Artificial intelligence, or AI, appears to be a growing trend as an application of technology. You may have already heard about it in the news or on websites stating they use AI technology; but what is it exactly?
Artificial intelligence is the process of teaching machines to perform or complete tasks that might normally be done by humans. While it has been a rapidly developing area of concentration lately, the concept has been around for decades (since 1965, to be exact, with philosophies dating back to earlier periods).
Types of AI
Weak AI is implemented to complete ‘ordinary’ tasks or tasks with limited/set ‘rules’, such as those in a board game. AI programs are given these rule sets during programming and only operate within those as they set out to complete them with human assistance/supervision. Weak AI is the most prevalent form used today as it is essentially the ‘least’ complex.
A couple examples of their applications today can be found in everyday technologies:
- Websites – Weak AI is used to improve and streamline the customer experience (chatbots) and/or user-friendliness, such as in website development (Wix is one example).
- Devices – ‘Assistants’ like Siri, Alexa and Bixby are all programmed with the basic ‘rules’ to generate search results for you and complete other simple tasks like music selection, online ordering, etc. Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze are examples of GPS services that use weak AI to collect data on road conditions, estimate drive times and more. Devices that use facial recognition with their apps and cameras or those that automatically apply filters or other enhancements are also utilizing weak AI.
Strong AI is the second type. This type often works outside of the given sets of rules or data to overcome and solve problems on par with how a human would. In other words, strong AI operates on its own intelligence and essentially ‘teaches’ itself without human assistance. Strong AI is often represented in science-fiction, but a few close examples of machines that have been teaching themselves include Google’s AI division (DeepMind)’s program that learned Atari and its AlphaZero Go.
Strong AI is not readily or widely used in technology today, and it is not fully developed in a way for it to be used in robots or other similar sci-fi capacities (yet).
The third type of AI is known as Superintelligence, which involves the concepts of Strong AI where machines can learn and operate for themselves, but to the extent that the machine would evolve beyond any human’s intelligence. In other words, this type of AI is able to innovate and creatively problem-solve in a way that mirrors human thought. This is the type of AI that has concerned some of the top minds in science and technology, but for now, we are a long way out from this capacity.
AI and cybersecurity
Not only is AI being used a commodity in personal devices, it is being used to automate other processes, having practical applications in fields like cybersecurity. However, as with other new advancements in technology and strategy, it can also be used to carry out cyberattacks, as it is essentially another way of providing a set of rules to AI, representing an easily-automated attack from hackers. Having AI employed as a security measure against AI-based cyberattacks is one defense strategy, as well as focusing your security strategy around guarding against data protection and theft.
Where else do you think AI will show up next? Comment below. Check out the Secure360 blog for other hot industry topics like this one.