelligent species. The only way we can protect ourselves now that this process has started is by constantly learning and developing ourselves. Continuing investment in research and learning does not only refer to scientists, engineers, and students, but also lawmakers, the governing structures of the state, parliamentarians, etc. It is clear that this will not be an easy task.

A large portion of our society is against all essential changes. These people seek safety and the continuity of our existing system. The second, much smaller part of our population, has never accepted this decline in interest of science and the growing pseudo-knowledge of all kinds. Sometime soon they will become the intellectual partners of artificial intelligence and robotics. They will accept direct connections to robots, machines, and will accept genetically modifying themselves and their children. They might become the so-called Homo superior type of people.

The world is about to become a much more interesting place in the next twenty to fifty years. Those who believe that they can be partners in the artificial intelligence industry must start learning now.

About the Author:

Nichole Heydenburg is a Content Writer for Apex Waves, an electronic test equipment company based in Cary, NC. Apex Waves specializes in selling discontinued and obsolete test equipment made by manufacturers such as National Instruments, Tektronix, and Agilent/Keysight.