Artificial Intelligence is a mysterious thing. As such, AI has many myths and misconceptions that surround it. Many of these misconceptions stem from places like science fiction and movies. Some come about only because AI is not well understood. In this blog post, we will be discussing 4 misconceptions surrounding AI and the truth behind them.
1. AI is already smarter than humans.
Although AI can do certain tasks faster, AI has not yet exceeded human intelligence. Even with our advanced technology, we do not completely understand how the brain works, so it is impossible to replicate it. However, we do understand pieces. This is where artificial intelligence comes from. With this understanding of certain functions, algorithms are written to mimic these cognitive functions.
2. AI will evolve and take over the world.
As previously mentioned in the myth above, AI is only as smart as it is programmed to be. Although many AI programs are equipped with the ability to come up with solutions to problems they have not encountered before, AI is limited by what it already knows. It can only combine knowledge it has been given previously. As such, it is very unlikely that AI will develop into emotional and sentient creatures as seen in films. Scientists still do not understand how or why sentience occurs, so it’s quite likely it will be many years, if at all, that we will see AI that can think and emote on the same level as humans.
3. AI is neutral and unbiased.
Unfortunately, this is untrue. As previously mentioned, AI is limited by the humans that create it. At our current level, AI still has leaps and bounds to go before coming anywhere close to our computing level. However, it is not immune to our human bias. For example, one AI mistakenly prioritized male applicants for a position, simply because the field was male driven. By observing previous employment records, it ‘learned’ that males are more likely to be hired, so it began filtering out females. Of course, gender has nothing to do with eligibility for most positions, but the algorithm was written to search for things applicants had in common, making it unknowingly biased. Of course, AI is not always unknowingly biased. Sometimes, it is intentional.
4. AI can only be found in robots.
AI is hidden everywhere. Although the main movie stereotype is to have robots imbued with artificial intelligence, the truth is, AI and robotics are not dependent on each other. If that were true, we’d have little robot creatures everywhere! Almost everyone interacts with some form of AI over the course of the day. For example, online shopping recommendations, facial and fingerprint recognition software, traffic and navigation apps, and predictive text, just to name a few.
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