Now That’s Magic
Have you ever seen a magician on TV and stood in awe of the tricks he/she was performing? Then that magician, as the TV program’s goal, suddenly revealed how the tricks were made?
At first you might probably wonder and be amazed. Then, when the mystery has finally been revealed, the sense of magic or the magic is lost.
This kind of phenomena is also seen in other systems, even in technological advancements. And this is how it is with the AI Effect, even this information age. Call it an odd occurrence, but this effect is evident throughout our technology nowadays.
The AI Effect
The AI Effect is a perception that whenever AI is applied to a program or a machine, when it is unraveled, the AI label in it diminishes. An artificially intelligent system becomes entirely something else whenever somebody figures out how it is programmed or executed. It then turns into a new technology having a new name, leaving off the artificial intelligence label even if the system uses artificially intelligent methods and techniques.
An example would be Deepblue, a chess software capable of beating the number 1 grandmaster at that time. When experts contended that it uses brute force techniques in order to make its next move, its sense of being artificial intelligent suddenly disappeared.
Another example are AI chatbots. They utilize an AI technique known as Natural Language Processing (NLP). With this method, through “hearing” voice and “reading” text, a chatbot will reply appropriately as possible according to what it hears or reads. NLP is also used in other technologies such as in autocorrect, text prediction, and in language translation software.
Reading these examples, AI effects on society is quite widespread. But whenever the intelligent behavior of a machine is quickly revealed to be computable, it becomes a part of other applications and gets assimilated in that area.
Why the AI Effect is Happening
Why this phenomena started occurring AI Winter is probably partly responsible.
The AI Winter of the previous decades was a time when artificial intelligence went into a cold state, as development became stagnant and many techniques have had only gone in circles. Also, skeptics were afloat and that they argue that AI is not really artificial and intelligent. Not one investor wanted to financially support something so risky, uncertain and unaccepted, that is why AI developers around that era used other terminologies so they can get their funding for their AI technology.
Also, the AI effects on society that time was not commercially outstanding, probably because they lack the technology and knowledge we have nowadays. Only in this information age artificial intelligence is gaining full momentum because of collaborative efforts and increasing related literature about the subject.
Another explanation is the human’s sense of uniqueness. We regard ourselves as something special and unique from other intelligent beings, inanimate or alive. Once an animal shows its capability that we only humans used to do, we downplay that fact and emphasize our other unique capabilities. We treat AI entities also this way.
These are some viable reasons why AI effects on society is happening. As oddly paradoxical as it sounds, artificial intelligence is defined as something that has not been done before, or the whole of it has not been fully understood, just like our brains. Perhaps because the term intelligence also has different meanings and is hard to pinpoint its true essence.
The Future of AI
So how does it affect the future of AI? Does it mean that AI (future technology) will not be called AI at all?
Perhaps to some, it is only mere labelling. For others, though, it must mean something else. Just look around and AI is in everyday things we see and use: from video games to virtual assistants (VAs), self-driving cars to social media, AI is actually a now thing whether some regard it or not. Though other AI innovators must be a little disappointed whenever someone raises the question of AI (future technology included) being exclusive to robot tech, has little personal value, or is not gaining ground in IT.
People might need to be aware that a smartphone alone is rife with AI technology. Yes, they’re in the guise of other terms like the camera’s portrait mode, VA’s voice recognition, and lockscreen’s facial recognition. AI methods have been used in these, though because of the artificial intelligence effect, they are named differently.
Awareness might be the one of the limiting factors artificial intelligence is experiencing, when faced with difficult public acceptance. People may need to be educated about AI and be reminded that even it is a weak form of AI, and it is proven helpful and beneficial in our everyday life.
There’s also a notion that AI is merely akin to humanoid robots, which uses strong AI. This thinking must also be gradually addressed if AI developers need for people to know what artificial intelligence actually is. AI in future-forward movies might have created the unrealistic impression at present, and perhaps could use this popular impression to properly educate people.
The future of weak AI is getting brighter by the day, as innovations and tech advancements get assimilated in the products and services we use everyday. Though the mystery of being artificially intelligent gets removed, we can still have regard that they are made with artificial intelligent technologies.
AI, in future, present and past approaches is not without challenges, even in its perception from people. The AI Effect is proof of this, though there are workarounds in order for artificial intelligence to survive. Awareness is the key for AI to continue being regarded as AI, and education is the channel by which it could engage in, for people to know and understand what exactly and actually is AI. Future technology would not be so hard to be regarded as AI if this happens.
There are reasons why this effect is happening, one poking us on a personal level of our uniqueness as humans, and another because of the stigma of being named AI (in future dealings). We must understand that although these reasons would seem only a blow on our prestige as the most superior intelligent design, they are understandably acceptable and responsible. Responsible in the sense that what we create, we must be able to control, guide and manage.