How Far has A.I. come in 2019

Aditya Rana
4 min readJul 31, 2019

Nowadays, it is very common for a word like A.I. (artificial intelligence) to be used so often that it’s meaning becomes kind of diluted. It isn’t hard for you to spot it casually thrown around in a product’s marketing campaign (even though it usually has nothing to do with it).

The fact that people love to imagine a terminator like scenario each time they think of A.I. also isn’t of much help. What sci-fi movies usually demonstrate is artificial ‘general’ intelligence, which we are really far from achieving as of now. But still, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has repeatedly told that A.I. will take off on it’s own and re-design itself with an ever increasing rate and outpace biological evolution. And so, OpenAI was founded by Elon Musk in which many companies and individuals pledged for development of A.I. in a regulated manner to which microsoft recently donated a billion dollars. Speaking of Elon Musk, his company NeuraLink unveiled a brain machine interface on the 17th of July.

A.I. is being used to:

  • Aid healthcare by going through heaps and heaps of data to accurately diagnose people with diseases like cancer.
  • Converse over the phone to make reservations in a manner that people didn’t even realise that the voice wasn’t that of a human (Google duplex).
  • Translate languages in real time with the same accuracy as that of a person.
  • Performing automated background checks on people to determine whether or not they should be given a house on rent.
  • Recognise objects by just using a smartphone camera (Google lens and Pinterest lens).
  • Develop fully autonomous driving systems (Tesla autopilot).

Some people argue that even though headlines scream of dozens of innovations (which they quite possibly will continue to) we have hit a plateau, and they are right too. All recent developments in this field feel like improvements or modifications to things that were previously possible (with the exception of deepfakes in my view).

Some shortcomings A.I. still have:

  • They need a ton of data in the form of data sets to be of any use. So people have to spend thousands of hours just to label the data being fed to those systems.
  • A.I. may become biased if the data being entered is biased too. This has happened to many companies who trained A.I to choose people for jobs. In the end, some of them ended up favouring men over women for various reasons.
  • As A.I. becomes more and more complex with time, it becomes harder to pinpoint what sort of experiences led to a failure.

How governments are using AI to change the geopolitics landscape…

Recently, Donald Trump signed an executive order launching ‘American AI Initiative’ aimed to make federal agencies focus on AI but skeptics argue that little funding is available.

Now let’s have a look at china. In a province called Tianjin $16 billion alone is invested for AI based applications. You may wonder how the US being leapfrogged by China. I believe that is because the communist party of china is not answerable to anyone, not even it’s people while the US government keeps getting stuck in security concerns (not like it’s a bad thing).

Nations look forward to pushing development in AI as the next space or nuclear weapons race and only we can only imagine what consequences it brings.

A.I. has come a long way but still needs to go further. One can only imagine how it will revolutionises our daily lives.


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