Insights derived from big data is turning every company into consumer focussed, highly efficient and smarter entities. Everything looks good so far with the power of big data. Gathering and analysing data, understanding exactly what the customer wants and taking actions on it are some of the recent improvements that we owe to the technological advancements like web scraping. This data driven business approach has enabled companies to respond to customers’ needs better than ever before. Just when you thought that’s all we could achieve with the technology, here comes Artificial Intelligence to revolutionise not just business, but the whole human civilization.
To derive maximum value from the data you acquire, you will need something far better than human intelligence. The recent studies and developments surrounding big data and IoT have been leading to one common answer which is machines that can think and act intelligently all by themselves.
One notable quote by Dr. Jurgen Schmidhuber is “Humans should do zero percent of the hard and boring work, computers the rest.” This is exactly what’s driving the research and development of artificial intelligence.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
For a long time, many considered AI to be a far-fetched idea which is only good enough to be the theme of science fiction movies. That’s not the case anymore. More people have started showing interest in AI and many of the world’s biggest tech companies have dedicated laboratories for the research of AI systems. Artificial intelligence is all about the development of computer systems that can match or surpass human intelligence to perform tasks such as speech recognition, visual perception, language translation and even decision making. Anyone could see a miniature demo of budding AI by simply trying the speech recognition or face detection on a smartphone.
AI has the potential to transform every aspect of the human civilization. This is just the beginning though, Jurgen Schmidhuber in this video explains the future possibilities with AI and how machine learning will transform the life on this planet, or better yet, the entire galaxy.
About Jurgen Schmidhuber
Dr. Jurgen wanted to build a self-learning artificial intelligence algorithm which is smarter than himself ever since he was a little boy. Although a lot of his work has been accomplished theoretically, the capabilities of our computers is one thing that’s holding further progress down. Today, his methods and works are being used by some of the biggest tech companies like Microsoft and Google for speech recognition, machine translation and image recognition. He continues his research works on Deep learning and computer vision, RNN and machine learning.
Artificial Neural Networks
The human brain has approximately 10 billion neurons with each of them connected to around 10,000 other neurons. These neural networks have the capabilities to learn from experiences, trial and error and mere observation of events. The artificially created neural networks work similar to the human brain. The only obstacle to achieving true AI with these artificially created neural networks is the computing power of our present day hardware. According to Jurgen, we will have developed machines with the computing power of all humans on earth combined in the next two decades. He says that the limits of AI will be essentially that of computability. In fact, deep learning systems were first developed in 1991, but the hardware was a huge limiting factor back then. Although our present day computers have improved a lot since then, we still haven’t achieved the computational power required to host an AI comparable to human intelligence.
Actually, the present day AI machines are less intelligent than kids or even animals. But Jurgen believes that it’s only a matter of few years until we have Artificial intelligence systems matching the level of a crow or a monkey. Once we have animal level AI, the path to human level AI will be much shorter than the former.
“Everything is going to change in a way that is hard to predict. In not so many years we will have cheap computers with the raw computational power of a human brain. A few decades later, a cheap computer may compute as much as all human brains combined – and everything is going to change; every aspect of civilisation is going to be affected and transformed by that.” says Jurgen.
Why Big data is going to be the fuel for AI
We have been creating massive amounts of valuable data on the web. According to IDC, the digital data on the web will grow to a staggering 44 zettabytes by 2020. AI is remarkable and disruptive on its own. Big data has huge potential too, which makes the combination of these two truly powerful enough to transform the entire life on this planet. We have already seen how big data can give businesses the firepower to take on their competitors and improve the customer satisfaction. When a highly intelligent AI system has access to massive amounts of data that we create on the internet, the results would be spectacular. As far as the finance industry is concerned, there would be AI systems that can accurately predict market trends and human influences on the market.
Should it be feared?
Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk expressed their worries about machines getting smarter than humans and taking over the world. This is not how Dr. Jurgen sees the whole scenario though. Machines have always been used to get the work done faster and with less human intervention. AI will be no different. The intelligence of an AI system can be used for solving complex problems that are beyond the capabilities of human brain. This doesn’t make AI a threat to the human race in any way. He believes that humans should always expect competition or harm from other humans due to the goal conflicts which isn’t the case with machines.
Artificial intelligence could be the next big remarkable invention that humans could make. It is clear that it has the potential to change everything, hopefully for the better.