Artificial Intelligence - Maxicours

Artificial Intelligence

Objectifs
  • Découvrir un aspect de la notion d'étude citoyennetés et mondes virtuels.
  • Approfondir sa réflexion sur l'IA (Intelligence Artificielle). 
Points clés
  • On classe derrière l'appellation IA les robots et machines que la technologie a rendu capables d'accomplir des tâches et de résoudre des problématiques propres à l'humain. Les scientifiques distinguent 3 catégories parmi elles :
    • Narrow AI
    • General AI
    • Super AI
  • L'idée serait de pouvoir appliquer à ces technologies un fonctionnement semblable à celui de notre cerveau afin qu'elles raisonnent et agissent comme nous.
  • Au-delà de ce qui est techniquement réalisable, il est légitime de se demander si de telles avancées seraient une bonne chose :
    • L'IA aide l'humain, notamment dans la médecine ou le soutien aux personnes âgées ou handicapées.
    • Mais certains scientifiques craignent que des IA trop « intelligentes » ne soient une menace pour l'humanité.
1. Introduction

Artificial Intelligence is a new concept and it is also a logical consequence of the world we live in, a world where new technologies surround us and have become so indispensable that it is now impossible to do without them. But what must we think about AI? While some like Elon Musk allege it is dangerous to have recourse to it and claim that it is

The biggest existential threat

Others like Mark Zuckerberg strongly believe it can be beneficial to Man. Who is right, who is wrong? Should we fear AI or not?

Elon Musk is a South African multimillionnaire businessman who founded X.com (Paypal), SpaceX and Tesla Motors.
2. What is AI?

AI is considered as a science and it involves robots or machines that would be able to do human tasks or solve human problems because they would be able to think like a human being. According to scientists AI could be classified in three categories:

a. Narrow AI

It is the level we have reached so far. The machine can do specific tasks because it has been programmed to do so. Self-driving cars, for example, are part of this category. Narrow AI has allowed robots to become Man’s assistant so they help us but they cannot take decisions by themselves as they have not been prepared for it.

b. General AI

General AI is of course a little more elaborated and machines are no longer our assistants but they are equal to a human. Nothing has been made yet and robots are still inferior to humans because it is still very difficult to understand how our brain works. The idea is to make a machine that imitates our behaviour and which could apply its intelligence to solve problems. It could think, understand, and act like a human in any given situation.

c. Super AI

Super AI (or Superintelligence AI) is of course the utmost category. If scientists manage to reach this level robots will be superior to any human creature, however smart they are and whatever the domain! Scientists are quite optimistic and it is believed that this level will be reached soon after General AI is reached.

3. Should We be Afraid of It?

If AI did some miracles in the past thanks to Alan Turing who created a machine that helped decipher German codes during WWII and that saved over 14 million lives (see The Imitation Game), it is commonly alleged that as long as we do not go beyond Narrow AI nothing wrong can happen. But if machines become as intelligent as or more intelligent than Man some scientists think it could be:

the end of the human race (Stephen Hawking, a British scientist).

Machines would become our masters and instead of controlling them we would be controlled by them, and this frightening situation would not be the topic of a science fiction movie but sheer reality. But there is quite a long way to go.

In spite of the warnings mentioned above concerning AI, we must acknowledge the fact that AI could be useful in fields where we have difficulty finding solutions and where life is threatened, as is the case in hospitals, and it could help surgeons in operating rooms, by diagnosing and suggesting treatments or treating and predicting results.

4. Conclusion

Like all types of scientific discoveries it is legitimate to wonder what can happen with them. AI is one of them and though we all know that they can have lots of advantages they also have numerous drawbacks that we must not underestimate for the consequences can be harmful. There are two sides to a coin, we must not forget it and make sure that reason will always prevail when the time to make important decisions comes.

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