Cognitive technologies to replace humans?

He turned to face the machine. “Is there a God?”
The mighty voice answered without hesitation, without the clicking of a single relay.
“Yes, now there is a God.”
Sudden fear flashed on the face of Dwar Ev. He leaped to grab the switch.
A bolt of lightning from the cloudless sky struck him down and fused the switch shut.

(Fredric Brown, “Answer”)

We’ve been warned many times, first by authors like Azimov or Brown, then by movies like Colossus, Terminator, Matrix, more recently Transcendence, videogames like Alpha Centauri – someday by trying to create and intelligence matching ours, we would create the one surpassing, and it would discard humanity. But we do not stop. Dystopian sci-fi from our earlier review might prove true…

Yet, let us not be frightened superstitious peasants, and explore current and upcoming useful possibilities of AI – namely, cognitive technologies.

These are products of the wider field of artificial intelligence, able to perform tasks that only humans used to be able to do – judging data and taking decisions based upon that judgment.

Performance of these technologies has improved substantially in recent years, which is a logical basis for continuing R&D efforts to extend this progress. Also, billions of dollars have been invested to commercialize these technologies by applying them for a range of sectors and business functions, making them easier to buy and easier to deploy.

Of very many ways of use, we are going to tell you about Natural language processing as an example.

This refers to the ability of computers to work with text the way humans do, for instance, extracting meaning from text or even generating text that is readable, stylistically natural, and grammatically correct. Such system would not understand what the text is about, in a human way, but still would process it.

Such and related algorithms are widely used nowadays. We provide some examples that hasn’t yet been a matter of popular culture.

  • In banking and the public sector, automated fraud detection systems use machine learning to identify behaviour patterns that could indicate fraudulent payment activity;
  • In life sciences and medicine, machine learning systems are being used to predict cause-and-effect relationships from biological data, which leads to better knowing human bodies, more precise diagnoses and effective cure.
  • In media and entertainment, a number of companies are using data analytics and natural language generation technology to automatically draft articles and other narrative material about data-focused topics such as corporate earnings or sports game summaries.

Of course, these high-tech uses are related to the most developed countries, like USA or Japan. But nothing stops Ukraine from climbing to that summit, as well, except for backward thinking.

For more details and spheres of modern use of cognitive tech, see source (it’s a really big university-grade article).

PS. For now, these numerous scripts are under human control, their activity checked in the end of working cycle. But, given more ability to think and learn, connected into one entity by overlapping clouds, would AI not become self-aware some day and sentient?

Would it, then, have need for us?


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