Artificial Intelligence (AI) recently conducted an interview with Formula 1 icon Michael Schumacher, created a hit on Spotify, and won a photography prize. And those are just the cases that make the news. AI is already tremendously impacting our lives and work, and this will only increase with further development. How will the three phases of AI impact your business operations?
AI systems are currently capable of thinking 300,000 times faster than the human brain. That already sounds dizzying, but that figure will likely be laughed at next year. ChatGPT was the first application to reach the general public, but developments have been ongoing for decades. Consequently, the number of startups developing new AI solutions is growing explosively.
The book “The Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick – which the 2002 film starring Tom Cruise is based on – dates back to the 1950s. In the story, mutants are able to predict human behavior, enabling them to arrest criminals before they commit any wrongdoing. At the time, it was science fiction, but the story is no longer as improbable.
Artificial intelligence was also born in the 1950s. A basic chatbot was already being developed during that time. Thirty years later, data mining emerges, significantly advancing the development of AI. After all, a self-learning system can’t exist without data. That being said, AI always remained confined to laboratories. It is only in the past decade that we have started applying it in business systems.
Regulation is necessary
There is no doubt that developments are progressing rapidly. It’s no wonder that Elon Musk (Tesla) and prominent entrepreneurs and scientists called for a “development pause” for AI. Let’s first examine how we can regulate the use of these systems before they surpass our understanding.
On a small scale, this is already happening. Constant Brinkman, an art gallery owner from Amsterdam, had AI develop artists; personas that then went on to create art based on their “personality.” It’s a kind of layered AI, where an AI-created persona subsequently generates art through AI. Protests from the art world demonstrate the need for regulation. We will likely see more examples in the near future, similar to what we witnessed with the use of deep fakes.
Three Phases of AI
For the development of AI, we currently distinguish three phases. We are currently in the era of Artificial Narrow Intelligence. In this phase, applications perform a single task, such as ChatGPT creating content. Microsoft refers to this as co-piloting, where AI assists the user in performing a task. It is a form of single-tasking, similar to what humans do, but much faster.
In the upcoming decade, we will transition to Artificial Generic Intelligence. In this phase, we combine vast datasets in volumes that the human brain can no longer comprehend. By making connections and aggregating information, new insights and knowledge are formed, leading to applicable information. This is what futurists refer to when speaking of the fourth industrial revolution. It enables us to build complete autonomous systems. We already see this happening in the automotive industry, although the developments there are still in the early stage.
Once AI systems can further combine datasets, we move towards Humanoid Artificial Intelligence. Systems can operate independently and combine vast datasets to gain insights into the deeper needs and motivations underlying the behavior of your customers.
Manipulation is lurking
Prior to reaching that stage, we will have participated in a substantial ethical debate. And rightfully so, as we are facing rapidly advancing developments. The downside of AI is always present, as we recently witnessed with the virtual friend on Snapchat who wanted to meet children in person.
How concerned should we be about AI? The market makes many promises, but can we trust that AI will do what it’s supposed to do? Or will it take on a life of its own? The Cambridge Analytica scandal taught us that AI itself is not the problem, but rather the people operating the system. Manipulation is lurking. This market is developing so rapidly that we need to pause and reflect. Companies will need to be highly transparent and must inform their customers that they use AI and also explain its purpose. Only then can you build trust and use AI responsibly. This transparency is crucial to ensure that AI does not develop in the wrong direction.
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