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Artificial Intelligence to Impact the Future

The technology that is shaping lives

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Artificial Intelligence to Impact the Future

Photo by WalktheChat

Photo by WalktheChat

Photo by WalktheChat

Zoe Clark, Copy Editor

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First coined in 1956, artificial intelligence, once a simple idea for the future, has since become a very prominent reality.

Artificial intelligence is defined as the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior. Essentially, artificial intelligence refers to technology designed to solve problems.

However, do not be misled. Artificial Intelligence is not a trait of machines themselves, but of the software programs created to run them. If you’ve ever asked Siri a question, bought something off Amazon.com, or binge watched for favorites on Netflix, you’ve already come into contact with Artificial Intelligence.

There are a number of potential applications for AI technology.

For example, AI is revolutionizing healthcare with its ability to sort through information at high speeds. Recently, Artificial Intelligence company IBM Watson Health partnered with Barrow Neurological Institute and was able to identify new genes linked to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a disease that affects the nervous system.

Artificial intelligence also plays a vital part in developing self-driving cars. Self driving cars use AI to sense the road lines and obstacles like other cars. AI is what tells the car to stop at a red light or to slow down in a school zone.

A report from Stanford University gives an intriguing look at the decisionmaking of technology behind self-driving cars. It is not enough for the car to “see” what is going on. AI technology is needed to develop complex algorithms to understand what is going on make decisions accordingly.

Science has come a long way in conserving energy and finding alternate sources that don’t devastate the environment, but Artificial Intelligence can take it a step farther in helping reduce energy consumption. According to an article by Duke University, Google’s energy costs at server farms have decreased 40% thanks to the help of AI.

Some experts draw concerns about potential threats that AI poses to humanity. If the technology were to surpass the intelligence of its human creators, it could inflict damage on humanity, the degree of which is not yet fully understood.

Machines with artificial intelligence have begun replacing humans in certain occupations. According to the Pew Research Center, 47% of all employment opportunities will be occupied by machines within the next two decades. The research also states that about 80% of all Americans believe that they will be able to maintain their livelihood after the prophesized robotic boom. Jobs involving math, like accounting and banking, factory jobs, and more could be replaced by artificial intelligence programs.

Artificial intelligence is not an idea for science fiction, but rather a tool to shape the future. From freeing up time on the commute to work to making breakthroughs in the medical field, this technology is already changing lives.

Zoe Clark

Zoe became a member of The Flightline in August of 2017. She is a senior this year involved in robotics, academic decathlon, and many other electives, and spends what little free time she has reading. You can email her at [email protected]

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