Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence

This January, I’ve been enrolled in an awesome new course at MIT (6.S191: Introduction to Deep Learning), which combines lessons on actually implementing Deep Learning algorithms with talks from cooperate sponsors including Google, IBM, and NVIDIA on real world applications such as self driving cars and facial recognition.

An issue brought up in class is the sensationalist media coverage of developments in Artificial Intelligence software. While it is definitely a positive thing for academic and industry research that the public is becoming more informed about the potential applications of new technology, misinformation and hyperbole may inadvertently cause unwarranted fear and apprehension.

For example, the Business Insider article linked below seeks to capitalize on AI hype with this interview on the Sophia robot.

We talked to Sophia – the first-ever robot citizen that once said it would ‘destroy humans’

While Sophia is certainly an impressive feat combining the latest in AI and robotics technology, it is presented as if it has actually achieved a human like level of understanding of natural language, while it is in reality largely hard coded and scripted.

This type of misleading is harmful to AI development. If the level of technological sophistication hinted at in the Business Insider article were actually possible, it would not be unreasonable to fear that AI will soon overtake humanity and replace us in nearly every task.

In reality, AI needs to be taken at face value. It is a technology which greatly increases the ability of computers to find insights and make decisions in situations where regular algorithms would be infeasible to develop. It has tremendously useful applications, such as highly accurate analysis of medical imaging, natural language processing, and self driving cars. However, cognitive science has yet to fully comprehend the mechanisms of the human brain, let alone give us the capability to recreate them in computers.

For now anyway, the day when artificially intelligent programs can replace us in advanced planning and artistic expression does not appear to be coming any time soon. The AI revolution will provide incredible tools for making workplaces more efficient and help organizations to better understand their clientele. The ability of humans to find completely innovative solutions, empathize with one another, and express ourselves with beautiful art and music will be never be paralleled by machines using anything similar to the technology we have today.

Source: Deep Learning on Medium