Great resource and great risk

Regardless of how artificial intelligence (AI) is defined, there is little doubt that this resource can be of great value, especially in big data applications. Many organisations are now collecting more data than they did just a few years ago, making use of business intelligence and descriptive analytic technologies such as query, reporting, comparing and contrasting options so in the end the massive computer power so harnessed helps in analysing what has happened in the past and with use of predictive analytics techniques opens a window leading to accurate predictions.

Immense potential in many areas

Undoubtedly, artificial intelligence is fast becoming a major technology for prescriptive analytics, the step beyond predictive analytics that helps us determine how to implement and/or optimise optimal decisions. In business applications it can assess future risks, quantify probabilities and in so doing, give us insights how to improve market penetration, customer satisfaction, security analysis, trade execution, fraud detection and prevention, while proving indispensable in land and air traffic control, national security and defence. This is not to mention a host of healthcare applications such as patient-specific treatments for diseases and illnesses. Recently, Google’s DeepMind algorithm taught itself how to win Atari games. Algorithms can now recognise handwritten language and patterns almost as well as humans and even complete some tasks better than them. They are able to describe the contents of photos and videos. Typically the giant search engine firm itself, Google, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, is developing self-driving automobiles, smartphone assistants and other examples of machine learning while it is no secret that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and actor Ashton Kutcher, recently invested $40 million in an entity focusing on developing artificial brains.

SwissCognitive LogoScience-Fiction becomes reality

In science fiction films such as Matrix, we see how futuristic devices will facilitate facial recognition, interpret human comments, self-drive cars, and perform complex language translations. Some of these devices no longer exist in the realm of fantasy but became real tools as a result of advances in science and social media. Recently, Baidu, the Chinese equivalent of Google, invited the military to take part in the China Brain Project. This involves running so-called deep learning algorithms over the search engine data collected about its users. Beyond this, a kind of social control is also planned. According to recent reports, every Chinese citizen will receive a so-called “Citizen Score”, which will determine under what conditions they may get loans, jobs, or travel visa to other countries. Certainly a chilly reference to Big Brother dominance. But not all is doom and gloom as we appreciate how social media technology links various civilizations, can teach farmers how to improve crop yields and speed up the progress in complex human genome classification. Delivery drones, both wheeled and airborne, may in the near future compete with couriers while supermarket robots silently stack food items on shelves and move merchandise in warehouses […]

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