Impact of AI and robotics on society


Kamal Baruah
Sooner we’ll be enslaved by super-intelligent Robots. With the availability of huge capacities of Cloud, the enormous sum of collected data and algorithms based on neural networks, AI no longer call a Sci-Fi subject. AI with Machine Learning could prove to be a game changer for unique operational efficiencies and could disrupt every business sector from Banking to Transportation and Health. Robotics and automated weapons will soon replace human in Armed Forces
The other day my ITO friend persuaded me to write up on Artificial Intelligence (AI). What caught my attention is the future of AI that impacts our day to day life. We saw computer in 90s, grew up with MS Office Tools and learned binary numbers, flowchart only at PG Management level. I’ve always been fascinated by computers. We were called computer savvy if we know playing Solitaire/Minesweeper, using floppy, drawing Paint and a bit Word/PowerPoint. Microsoft Encarta was web search services like Google. Today’s students are net savvy, tech savvy and get involved in the thinking process of a flowchart in very early stage. A flowchart is a type of diagram that represents an algorithm. The flowchart shows the steps as boxes of various kinds in order by connecting it with arrows. The diagrammatic representation illustrates a solution model to a given problem. Algorithm is a set of rules to be followed in problem-solving operations by a computer.
Researchers find Artificial Intelligence so fascinating and made busy innovating across many domains. Google, Microsoft tackles the most challenging problems in computer science. The tech giant has already partnered up with various Universities at Stanford, California, San Francisco, and Chicago to invent a new computer system that predict the time-of-death of hospital patients. It applied algorithm for billion pieces of anonymous patient data for findings. Now Google claim, it can predict when you will die. In early 2K, I heard medical database for Russian people from brother in law Dr Alakesh, who was studying medicine there. A Russian kid could explain very well while visiting doctor about his past prescription. That country has database for its citizen since birth. We’re pulled up once by a Paediatrician at Jamnagar for not carrying the last prescription for daughter. India start Aadhaar based digital platform to empower residents with a unique identity to authenticate. It might help to connect our OVDs with Medical records.
Today digital dependency has addicted most of our life style. No Smartphone for a day is a challenge for the modern world. We encounter AI every day like Amazon recommending a book or Netflix suggesting a film that I enjoy most. AI lies behind those algorithms from my purchases. Google Maps pin up my location wherever I go and also offers satellite imagery, street maps, 360° panoramic views of streets real-time traffic conditions, route planning  by foot, car, bicycle and air. Personalised Virtual assistant apps Google Now, Alexa and Cortana could predict our needs. After 8 IOS apps, Apple’s ‘Hey Siri’ have greatly facilitates the Automatic Speech Recognition task across any conditions. AirPods2 is another revolutionary idea that transfer biometric data such as heart rate, body movement and calories burnt. It designs technology to one’s advantage.
Using AI, self driving car will be a reality soon. It is arguably the poster boy for Google. AI lies behind Airline Autopilot. In Marine Navigation, Autopilot could reduce fuel costs and increase transit times. Now people have the choice of going to an AI doctor over a human. To promote smarter learning, Intel is rolling out Tech Learning Lab, where a student could have a guide for personalised based study. I undergone stream test after selection to IAF. But they’re no AI on those days. Recently our daughter went for Psychometric Test (interest based) of her aptitude for choosing career planning. AI could help doctors and nurses by a Robot assisting retinal surgery.
Being hacked is a pretty real threat in this day and age. Customers of banking sector are to be protected from cyber espionage. To protect business, it needs to be one step ahead of hackers at all times. Facial recognition for reading emotions might help shoppers during negotiations or we go for creative control against assassination attempt in Hollywood Face/Off. We also saw impact on political system from events like Cambridge Analytica. AI Algorithm Facebook data led to biased decisions based on gender and race through US election. AI-powered autonomous security systems become more susceptible to hacking when humans are out of the loop.
The advent of Super-Intelligent Machines will surely have a massive impact on society. The big worry in today’s world is the weaponization of AI. Hollywood is famous for Sci-Fi-movies of all time. We saw close encounters of the third kind in Spielberg’s film AI Artificial Intelligence (Kubrick’s Story 2001). Also Star Trek – ‘The Next Generation’ (1994) has always been something to learn on AI at our early days. It was another interesting movie ‘The Matrix’, where machine becomes self-aware and wants to end the world. Technology revolution has many challenges. Unlike past, which people worked for the humanity, now they thrust machine to learn for the universe.
Sooner we’ll be enslaved by super-intelligent Robots. With the availability of huge capacities of Cloud, the enormous sum of collected data and algorithms based on neural networks, AI no longer call a Sci-Fi subject. AI with Machine Learning could prove to be a game changer for unique operational efficiencies and could disrupt every business sector from Banking to Transportation and Health. Robotics and automated weapons will soon replace human in Armed Forces. Airport Robots are already a reality. Delhi airport gets India’s first AI humanoid Robot ‘Rada’ to assist flyers. AI for drone is becoming increasingly important for capable of killing intruders along border. It is going to transform the globe and impact on the job market.
We were concerned of Soviet-era Bunker to survive from AIpocalypse, the final destruction of the world. Does the vista unfold in a progression of AI Technology and Machine Learning seemingly disruptive as the AI-threats itself? Mr Prabir is right on thinking AI-hype; AI can serve as a valuable tool for Tax Auditors too. We are at the cusp of an AI revolution that is all set to change our lives through reinforcement learning techniques. Machine Learning is the beginning of the future of AI. A Robot now gets its Machine Intelligence.
A Robot can be taught deep learning like Automated Transportation to Cybrog (brain communicate with a robotic limb) Technology, hazardous jobs and climate change. Machine Consciousness is the final stage of AI. Many are deeply sceptical about AI but I am awfully keyed up for the ever-burgeoning future of biologically inspired Artificial Intelligence. The world is focussing on the impact of path-breaking Machine Learning and Super Intelligent Robotics on society.
The writer is from Guwahati and can be reached at kamal.baruah@yahoo.com or 8638739634

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