With advancement in technology we’ve always had a desire to create machines that could perform tasks beyond the limitations of their programmed protocols. This led to the rise of artificial intelligence with several real life applications such as video games, automobiles, electronics and gadgets etc.
Machines that could not only achieve various tasks involving physical interaction but also require little to no human intervention or operation. Sure there’s a lot that needs to be achieved before we can speak of any major accomplishments. But the future is definitely bright for our attempts to play god.
Nevertheless, we’re still far from creating machines that could exhibit sentient behavior as living beings. But this doesn’t mean that we haven’t made any progress as there are some significant milestones that we have achieved in our quest to create artificial intelligence.
Stages of Existing AI Technologies
As the name suggests, Symbolic AI attempts to emulate human problem solving behavior in machines. It might sound like something right out of the future, but this approach towards creating machine intelligence has been in development since the 1950s.
The best example of this technology can be seen in computer controlled opponent in games such as chess. The AI not only mimics a human player’s strategy but will also adapt according to the player’s skill. This technology has further been implemented in medical diagnostics, proving mathematical theorems and chemical analysis in various fields.
Functional or weak AI:
Even before computers were invented there was a need of the intelligent machine which can reduce human involvement. This stage isn’t about creating problem solving machine, but applications that could automate a certain process to provide assistance.
One of the earliest remnants of this technology can be found in fan regulators used in steam locomotives. These were installed to maintain a stable amount of steam pressure to maintain constant speed in trains. Another example is computer controlled fuel-injection systems in modern internal combustion engines, which regulate fuel intake for better performance and fuel economy in vehicles.
This is the most advanced phase of AI and includes many interesting inventions around us. Most electronic gadgets we use today involve some form of gesture based control, with several of them displaying predictive capabilities. All this is possible due to the application of an advanced AI. While it is still a pipedream for machines to be able to detect and react to emotions, Advanced or Strong AI is the best we currently have.
Voice recognition, biometric detectors, facial recognition in cameras etc. are all examples of a strong AI implementation. The newest example of this technology can also be seen in the google assistant enabled chat app Allo, that adapts its suggestions and answers according to the user’s behavior. The onset of autonomous vehicles is also made possible through this advanced phase of AI.
‘Intelligence’ in general sense, means one’s ability to learn and to solve problems. While this ability is best exemplified in humans (and several other species), the onset of self-aware, thinking machines is also not far from reality.