A Meteoric Rise in Sci-Fi: AI
When do the lines of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and reality begin to blur beyond recognition? Or even further, when does AI overtake the very essence of what we consider to be humanity?
The future is rapidly approaching, and technology continues to advance at a break-neck pace. Everyday, technology is improving, causing civilization as a whole to advance further than ever before. This rapid advancement leads to much of what we formerly believed to be science fiction to slowly turn into a reality.
There are currently three types of AI being looked at: Artificial Narrow, General, and Super Intelligence. Out of these three, we as humans, have only successfully conquered one, Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI). This type of AI is one that we see used in our daily lives, from the facial recognition on your phone to Alexa talking back to you, which also means that it remains the least dangerous to us as a whole.
Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) would be humanity’s last, and by far most dangerous, invention. ASI could learn and do things just like humans, yet the difference between us and ASI is that the more intelligent it becomes, the faster its learning rate will advance.
The second AI that we are on the precipice of commanding is under the guise of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). This type of intelligence is surrounding aspects of AI that were once considered only achievable by human kind. From understanding and communicating language to depicting colors and fine motor skills.
These algorithms, when programmed correctly, can both help the human kind, while also beginning the slow downfall of it. When something your grandfather would have once thought was undoubtedly impossible has become a rapidly more common occurrence in today’s world, and most AI experts believe that we will control it in the next mere 15-20 years.
When–not if– created, were it programmed to auto improve itself and allow itself to be smarter, its growth of intelligence would be exponential. ASI would be millions of times smarter than humans, something we can’t comprehend, and yet still continuing to grow. It would then be the present day equivalent to the ancient discovery of fire and could have impacts worse than both world wars.
Technology has always been a double-edged sword. Fire kept us warm, cooked our food and burned down our houses”
— American futurist and computer scientist Ray Kurzweli
Yet, these huge impacts are hitting as close to home as they are globally.
“Any technology has the potential to do good and evil, and when it comes to AI, it comes to the threshold of figuring out how to use it,¨ said South Windsor High School Career and Technical Education Curriculum Specialist, Steven Albrecht.
Now with things such as ChatGPT, we use AI to do certain things for us, assuming that the usage would be for the better. South Windsor High School, for example, has a staff dedicated to the development and teaching of computer science and technology in an effort to keep up with the rapidly changing times, and stay afloat against the sea of AI.
Over the past decade, the development of AI and computer technology has been steady. Yet recently, competition has led it to become rapid, almost exponential in growth.
¨We’ve had incremental progress up until now, General AI is going to accelerate faster and faster. AI is going to be infused with almost everything we do; it’s going to allow your generation to think of things that our generation has never thought about before,¨ said South Windsor High School Director of Technology Systems, Douglas Couture.
Do not lose all hope, though. Much of the AI that we are actively working on is made to help ourselves and better society. From self-driving cars to help the roads stay safe, to a virtual assistant in all phases of life. As the old mantra that every superhero, action, and sci-fi film has given us to inspire hope, remember that the strongest asset we own is our humanity.