1 July 2022
This year will probably see Artificial Intelligence advancing on its path to becoming the most transformative technology ever developed by humankind. According to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary Google, its effect on us as a race will be even more significant than the discovery of fire or electricity. This might sound quite ambitious, but considering it is already being implemented in various disciplines, such as climate change, space exploration, and developing treatments for cancer, the potential apparently exists.
The full scale of the effect that grants machines the ability to make decisions and therefore enables decisions to be made much more quickly and accurately than humanly possible is currently incomprehensible. We can be sure that breakthroughs and new developments will continue to push the limits of what is considered likely.
There have always been those that expressed their concerns that machines would replace human workers and even make their jobs obsolete. However, as companies navigate the process of creating data and basing their work on it, we will find ourselves increasingly involved in working with or beside machines applying smart and cognitive functionality to enhance our abilities and skills. Positions such as content editors and translators can already sense the change. We are already used to using these tools for functions such as marketing to decide which leads to search and what value we can expect from potential customers. In engineering positions, AI tools help us by providing predicted maintenance to inform us in advance when the machines will need maintenance or fixing. Knowledge industries such as advocacy use more and more tools to successfully sort the ever-growing amount of data to find the data item required for a specific task. Nearly every profession has benefitted from new intelligent devices that may assist workers in performing more efficiently. This year, more and more workers will discover that AI is part of their regular work environment.
A bigger, better language model
A language model is a process that enables machines to understand and communicate with us in a language that we know or even take natural human languages and convert them to computer code that can run programs and applications. The launch of GPT-3 by OpenAI, the most advanced (And most extensive) language model, comprised approximately 175 billion "parameters" – variables and data points that machines can use for language processing. OpenAI is currently developing its successor, GPT-4, which will be even more powerful. Details have yet to be confirmed officially, but it is said to contain up to 100 trillion parameters, which makes it 500 times bigger than GPT-3. It theoretically serves as a leap toward machines' ability to create a language and converse as humans do. This would be much better than creating computer code.
Cyber AI and data security
The World Economic Forum has realized cyber crime might threaten society more than terror attacks; the more machines take control of our lives, hacking and cyber crimes necessarily become more significant problems since each connected device you add to the network is a potential fault point that the perpetrator can potentially use against us. The more networks of connected devices become more complex, so dies detecting these fault points. This is where AI can play a vital role. Intelligent algorithms play an increasingly central position in protecting us by analyzing network traffic and learning to identify patterns that indicate malicious intentions. Some of the most meaningful implementations of AI we will see being developed in 2022 are expected to be developed in this field.
This area has garnered attention lately due to the rapidly growing IoT (Internet of Things) field. People seem to forget that access to the Internet leads to two-way traffic, which needs to be maintained and protected.
AI and the Metaverse
The metaverse is the term used to refer to the unified, continuous digital environment in which users can work and play together (Also referred to as VR). It is a virtual world, like the internet, but involves an emphasis on providing users with overwhelming experiences that the users themselves usually create. This concept has become a hot topic since Marc Zuckerberg discussed creating it using Virtual Reality technology based on the social interface of his Facebook platform.
AI is undoubtedly the basis for this world, as it will assist in creating online environments where human beings will feel at home. It is safe to assume that we will soon grow accustomed to sharing our Metaverse environments with AI entities and virtual help that will assist us in completing our tasks or serve as our partners in a recreational game of tennis or chess.
No Code & Low Code AI
A major deterrent for many organizations considering implementing AI in their work environments is a lack of skilled AI engineers that can create the required tools and algorithms. No Code & Low Code tools attempt to overcome this deterrent by providing relatively simple interfaces that can be used to build increasingly complex systems. These tools resemble No Code website design and interfacing tools such as WIX, enabling users to create internet pages and other interactive systems simply by dragging and releasing graphic elements. No Code AI systems will allow us to develop intelligent programs by connecting various pre-prepared modules. Technologies such as Natural Language Processing and Language Modules mean that soon we will be able to use only our voice or written commands. This will be key to the ongoing "democratization" of AI and data technology.
AI is the brain that will direct the autonomous cars, ships, and planes expected to revolutionize travel and, in turn, society in the next decade. This year should be the year we will be able to remember when looking back in the future and regretfully realizing we used to consider a reality in which a million human beings died yearly in car accidents, 90% of them due to human error, an everyday reality.
Autonomous cars are becoming increasingly more efficient. Tesla says that its vehicles will feature independent driving ability by 2022, yet these cars will probably be available to the public. Its competitors include Waymo (a subsidiary of Google), Apple GM, and Ford, and we can expect each to announce great leaps forward soon. An exhibit of autonomous ships is being held soon, in which these ships will cross the Atlantic Ocean. The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS), operated by IBM in a non-profit, joint effort with ProMAre, will attempt to complete the voyage (after retreating during its previous attempt).
Creativity and Art
We know that AI can be used to create art, music, poetry, plays, and even video games. This year, when new models, such as GPT-4 and Google's Brain, redefine the boundaries of what's possible, we can expect more sophisticated and seemingly "natural" creative output from our electronic friends that are growing and advancing with our imagination and abilities. However, we will usually only see experiments and displays of this potential implemented in regular creative tasks such as writing titles for articles and newsletters and designing logos and infographics. Creativity is often perceived as uniquely human skill, and the fact that we now see these skills acquired by machines certainly means that AI is nearing our foggy definition of "real" intelligence in terms of scope and function.
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Another tool to experiment with is available here.
In conclusion, we see that AI has entered all areas of our lives: at home, at work, and even on vacations at previously impossible locations like the beach or alternate realities. There seems to be no escape from accepting this and considering how and where we want to be situated when we encounter this change.
I recommend embracing this technology and learning from it as much as possible. The next generation will implement it.