The Truth Behind Artificial Intelligence
“On the one hand we have science teasing us with what AI can be and on the other, the media promoting exactly what AI isn’t”
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on everyone’s mind. On the one hand we have science teasing us with what AI can be and on the other, the media promoting exactly what AI isn’t. That’s why it’s important to clarify the truth behind AI, how it can be useful, and how to go about using it in a business.
Computer science classifies AI as: weak AI and strong AI, or Artificial General Intelligence.
Weak AI focuses on a narrow task or specific problem while strong AI outlines a machine or software with the ability to apply intelligence to any problem to learn to solve general problems.
All systems claiming to use AI nowadays are operating weak AI’s focused on narrowly defined specific problems. Even minimal problem changes will, in most cases, render solutions useless or unperforming.
For example, Siri performing tasks of a virtual assistant via a voice interface in English is a specific problem solved acceptably through AI. Changing to a language with a different structure, like Chinese, would not perform as well anymore. Furthermore, even if voice commands are perceived correctly and consistently, the technology is nowhere close to actual interpretation of the natural language. In order to achieve Artificial General Intelligence, or to solve hard, specific problems like text interpretation, a lot of research and innovation is still required.
In any business, AI can help improve performance; but it’s always a matter of effort and reward. When it comes to effort, AI requires consistent data, sometimes manually annotated by people. This can make a potential AI solution very expensive to implement or hard to scale efficiently.
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Bradley Kirkland & Brad Constanstinescu