GRAND Magazine - November/December 2018 - 13

tech talk

Artificial intelligence - how can it serve you?
BY DEANNA SHOSS

I

f you were to form your opinion about artificial intelligence (AI)
from movies, you would, quite logically, be freaking out. The machines, aka robots, always
end up winning.
They outsmart us. As humans
feebly assert their superiority because of their ability
to feel, an innocent child
befriends a robot, igniting
their emotional learning.
The machines lock the
humans out of whatever
system we've created,
citing our predisposition for conflict or our
irrational (to them) priority to save a few at the
cost of long-term good
for many.
And yet here we are, on
a roller coaster, hurtling into a
future world that is completely
reliant on AI.
Should you be scared? The first
step is to understand what AI is.
"Artificial intelligence scares us
when we think that we have
detected reasoning from
a machine," says Thierry
Hubert, Founder and CEO
of Darwin Ecosystem.
Like when Alexa began
13 GRAND

NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

laughing at people. But that turned out to be a command anomaly, not an ironic commentary from a sentient machine.
Those who actually work with AI will tell you it's not
that machines are learning. It's that they can process
more data faster than humans. "Pattern detection
is the fundamental ingredient of all cognitive
computing associated with AI. Systems do
not have an existential prerogative," says
Hubert. "AI unifies our collective knowledge and augments our reasoning
ability."
What may seem like a
machine thinking is actually
algorithms that allow for pattern
detection, structuring natural
language, detecting objects on
images (think face recognition),
translating languages and learning
a trend to be able to recognize it to
improve diagnostics or predictions.
When you look at it as patterns
informing predictions it is easy to
see how it works. A child starts to run
into traffic. 99.9% of the time someone
nearby will grab them and pull them
back. A computer 'nanny' could easily
learn to do this.
Don Zoufal, J.D. C.P.P., Safety and Security
Consultant, advises police departments on
advanced technologies in law enforcement.
Zoufal says AI is well-suited to tasks that require sifting through inordinate amounts of data quickly. Think

staggering amounts of data produced by the ubiquitous presence
of security cameras, or the Internet of things (IoT). "But machines
are not good at context," says Zoufal who, at least for now, assures
that humans are better at complex reasoning.

VR vs AR vs AI

I like to think if I thought it, someone else did too. I can't be
the only one who was a little confused when it all started
burgeoning on the intersection (or lack thereof) of AI, AR
and VR. Just in case, here's a quick side bar to distinguish
them.

Artificial intelligence - AI is about a machine's abil-

ity to detect patterns and categorize. We call AI infused machines
"smart." But in reality they can more be described as fast processors with a limitless memory.

Augmented reality - AR adds digital elements to

a live view, often by using the camera on a smartphone. For
example, IKEA has a nifty app called "IKEA Place" where you can
"place" items from their catalog into your home to see if/how
they will fit.
Continued on next page


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GRAND Magazine - November/December 2018

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