Why should we study artificial intelligence?
Before we get into why we should study artificial intelligence, let us learn about artificial intelligence first.
When people hear “Artificial Intelligence” (AI), the first image in their heads is robots. Artificial intelligence is just technology in machines that can mimic human intelligence. The machines, software, and computers that use AI are able to think like humans, calculate risks and determine the outcome they are working towards. AI is not the scary, robot take-over world depicted in movies.
Types of Artificial Intelligence
There are different types of AI systems. Each level incorporates more and more complexities.
1. Reactive machines: Some of the most basic artificial intelligence systems that do not store memories, past actions, or experiences for future use. They only focus on the present and react accordingly. One of the greatest examples of these systems is the Deep Blue system that IBM made to solve chess.
2. Limited Memory: Some AI machines can store past experiences for a short period of time. This happens in machines like self-driving cars. Self-driving cars need to record the speed of other cars, a distance of other cars, speed limits, road conditions, and other factors so that they can safely navigate on the road.
3. Theory of Mind: Now the next type of AI machines have not been developed yet but it is the future. This type will be able to form representations of the world as well as other entities and agents (people) around them. This is called “theory of mind”. This is an important concept in psychology that shows how humans are sociable and can have interactions. Theory of mind allows us to understand that there are other people, animals, and things in the world around us that have their own perspectives, feelings, and thoughts that affect their behavior.
4. Self Awareness: This is the ultimate end goal for AI. These machines would be very intelligent and almost human-like, maybe even smarter than humans.
Now we move on to “Why should we study artificial intelligence?” Artificial intelligence is a bigger part of our daily lives than we might think. It can be found in so many different areas of our lives in ways we did not recognize before.
1. Artificial intelligence in mobile devices
We rely on our smartphones and mobile devices for everything these days. Our phones have the ability to listen to our voice commands, learn our preferences, and answer questions that we ask or make suggestions based on what we tell them. This happens in the form of Siri or Alexa or Google.
2. AI in our daily lives
Artificial intelligence is very much present in our everyday lives in ways we do not know. Our healthcare systems, cars/vehicles, banks, and more. If you always dreamed of being in healthcare wanting to help people but science just isn’t right for you, you can still help. Knowing AI gives you the advantage to help create software and online systems that doctors can use to consult with patients remotely, diagnose their problems, and even treat them remotely when possible. With the knowledge and skills of AI, you could create a program that could compile all health records and conditions of patients and help produce a treatment plan that the doctors can then review and alter as needed.
3. AI in our cars and vehicles
Artificial intelligence has made its way into vehicles over the last few decades. Today we have self-driving Tesla cars, self-parking cars, and eventually autopilot. Soon you won’t need to drive yourself or have a driver, your car will do all the driving itself.
4. AI is a growing career
Artificial intelligence is the future. The job market for AI is growing. If you learn AI now, it opens up many opportunities in software engineering, machine learning engineering, and more. You can even cop a job at Google, Microsoft, Amazon, or other big tech companies looking to get into developing more advanced AI software and machines.
If not for any of these reasons, you can still study artificial intelligence out of mere curiosity for the field and what it could contribute to our future. It is definitely going to become more relied upon in the future so it is never too soon to start learning about it.