3 February 2023 - Digital Learning
It is next to impossible nowadays, not to come across Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our daily lives. Even if we very often are not aware of its presence, this technological revolution has an impact on many activities and thus it generates a great deal of interest and curiosity. In order to help demystify AI and show you what AI actually is, what can and what cannot be done with it, we talked to Sana Nouzri, Postdoctoral Researcher at the AI RoboLab at the University of Luxembourg.
When talking about AI, machine learning and deep learning are two terms that come up repeatedly. Ms Nouzri, can you tell us in short what these terms actually mean and how they find their applications in our daily lives?
Artificial intelligence is an umbrella term that includes all methods of making computers “smart”. This can be anything from simple rule-based systems to more complex techniques like machine learning.
Machine learning is a subset of AI that deals with the ability of machines to receive a set of data and learn for themselves how to best complete a task, without being explicitly programmed to do so. The term “deep learning” is used to describe a machine learning technique that uses a deep neural network. This is a type of artificial neural network with a large number of hidden layers.
Deep learning is used for a variety of tasks, including image and speech recognition. In our daily lives, we encounter machine learning applications every time we use a search engine or social media. When we type in a query, the search engine uses machine learning algorithms to provide us with the most relevant results. Social media platforms also use machine learning to show us content that we are most likely to be interested in.
Other examples are virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. These assistants use machine learning algorithms to understand our natural language queries and provide us with the information we need. Deep learning is also used in a number of different fields. For example, it is used in autonomous vehicles to help them navigate and identify objects. It is also used in medical image analysis to help doctors diagnose diseases.
Other than practical applications, AI also finds its entrance in areas, like art, for instance. But is AI really capable of creating art?
There are many ways AI can create art. Some people use AI as a tool to create art. This means that AI is used to create works of art, but the idea and the artistic process are made by humans. Some artists use AI to create the artwork itself, but with some guidance from humans. For instance, an artist could create a painting with the help of AI, but he or she would still decide what colours to use and what the overall look of the painting would be. Some artists use AI to create artwork completely on its own, with no guidance from humans. This is often done by feeding the AI with data, like images, and letting the AI create something new from that data. For instance, an artist could feed an AI with paintings of a style and let the AI create a new painting that does not exist in the real world.
So, there is no real answer to that question. Some people argue that AI is not capable of creating art at all. They say that art is made and expressed by humans and that machines can’t understand the concepts of beauty, emotions, and aesthetics, and that AI is simply mimicking the creativity of humans. Some people believe that machines can be creative if they come up with new ideas that have never been thought of before. In general, it is difficult to say definitively whether machines can or cannot be creative. However, one thing that is certain is that AI stands for any task carried out by a machine that could be associated with human intelligence. These tasks can be planning, learning, reasoning and in some cases, even creating. So, to still give you an answer to the question: Yes, AI can be creative, but not in the same way humans are.
It is not yet clear how far AI will be able to go in creating art or what the limits are. Besides creating art, AI can also be used to analyse and understand existing art. For example, the machine can be used to study the style of a particular artist or to identify the artist of a painting. In the future, AI machines will become increasingly sophisticated and be able to create art that is indistinguishable from art created by humans.
Since the machine becomes more and more sophisticated, what about AI and robotics? How can we take away the fear of the classic scary thought of robots taking control?
We need to remember that robots are tools, not people. They are designed to do specific tasks and they are not capable of making their own decisions. We should also remember that robots can help us with things that are difficult or dangerous for humans to do, like exploring other planets or working in hazardous environments. When it comes to AI, we need to be careful about creating unrealistic expectations. AI is still in its early stages, and it is not yet possible to create artificial general intelligence that can match or exceed human intelligence. We should also be careful about how we use AI, making sure that we use it to supplement human intelligence rather than replace it.
Thank you, Ms Nouzri, for this insight. In short, AI is already being used a lot to our benefit. And it is clear that we have just begun exploiting its capabilities. But it also seems quite clear that its potential is best used if combined with human intelligence.
And if this has sparked your interest, we have something more for you:
Elements of AI is a series of free online courses on Artificial Intelligence (AI) created by MinnaLearn and the University of Helsinki. The courses deliver the basics of what AI is, how it works and how it can be used. They combine theory with practical exercises and can be completed at your own pace. Join this uniquely fascinating MOOC on what AI really is, how it is created and how it will affect us in the coming years, now also in Luxembourg on: https://www.elementsofai.lu/
This article is also available at : https://www.siliconluxembourg.lu/demystifying-ai-and-its-evolution/
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