When we think about Artificial Intelligence (or AI) we tend to immediately conjure up images of futuristic robots running around and everything getting pretty out of hand. Before you start looking for Will Smith to come and save the day, let’s take a moment to see how it’s secretly more involved in your daily life than you might think.
Back in the 50’s, if you were to talk to someone about AI you’d probably be talking about a future event involving some pretty far-out science fiction ideas including hover cars, household robots and intelligent spaceships. These days it’s a little more discrete.
Have you ever been trawling through Pinterest for some outfit inspiration and then all of a sudden your phone suggests clothing ideas; when you last logged on to your favourite website and right before you buy those new trousers, the website suggests the perfect item to match your purchase… that’s all AI!
You’re probably very familiar with virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s ‘Hey Google’ feature. It’s all super helpful to have a world of knowledge at our fingertips (or vocal chords in this case), but have you ever stopped to think about how and why these programs have been created and how much we actually depend
If someone were to ask you a question that you didn’t know the answer to and you couldn’t quickly whip out your mobile and have a quick search, you’d struggle, right? You’re not alone, we would too!
We are so used to having access to any information we need at our beck-and-call now that it’s making us a bit lazy
To understand the fascinating advances that technology has seen in the last few decades, let’s have a closer look at the developing world of Artificial Intelligence.
A brief history:
Believe it or not, the history of Artificial Intelligence can be traced right back to the ancient Greeks, with myths featuring mechanical men and artificial beings like the golden robots of Hephaestus
. (make a note of that one for the next pub quiz!)
Alan Turing, a British mathematician and WWII code-breaker is credited as being one of the first people to come up with the idea of intelligent machines in the 1950s (clever clogs).
He even created the Turing test
, which is still used today to determine a machines ability to “think” like a human. His ideas were mocked at the time but Turing didn’t let that stop him and he set the wheels in motion for the technology we know and love today (thanks Alan!)
By the mid-1950s the idea of Artificial Intelligence was picked up by the film industry and entered into popular culture, leading to classic films like War of the Worlds, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Short Circuit, I Robot, and of course Pixar’s lovable Wall-E.
Although it took a few decades for everyone to realize just how powerful AI could actually be, our world is now developing around AI.
What is AI? Artificial Intelligence is the ability for a computer program to continually learn from the data it collects. AI requires a natural sense of curiosity and passion for problem solving, you’ll need to know how to code, which code language you should learn
and work with computers. It’s worth noting that there are three main types of AI: narrow, general and super.
is what we experience in daily life while interacting with technology. This type of program has been set up to carry out specific tasks such as predicting weather forecasts, search terms, purchase suggestions and image recognition. In a nutshell, it’s the type of intelligence we have access to today.
understands it’s environment and reacts as a human would (think Sonny from I Robot)…it’s the sort of AI that is commonly seen in movies and books. Obviously, it doesn’t exist yet but AI experts predict that it could soon become a reality (don’t get too excited, this has been a long-standing rumour for a while…)
is the ability for a computer program to be smarter than the best human brains in practically every field! However, we’re pretty far off achieving this type of intelligence, so we may be waiting a while!
Now you’re all clued up on the ins and outs of Artificial Intelligence, it’s time to think about how you can be more involved in this growing field.
Looking into a software developer course
that gives you the skills you’ll need to begin a career in this field is a great place to start!
You’ll also need to be pretty clued up on your maths skills as creating algorithms is centred on strong numerical abilities. Having a creative mind helps too – you’ll need to think outside the box to come up with the next futuristic idea that would make our lives easier and start creating it! What a cool job!
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