In recent years you have certainly asked yourself these questions: Will machines replace humans? Will they be able to think, understand, and behave like people? These are issues that, almost without realizing it, gradually become facts. This is the result of Artificial Intelligence

The History of Artificial Intelligence begins in 1950, when we can talk about the search for real AI. In that year, Alan Turing, tasked with deciphering the Nazi Enigma machine during the Second World War publishes “Computing Machinery and Intelligence, the first time in which it is believed that machines are capable of thought. Since that publication, the history of Artificial Intelligence has accumulated failures and victories that have taken it to where it is today: completely present in our daily lives.

What is artificial intelligence?

The emergence of Artificial Intelligence has played a key role in the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. According to the World Economic Forum, “it affects almost every industry in all countries.”

“We are on the verge of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope and complexity, this transformation is unlike anything humanity has experienced before.” – Klaus Schwab, founder and Executive President, World Economic Forum, Geneva.

Artificial Intelligence is an umbrella term for concepts and technologies that mean different things to different people- self-driving cars, robots that mimic humans and human behaviour, self-learning… their applications are everywhere.

Why is artificial intelligence important?

Artificial Intelligence Systems are critical for companies looking to extract value from data through processes of automation and optimization or the production of processable information. Artificial Intelligence systems driven by self learning allow companies to leverage the large amounts of data available to discover ideas and patterns. It would be impossible for a single person to go through all this information, allowing them to offer more specific and customized communications and to identify possible fraudulent transactions.

Companies that do not adopt AI and self learning technologies are destined to stay behind.

Global spending on AI will grow by 50% annually and will reach 57.6 billion dollars in 2021. Industries such as retail, marketing, healthcare, information technology, insurance, etc. will benefit from AI and machine learning.

Companies driven by data will earn 1.2 trillion dollars per year more than non-knowledge-driven companies by the year 2020.

Advantages and disadvantages of artificial intelligence

  • Advantages of Artificial Intelligence

    • Dealing with global tasks
      An important advantage of artificial intelligence is its power to complete routine tasks through intricate automation that increases productivity. In theory, this can even eliminate the “mundane” tasks of human beings and free them so that they become increasingly creative.

    • Faster decision making
      The use of artificial intelligence along with cognitive technologies can help make faster decisions and take action more quickly.

    • Avoiding mistakes
      The term “human error” was born because humans naturally make mistakes at times. Computers, however, do not commit these errors, that is, of course, assuming they are programmed correctly. With Artificial Intelligence, data can be processed without errors, regardless of the size of the data set.

    • Taking risks on behalf of human beings
      With Artificial Intelligence, it can be argued that the risks to which human beings are exposed is reduced in the name of research.

      Take the example of space exploration and the Mars rover known as Curiosity. It can travel the landscape of Mars, exploring it and determining the best ways to take, while learning to think for itself.

      The use of artificial intelligence could result in massive benefits in areas such as forecasting demand, medical diagnosis, and oil exploration.

  • Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence

    • High costs
      Hardware and software need to be updated over time to meet the latest requirements. Machines need to be repaired and maintained, which involves high costs.

    • They can’t think outside of their programming
      can only do the work for which they are programmed. They cannot behave differently outside of any algorithm or programming stored in their internal circuits. And when it comes to a creative mind, nothing can beat a human mind.

      A computer can’t think differently while doing or drawing something. Thoughts come from emotions and experiences that machines aren’t capable of. So a machine is incapable of thinking outside the box while thousands of new thoughts and ideas come to the human mind.

    • They cannot feel compassion and sympathy
      There is no doubt that the machines are much better when it comes to working efficiently, but they cannot replace the human connection that creates teamwork. Machines cannot develop a relationship with humans.

    • Highly dependent on machines
      In the current generation, most people depend heavily on applications like Siri. With so much help from machines, if the humans don’t need their thinking skills, these skills gradually diminish. In the future, with intensive use of Artificial Intelligence applications, human beings might become totally dependent on machines, losing mental abilities.

These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence. Some people also say that Artificial Intelligence could destroy human civilization if it were to fall into the wrong hands.

But still, none of the AI applications are made on such a scale that could destroy or enslave humans (as shown in some movies like Transformers’ Megatron or Ultron of Marvel). So we should not consider it as a disadvantage of artificial intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence in our homes

For example, smart homes equipped with virtual assistants that recognize your voice, obey orders, and bring comfort and efficiency to your life. According to the Marketing Manager of Loxone domotics company, Meritxell Esquius, smarts homes are already here.

They are mainly made up of “robots” understand the habits of their tenants: from speakers that work as multimedia centers to locks that know when to automatically prohibit access.

How Artificial Intelligence controls through our mobile phones

Surely, where you notice the development of AI is in mobile phones. Smartphones that are unlocked through facial recognition of its owner and the presence of virtual assistants and voice.

This is one of the sections related to the action of machine learning, also known selflearning: a form of Artificial Intelligence that helps machines learn ontheir ownthrough data analysis. Thus, mobile phones are able to adapt to your daily habits and consumption depending on your behaviour.

Artificial Intelligence to predict human behavior

Machine learning is also used at companies to innovate, analyze current situations, detect behavior patterns, and create future strategies. In addition, this technology allows companies to move away from different general patterns of behaviour, now individually, on a client by client basis. In this way it increases effectiveness in establishing business techniques.

In the field of consumption, many algorithm-based tools are capable of predicting trends and anticipating the customer’s needs. This is where Big Data is directly related.

How many times have you searched for an article of clothing on the Internet and immediately in applications like Instagram or Facebook advertisements related to your search appear? Certainly a lot. What if you like a picture of a friend on vacation in London? Minutes later flight offers to London flood the screen of your PC. This is Big Data.

However, there is something that still resists Artificial Intelligence: human beings change and a person can think in a totally contrary way in two identical situations at different times.

Sleepless Virtual Assistants

To talk about Artificial Intelligence is to talk about chatbots. Virtual assistants available 24 hours a day. Surely the most wellknown is Apple’s Siri, but there are many others and we already find them in our homes and also in the banking field.

This is the case of Santander Bank, one of the first entities to incorporate Intelligent assistants. In its case, IBM’sWatson answers questions related to the insurance field and is available to employees.

Applications of Artificial intelligence in medicine

Artificial intelligence has a remarkable impact in different fields, and medicine is among them. From devices that function as an artificial pancreas adapted to release the right amount of insulin that a diabetic patient needs without having to administer it with a syringe, to applications containing continuous learning systems that function as a medical office.

For example, this application is in continual contact with the patient and stays informed regarding his or her health status. So if it detects that something is wrong, it tasks itself with notifying a medical team.

AI is also beginning to be used to fight infectious diseases. In fact, the Dominican innovator Rainier Mallol has created an intelligent platform that predicts up to three months in advance future epidemics of zika, dengue, and chikunguña.

Artificial intelligence arrives at hotels

The field of hotels is another one that has gotten on the bandwagon of innovation and is increasingly making use of technology to attract more tourists. Smart hotels automatically regulate the smell we want to breathe or turn walls into meadows, mountains, or water, taking us to another place without ever moving from the hotel.

New jobs surrounding Artificial intelligence

Another of the challenges of Artificial Intelligence is to adapt the labour market to its characteristics. Behind, is the idea that the infamous robots will take our jobs in the future.

Technology will increase the productivity of the economy even more and will reinforce many other existing jobs while allowing for new jobs.

In the case of Spain, the Observatory for the Analysis and Economic Development of the Internet (ADEI) estimates that 3.2 million jobs linked to digitization will emerge between 2016 and 2030, and another 600,000 with a high human component.

In the near future, professions that sound strange to us now will become common: nanodoctors, organ designers, artificial intelligence designers, or cyber experts.

Artificial Intelligence vs hackers

This is one of the major problems that experts must face: network security. Artificial intelligence is advancing in order to improve people’s lives.

However, this advance is no stranger to the appearance of hackers or users who use their knowledge to manipulate devices with AI. This is possibly the great disadvantage related to the phenomenon.

Another problem is the use of artificial intelligence in conflicts and war. Currently, countries such as Russia, China, India, and South Korea are working to this goal. In fact, Russia has already introduced Fedor: a robot that fires with great precision, lifts weight, and drives vehicles.

Its existence worries the United Nations and its SecretaryGeneral, Antonio Guterres, and the initiation of these machines as become stigmatized as unacceptable. Can you imagine what these devices would mean in inadequate hands? What if they could be hacked and used for terrorist attacks? Situations of real chaos could occur.

In short, it is undeniable that Artificial Intelligence enters our lives to make them more interesting, comfortable, and efficient. The challenge is that, as it develops, new security measures are created to reassure the user that something has been developed to help and coexist with human beings and does not turn against them.