UET Science Society

We Bring the change. UET Science Society is a non-technical society of UET which aims to provide a diversified learning environment to the students of UET. Committed to instilling the passion to utilize one's hidden talents to the fullest, UET Science Society also provides for its members the right tools in refining their unique skills and talents.

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Artificial Intelligence Cloud

If you’ve ever played a game against a computer, talked to an online assistant (“Hello Siri”), or heard about autonomous cars, you have experienced the exciting change artificial intelligence is bringing to our world. The use of AI is so deeply integrated into our life that we, as users, often forget that it’s something extraordinary and took years of research to develop.

Artificial Intelligence began with myths, stories, and rumors of artificial beings capable of thinking and defeating humans. Mechanical men, thinking machines, and humanoid automatons can be seen in Greek mythology (golden robots of Hephaestus) and famous fictional works (everyone knows about Frankenstein!).

In technical terms, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science, it is the intelligence demonstrated by machines. AI researchers aim to create machines that are capable of reasoning, problem-solving, learning, and have the ability to manipulate and move objects. This has become an essential part of technological research and industry.

Machine learning (ML) is a subfield of AI and is based on the concept that we can build machines that process data and are capable of learning on their own, without constant human supervision. It is a powerful AI approach that allows computers to learn from input data without having to be explicitly programmed. Scientists have realized that is much more efficient to teach computers a way to learn than to teach them how to perform a task. All of the choices we make and everything we search on the internet (big companies save all of your data) contribute to this research and helps make machines more efficient.

One technique used in machine learning is neural networks, an approach in which algorithms process signals via interconnected nodes called artificial neurons. The human brain is exceptionally complex and is the most powerful computing machine known to mankind. The idea of Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) is the belief that the working of the human brain can be imitated using silicon and wires as neurons and dendrites by making the right connections. ANNs are capable of learning and they need to be trained. They are some of the most capable AI tools for solving very complex problems and will continue to be developed and leveraged in the future.

These are all the possibilities where we’ll have a bright future with the help of AI but what if we don’t? Let’s take a look at what could go wrong.

What if AI is programmed to do something devastating? Autonomous weapons use AI systems that are programmed to kill without any error. What if they get into the hands of the wrong person? This can cause destruction and mass casualties. Any powerful technology can go wrong and autonomous weapons are one of them.

Machines are designed to follow direct commands so if a command entered is vague, AI could misinterpret it and do something disastrous. Machines would do literally what you asked but might leave behind a trail of accidents. This misalignment between our goals and the machine’s goals.

Intelligent data collection systems are the biggest threats to our privacy. This is exactly what China is doing to its citizens. By 2020, China plans to give all its 1.4 billion citizens a personal score based on how they behave. This social credit system ranks citizens on their trustworthiness, also whether they jaywalk, buy Made in China products, their online activity, and whether they smoke in no-smoking areas or not. Those deemed trustworthy can get discounts on energy bills and better interest rates at banks, while those considered untrustworthy can reportedly be stopped from buying a property and even high-speed internet.

AI is capable of socially manipulating people. It is capable of spreading propaganda to individuals identified through algorithms and personal data. AI can target people and spread whatever information they like, in whatever form that is convincing to them.

If you’ve seen a few science fiction movies, you would know what an AI takeover is. It is a hypothetical scenario in which artificial intelligence takes control of our planet (well, looking at what we have done to our environment, this might be a good step). We can control animals because we are more intelligent. Very much like that, if we successfully develop AI systems that are more intelligent than humans, there is a high chance they’ll take over us. Physicist Stephen HawkingMicrosoft founder Bill Gates, and SpaceX founder Elon Musk have expressed concerns about the possibility that AI could develop to the point that humans could not control it, with Hawking theorizing that this could “spell the end of the human race”. Stephen Hawking said in 2014 that “Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last unless we learn how to avoid the risks.”

A system more intelligent than humans will take, as researchers say, decades or centuries to develop. There is a low chance that we’ll see this apocalypse in our lifetime, so till then, we can enjoy the solutions AI is providing and try having real conversations with Siri to feel less lonely.


Ehmad Saeed

Press Secretary at UET Science Society - Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador - Former Flutter Lead at Google Developer Student Club

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