Artificial Intelligence: Fear & Fearmongering

Beyond the Duality of Positive & Negative…

 

Lately, there has been a constant fear lurking around the AI landscape, which has raised several debates around the technology. A lot fear that AI may soon exceed human intelligence which has further given rise to a lot of fearmongers, who are rather misleading the society towards artificial intelligence.

Until last few weeks, I never anticipated to be writing this article but now I hope to make sincere efforts in busting the fearmongers by descripting information which is far undercooked from what mainstream media might unfortunately be suggesting.

Artificial Intelligence has jumped from sci-fi movie plots into mainstream news headlines in just a few years of time. Why are we talking about it now? Multiple factors have converged to push AI to relevance.

  1. Moore’s Law: Computer processing power is doubling every two years.
  2. The data-hungry AI algorithms are finally being fed via modern data generated rates.
  3. Amount of funding for AI research has seen growth.
  4. There’s decades of establish AI research now, giving us improved algorithms.

Undoubtedly, progress in AI has found its way into many facets of our daily lives. Moreover, companies of all sizes are leveraging AI capabilities for many functions – spam filtering, speech recognition, web search rankings and so on. In spite of all the process, it is disappointing to see continuing irrational fear about AI to avoid hypothetical dystopias. However, history has proven time and time again that there’s often skepticism and fearmongering around disruptive technologies, before they ultimately improve human life.

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Checkmate: Artificial Intelligence’s Game Playing Challenge

How Computer Chess Changed the World?…

 

It’s been a while since I enrolled myself for Udacity’s Nanodegree on Artificial Intelligence (which I truly rate above all the online learning experiences I have had). Amidst studying about ‘game playing agents’ during the coursework, one of the assignments was to summarize a research paper, for which I read about one of the most seminal breakthroughs in the history of Artificial Intelligence, Deep Blue.

Deep Blue was a chess-playing computer developed by IBM. It is known for being the first computing machine to have won a chess match against a reigning world champion under regular time controls.

When IBM’s Deep Blue beat chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997 in a six game chess match, Kasparov came to believe that he was facing a machine that could experience human intuition.

“The machine refused to move to a position that had a decisive short-term advantage… It was showing a very human sense of danger.” – Garry Kasparov

To Kasparov, Deep Blue looked as if to be experiencing the game rather than just crunching the numbers. Might Kasparov have actually detected a hint of analogical thinking in Deep Blue’s play and mistaken it for human intervention?

“Chess is beautiful enough to waste your life for” – Hans Rees, Dutch Grandmaster.

The oft-quoted adage of Hans Rees most succinctly describes the human obsession with the ancient game of kings. For centuries, the act of playing chess has been upheld as the very paragon of intellectual activity. It is the game’s reputation as both a strategically deep system and as a thinking man’s activity that originally made the idea of mechanized chess player and intriguing notion. For much of modern history, chess playing was seen as a “litmus test” of the ability for computers to act intelligently.

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