Now, most of you might have already heard of what artificial intelligence means. You see so many people talking about it, and, not a single technology website has failed to make a mention of it. Now, this article doesn’t intend to educate you about what Artificial Intelligence (Henceforth referred to as AI) is and its many dynamics. Instead, after reading this, you will understand why the future of mankind may very well be scripted by artificially powered machines and tools.

Artificial Intelligence is basically nothing but the art of equipping machines with the capability to think like humans. Now, depending on how you make lifeless objects ‘think’, holds the key. The potential of AI powered robots is limitless in aiding mankind. But, at the same time, we wouldn’t want missiles and weapons to have the capability to think like humans, would we? Now, therein lies the problem. AI is so powerful that it can save mankind hours of manual labour, or, eradicate people by the masses. For now, thankfully, the focus is mainly on how to use AI to ease the work of mankind. As early as ten to twenty years from now, you may no longer need to do the many menial or tiresome things you do as part of your routine. Indeed, things as simple as tying your laces, or making a cup of tea, AI robots can do this and more.

Scientists are trying to achieve a ‘smart’ world wherein even lifeless forms will be given the power to think. If things go to plan, we could be looking at personal AI robots in every household as early as 2050. In fact, AI powered machines are already revolutionising many fields. For instance, many complex surgeries are now being carried out by AI tools in order to eliminate human error. The medicinal field has openly embraced AI technology, which is why there is such a huge improvement in success rate while dealing with complex surgeries and operations.

You might be wondering as to how this might be possible. How can you really ‘equip’ machines with the power to think like humans. The answer is not so simple. While AI is a glamorous field with lots of upside, the inside mechanism and working of an AI controlled machine is often tedious and cumbersome.
Scientists broadly agree on two approaches of arriving at artificial intelligence. The mathematical approach where computers think with the help of millions of symbols and numbers and finally arrive at a conclusion based on probability and calculation.(Boring, right?) The other approach is based on computer science(Hurrah!). This deals with reasoning and logic wherein the computer studies many lines of code and performs actions determined by them. There are two aspects to this- Bottom-up programming and top-down programming. Now, let’s not get into the nitty-gritty of programming and the rest.

So, why do you see people constantly harping about why Artificial Intelligence is the next big thing to have happened in the field of computers. The answer is simple-it truly is, the most exciting thing to be happening in the field of computer science. In fact, it is of great use not just in computer science. The nature of AI makes it useful in a wide array of fields from Business to Military. Though a recent phenomenon, Artificial Intelligence has been in existence for ages. But, only recently have people started to realise the massive potential the field has to offer. Just like any other technology, AI too, will keep getting better as years progress. Though it has been around for years, it is still at a nascent stage, which is why more and more research is going into this. Even the most advanced robots you see today, are not worth talking about in the same breath as Artificial Intelligence powered robots and tools of the future. As long as the technology is used for peaceful purposes, it could very well change the very fabric of mankind.

Now, you might wonder as to how AI will be useful. It is not an understatement to say Artificial Intelligence can change the course of mankind. The applications of Artificial Intelligence across many fields will make using it, a compulsion we can’t live without. Here are just a few of the many useful applications of Artificial Intelligence:-

 

Applications in Medicine:

The use of artificial intelligence in the field of medicine is often regarded as it’s most useful aspect. Thousands of lives are saved every year by using AI powered robots and tools perform complex procedures where human error may cause fatal mistakes. It can be used to monitor heart-beats, blood flow and make a comprehensive study of the human body. Artificial Neural Networks can be used for real-time decision making during diagnosis.

 

Applications in Computer Science:

AI has revolutionised the field of Information Technology for the better over the last few years. Many of the abstract ‘smart’ devices you see today use some form of Artificial Intelligence. Latest gadgets like wearable devices and motion-predictors all inculcate Artificial Intelligence, without which such devices would be rendered useless. It is also of great use in next-gen gaming devices and modern GUIs.

 

Applications in Business:

One the few areas where Robots and AI tools have a proven edge over humans is in the field of Finance and Business. AI robots are immeasurably superior to humans when it comes to speed of thought and real time decision making. This makes it very useful in Stock-market trading, real-time banking and in secured payment transactions.

 

Applications in Military:

As with every powerful technology, Artificial Intelligence can cause major grievance if used wrongly. While Artificial Intelligence continues to better the lives of many around the world, it is also possible to make it a potent weapon which can cause major catastrophes. Giving weapons the power to think and act smart can only be a bad thing, which is why it is important that rogue technology doesn’t fall in the wrong hands. At the same time, it can be of major use for security forces to eradicate rogue elements using UAVs, Military Robots and AI weapons. It is possible to use robots in operations where human life may be in danger. This prevents loss of human life. Many countries in the world are adopting the use of robots in Military.

You might now have a better understanding as to how crucial Artificial Intelligence is, in bettering our lives. Millions of quality man-hours could be saved with the help of commercial AI robots. It can also pose a huge risk if AI weapon systems fall into the wrong hands. So, while development of AI technologies remains a priority, it is also essential that this should be used for peaceful purposes. Using AI robots in large numbers for vending and other tasks will render millions of people unemployed across the globe. This is a crucial factor which is certain to hamper large scale progress in commercialisation of AI robots. It is important to overcome this hurdle before worthwhile progress can be achieved. The costs involved are of epic proportions and requires funding of large scale. This prevents AI development from being carried out by private bodies as very few can afford the costs that occur. Hence, it is largely restricted to government funding except in the case of large companies. This makes it almost impossible to make AI technology affordable to the masses. But, despite the many deficiencies, Artificial Intelligence is set to rule the roost in coming generations and it is certainly something worth keeping an eye on.