Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is changing the way we work and live and we see a lot of examples of how AI is affecting the society and impacting our lifestyle. But what really is AI? Let us understand that first before we delve into how Machine Learning (ML) is used in AI.
You've probably seen news articles about how much value AI is creating. According to a study by McKinsey Global Institute, AI is estimated to create an additional 13 trillion US dollars of economic output annually by the year 2030, boosting global GDP by about 1.2 percent a year. Even though AI is already creating tremendous amounts of value into software industry, a lot of the value to be created in the future lies outside the software industry. In sectors such as retail, travel, transportation, automotive, materials, manufacturing and so on. I should have a hard time thinking of an industry that I don't think AI will have a huge impact on in the next several years.
As per Wikipedia, Artificial Intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and animals. A more vivid definition will be any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals. Colloquially, the term "artificial intelligence" is often used to describe machines (or computers) that mimic "cognitive" functions that humans associate with the human mind, such as "learning" and "problem solving".
There are 2 types of Artificial Intelligence:
- Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI)
- Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)
Almost all the progress we are seeing in the AI today is Artificial Narrow Intelligence. These are AIs that do one thing such as a smart speaker or a self-driving car or AI to do web search or AI applications in farming or in a factory. These types of AI are one trick ponies but when you find the appropriate trick, this can be incredibly valuable.
Unfortunately, AI also refers to a second concept of AGI or artificial general intelligence. That is the goal to build AI. They can do anything a human can do or maybe even be super intelligent and do even more things than any human can.
We can see tons of progress in ANI, artificial narrow intelligence and almost no progress to what AGI or artificial general intelligence. Both of these are worthy goals and unfortunately the rapid progress in ANI which is incredibly valuable, that has caused people to conclude that there's a lot of progress in AI, which is true.
I think AGI is an exciting goal for researchers to work on, but it'll take most for technological breakthroughs before we get there and it may be decades or hundreds of years or even thousands of years away. Given how far away AGI is, I think there is no need to unduly worry about it.
In the next article, we will deep dive into Machine Learning and how is it used in Artificial Intelligence.