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Inspecting the Augmented Age with Ted Talks on AI

Mehreen Siddiqua Feb 23, 2018

In essence, the human existence can be divided into 5 eras. The hunters and gatherers age that lasted for millions of years, the agricultural age lasted for thousands of years, the industrial age lasted for hundreds of years and then the information age lasted for a few decades. But today we are entering the augmented age – an epitome of human endeavor.

We don’t know if AI is going to scare us or prepare us for the future. But there are people who can give us a glimpse of how artificial intelligence is going to affect our lives and if there is any escape from it? Let’s sneak a look at some enlightening sessions in TED Talks covering the topic of Artificial Intelligence .

What AI is and isn’t

To be honest, we know very little about what AI is and what its not. This discussion brings clarity about artificial intelligence. It points out that computers can process more data than humans ever could, so they can be utilized for repetitive and tedious task. But that’s old news.  An interesting aspect under debate these days is possibility of these systems over-riding human smartness. Now the computers are super smart because they can find their own rules through deep learning. It is to say that the computer programs have a brain of their own and they learn through patterns which closely emulate human thinking. Get a glimpse of how systems learn and tend to exceed human agility and precision.

Machine intelligence makes human morals more important

The machines can now be programmed to judge human emotions from their expressions. We are in a world where software engineers are enabling all sorts of computations and decisions. They can build driverless cars that can decide who they can run over. Also, they are building machines and weapons that can kill people at war. This means we have more ethical concerns with artificial intelligence. She elaborates how machine learning is different from traditional programming and how the later needs to be fed a lot of structured data and the system learns by churning this data to identify patterns. Learn how she explains the importance of human morals in an era of post machine intelligence.

How I am fighting bias in algorithms

Joy Buolamwini takes us on an interesting journey of discovery she made while working with a facial recognition software. She points out that the software fails to detect her face because whoever coded that algorithm didn’t work with a diverse data set including a broad range of skin tones. The glitch wasn’t serious as long as it was used in studies but when facial recognition software is used in criminal investigations, this could be a serious problem. Find out how she highlights a crucial issue and gave suggestions to counter bias in algorithms.

How AI can bring on a second Industrial Revolution

“The actual path of a raindrop as it goes down the valley is unpredictable, but the general direction is inevitable,” – Kevin Kelly

Well yes the general direction is known and inevitable, and likewise the embracing of AI backed systems by humanity is bound to happen. However, we need to reason in order to understand how Artificial Intelligence must be developed and adopted. Again like other visionaries, he also agrees that our creation is going to outsmart us. Are we prepared to deal with it. Let’s explore what he says about the second Industrial Revolution.

The incredible inventions of intuitive AI

Maurice Conti begins by elaborating how humans are unconsciously living the life of a cyborg-machine in a human’s body. Think about it, we already use our cell phones for long-term memory and storage. So by the looks of it, the augmented age has already began. Take a tour of the Augmented Age with futurist Maurice Conti and preview a time when robots and humans will work side-by-side to accomplish things neither could do alone.

How computers can learn to be creative

Blaise Agüera Arcas is a principal scientist at Google who works with deep neural networks for machine perception and distributed learning. In this fascinating lecture, he displays how the function of neural networks can now be emulated by machines. The systems can recognize images like our ocular system and maps an image that it can reproduce in reality. As he rightly points out:

“Perception and creativity are very intimately connected, any creature, any being that is able to do perceptual acts is also able to create.”

Mehreen Siddiqua

She is a millennial with a sense of humor that she embodies in visuals. A Digital Marketer focusing on Social Media Marketing by profession, exploring diverse avenues and ventures in tech while honing entrepreneurial skills. Currently she is the communications coordinator and strategist for Arpatech looking into e-commerce, consumer behavior and digital business models.