A Drive Down The AI Lane By VGSoM Consulting Club
Bob: i can i i everything else
Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me
Bob: you i everything else
Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me
Can’t fathom it? Neither could Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Research when two of its robots went rogue and started communicating in a language of their own making, thus understanding each other, but completely mystifying the creators. The two chatbots, nicknamed Alice and Bob, were actually supposed to learn human-like bartering and trading of common objects like balls, hats, and books. But a small glitch in programming – not mandating the use of English language – made the bots develop their own terms and deals only the two of them could understand. In order to avoid a ‘Terminator’ish calamity, the chatbots had to be destroyed, and the future fearing humanists breathed a sigh of relief.
Why am I telling you this? To drive home the point that the age of dreamed-up, cooked-up sci-fi is here. Of course, we are still distant from Rakesh Roshan’s computer sending messages to aliens, but intelligent machines capable of analysing and deciding on their own are a reality. The age of AI is here.
What is it? In an aerial view, it is making computers that think like the human brain does, using visual perception, speech recognition, language comprehension, reasoning ability and decision-making. Intelligent machines collect data from its environment in huge quantum, process it so as to gain usable knowledge from it, and then utilize them to make further decisions. Although a very crude description, this process forms the basis for every intelligent system worth its ‘salt’ (or should I say ‘bytes’).
As we can clearly see, data forms the foundation stone in this process. We have known computers to collect data since antiquity, it is the analysis and interpretation that makes all the difference. The access to huge amount of data has inarguably made it easier, but the point of focus is the ability to deduce appropriate knowledge from it. The use of descriptive analysis to inspect what happened, diagnostic analysis to know why it happened, predictive analysis to forecast what will happen, and prescriptive analysis to make it happen – makes the system capable to come upon a decision. To act on the basis of the decision is another matter altogether. The decision to act rationally needs correct inferences and sometimes correct instincts for when rationality cannot be applied.
Although artificial intelligence is too vast, too complicated and too controversial in some cases, the magic of it still captures scientists, mathematicians, and engineers, who invest all their energy into encapsulating the essence of a human brain in a microchip.