Opinions about AI — three views plus one

Original article was published by Banjo Mofesola Paul on Artificial Intelligence on Medium


Opinions about AI — three views plus one

In this small essay, I share my opinions on three definitions of AI with their roots in what seems like differing schools of thought, and finally I wrap it up with my own two cents regarding the discourse.

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

1. “cool things that computers can’t do”:

While it is tempting to dismiss this as a lazy definition, it actually does bring something to the table — it suggests that AI is what we expect the future of computing as we know it to be, and as computing and its applications evolve, this pursuit of the next step would remain constant. The pursuit would probably have a cooler name in the future, but for now, “AI” is what we call it.

2. “machines imitating intelligent human behavior”:

Not veering too much off the target, this description is concise and easy to grasp. It however limits the pursuit of the field of AI to replicating what humans do, meanwhile it doesn’t take much thinking to realize that AI has the potential to introduce completely new things that we cannot even imagine yet — it is a science afterall, and like all science, predicting its future is subject to myriads of biases and can easily be mis-represented.

3. “autonomous and adaptive systems”:

I nod a strong “yes” to this description as it inherently presents the possiblilty for growth and evolution. Autonomy for AI is vaguely synonymous to free-will for humans, and the quality of adapting to various (and ever-changing) circumstances certainly reminds one of the soul of evolution itself.

My two cents:

I have briefly mentioned it earlier that AI is a science, and I consider it as such. It is a field of study that will reveal its extents (and limits) to us over time, and with several iterations of research.