Is AI Only a Machine?

Is AI Only a Machine?

As we hear more often about Artificial Intelligence (AI) creeping into our everyday life, we are expected to know whether it is trustworthy. When we ring an office, invariably it is answered by AI based technology.AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. In this blog I shall try to explain the principle of AI working, its functional application, and its impending disastrous effect on human race.  

How does AI work? The simple answer is it works through trillions of data we feed in the computer, and to pick the one relevant to the solution or question. AI combines large data sets with intuitive processing algorithms. AI can manipulate these algorithms by learning behaviour patterns within the data set. It is important to understand that AI is not just one algorithm. An algorithm is a step by step instructions for solving a problem or accomplishing a task. One common example of an algorithm is a recipe, which consists of specific instructions for preparing a meal. 

Algorithms use an initial input along with a set of instructions. The input is the initial data needed to make decisions and can be represented in the form of numbers or words. These data get through a set of instructions, or computations including decision-making processes and mathematics. The output is the last step in an algorithm and is normally expressed as data.  

Most of us are familiar with ChatGPT (Generative  Pre-trained Transformer) which instantly replies to your questions. This works on AI and gets information through various algorithms. It is an excellent source to write an article, or to gather information on all scientific subjects, history, mathematics, politics  and current affairs. If ChatGPT is asked a view on a policy, what we get  is as good as the view of the person who compiled the data input. Therefore we find that certain answers are biased depending on the attitude of the person who programmes the data.. For example, if it is asked about curbing illegal immigrants coming in small boats, its generosity asks us to accommodate them as per human rights treaty of United Nations!  

ChatGPT originated from chatter bot in 1966 which is a computer programme designed to interact with people by stimulating human conversation. This was created in the Artificial Intelligence laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by Joseph Weizenbaum. Later it was known as ‘chat bot’ which worked in the same principle as ChatGPT. The current ChatGPT is subsequently developed by engineers of Open AI.  According to the latest available data, ChatGPT currently has over 100 million users and the website currently generates 1.8 billion visits per month. The United States is the clear leader in AI development, with major tetch-companies head quarters.  China closely follows the US and other countries excelling AI include UK, France, Germany, Scandinavian Countries, UAE, South Korea and Taiwan.


 There are a lot of functional applications for AI. They are as follows;  
AI reduces human physical effort
AI has been instrumental in reducing human-intensive labour by leveraging on Smart Automation. As per the Oxford Economics there are more than 2.25 million Robots deployed worldwide in many factories, AI enabled robots  are programmed for heavy lifting, carrying, transporting and for other mundane activities. Amazon deploys 100000 AI based robots in their fulfilment centre. These robots move inventory from one shelf to other safely. Another robots can unload and load full trailer load of stocks within 30 minutes.

 It Increases efficiency in the healthcare sector
AI has been a great boon  to medical and pharmaceutical Industry.  Pharmaceutical companies uses AI to analyse historical data related to Genes and chemical reactions. It ensures better utilization of their Research and Development (R&D) Budget. AI  increases the chances of their drugs clearing the clinical trials. . 

AI helps to transform financial Sector 
AI is a great tool in analysing performance of various shares and arrive at the predictable profit or loss. AI has wide-ranging applications in the Finance Industry ranging from Risk Assessment, Fraud Detection and Algorithm based Trading. Paypal has been using advanced deep learning algorithm to detect fraudulent transactions. 

Better customer service interactions
It is accepted that previous version of Chat-Bots interactions was very time consuming and frustrating.  The AI-powered chat-bots using Natural Language Processing have a better understanding of human interactions. But my view is that the customer care has not not been improved by AI. For example AI cannot engage into bargain on tariffs and fees for the advantage of corporate companies and their customers. 

AI enhances safety on roads .
Artificial Intelligence is playing a major role in reducing such fatalities on road by using to record and analyse every minute details regarding the driving pattern of different drivers. Autopilot,is the future of car technology which functions by AI.  Autopilot, or self driving cars  detect surrounding areas through various cameras and sensors. Artificial Intelligence has immense potential and it has started to show tangible results across all the sectors.  

Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence 
There is high cost involved in developing machines capable of simulating human intelligence. Lack of creativity is a big disadvantage of AI as it cannot think outside the input data. The advent of AI based robotic machines replace labour involved employment  which results in unemployment and make human being lazy.  As I pointed out in the beginning of this article, a biased input into the machine according to the whims and fancy of the data programmer, AI solution to a problem can sound  biased or to the worst discriminatory. AI based automated customer interaction is deemed to be very frustrating and patronising. This is because AI machines are emotionless and have no ethics. 

Fraudsters can easily make fake AI based  machines defrauding or exploiting the society. Cyber attack on computer networks and fraudsters taking  control of confidential and sensitive information leading to ransom payment could be done more easy through  AI based devices. Air crafts on autopilot can be taken over and diverted to  far flung destinations by remotely operated AI system. Scammers can hack into  power grids and financial systems with the use of AI. This would give AI based machines unprecedented power over human society and could lead to widespread chaos and destruction.  

In spite of all these drawbacks, our society immensely benefit from the advent of AI. This is because it enhances productivity, improved healthcare, transport and legal system. Nowadays many companies pioneer in providing artificial intelligence (AI) based machine at the core of their business. This will  deliver innovative products and service offerings. Notable of these businesses are BenevolentAI (AI platform for science and healthcare), Casetext helping legal researchers and cognitive Scale designed to augment human cognitive capabilities.   

Regulation on AI   
Regulation is now generally considered indispensable to manage associated misuse and risks. In G7 meeting at Hiroshima in May 2023 world leaders had a timely awakening on regulating AI. In early June 2023,  the British prime minister Rishi Sunak and the US president Biden  resolved to roll out necessary regulations on AI jointly. The regulation will cover to protect the data to be used for AI, to safe guard transparency and accountability, to eliminate bias and discriminations, to ensure health and safety , intellectual property , and ethical policies. 

 AI has the potential to revolutionise every area of human life, businesses, industries, healthcare, legal system, transport and education. It is wrong to predict that within two years AI will pose serious threat to humanity and that it will control the cognitive faculties of human being. 

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Dr.C.J.George FRCS

This blog is about my experience as a doctor working in various countries in different clinical set up. This experience spans through 45 years, in which I acquired a lot of favourable contacts and unfavourable encounters. I shall dig deep into them and make it interesting to the readers. Unlike others in the profession, I worked as a community medical officer in a remote areas, prison medical officer, benefit service medical officer, in cardiac surgery in prestigious institutions and as a private doctor. I was managing my own businesses, and real estate in three continents. I hope the information I impart will be valuable to the like minded readers.

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