We all know what robots are ? For many people it is a visual of a machine which imitates a human for example the androids in Star Wars, The terminator or Star Trek. In modern world we take help of many mechanical robots such as lifts, cars or even traffic signals. These all are mechanized machines designed and programmed to perform certain tedious and repetitive tasks to make our life easier.
Technologies such as Robotics combined with automation which now includes and have Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning added to it has been shaping our future and shaping the world since past many years.
If my memory serves me right, It is said that the first known robot was created somewhere around 350-400 BC by a mathematician “Archytas”, Who is a renowned name in mechanical engineering and is popularly known as the father of mechanical engineering. He built the first mechanical machine out of wood and used steam to power the movements of the machine. However the word or the term “robot” was first used in 1921 by Czech play writer “Karel Capek” in his play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots). The word robot is known to be derived from Czech word for “forced labor.”
Up until quite recently, all industrial robots could only be programmed to carry out a repetitive series of movements. Using the Robotic process automation (RPA) and Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). The businesses worldwide have automated the manufacturing processes and plants and after introducing robotics to their manufacturing plants, the businesses were able to replace the unskilled or semi-skilled workers with robots. It is estimated that Robots may steal as many as 800 million jobs in the next 13 years. In other words by 2030 800 million of today’s job will no longer be there, or 800 million people will lose their jobs by 2030 because of robotics.
While work that is tedious and repetitive will get automated fully sooner or later for sure thus eliminating junior level and middle level jobs, but what about senior level jobs. What will happen to the designations such as managers, directors or even CEO’s who are responsible for the overall growth and leadership of the organisation. Is there a possibility of automating them as well? The answer in my opinion is certainly a big YES, the machines will soon have ability to think and act like human and take winning righteous decisions.
Do you remember Deep Blue? Deep blue was an IBM computer which defeated the ruling word chess champion of that time “Garry Kasparov” in 1997. After defeating the chess champion it captured the attention and imagination of the world and made people speculate what else machines can do or can not do. Exactly after twenty years in 2017 AlphaZero AI computer program won against the most popular and champion chess program after having taught itself how to play in under four hours.
Starting from random play, and given no domain knowledge except the game rules, AlphaZero achieved within 24 hours a superhuman level of play in the games of chess and shogi [a similar Japanese board game] as well as Go, and convincingly defeated a world-champion program in each case,” AlphaZero won or drew all 100 games.
So what Is happening here? How a computer is able to think and decide what to do next ?
Before I can answer that, let’s first analyse how the human mind works? The human brain is unfettered and infinitely elastic and as a consequence, thinking is imaginative and boundary less. New discoveries lead to learning and humans often capture this knowledge. The humans process information about the world around them in terms of concepts that have already been learned. They also have a unique ability to combine concepts to create richer models of the world around them. This basic human ability is acquired over a period of time primarily through observation and feedback.
Let me share my experience with you, I have been running my offices virtually without being physically present in the office since last couple of years with the help of some tools which I have developed for myself for experimental purpose. These tools are based on emerging AI and machine learning algorithms and technologies and let me confess they have proven to be a big boon to me. If nothing else they have yielded me few hours or my time which now I can utilize elsewhere doing even better things.
So what is Machine learning in simple terms, the machine learning is nothing but a sub subject of computer science and artificial intelligence (AI) that focuses on the design of systems that can learn from and make decisions and predictions based on data which is available to them, just like how we human reach to any situation or scenario based on our past experiences in lift. Machine learning enables computers to act and make data-driven decisions rather than being explicitly programmed to carry out a certain task in a certain manner.
According to a new research paper from MIT and Michigan State University, A new automated machine learning system can analyze data and come up with a solution 100x faster than humans. If this is true, which certainly is then why do we need humans at work place ?
Having said that and despite concerns about humans losing their jobs to automation, I personally think that future of humans and future of jobs has never been so upbeat. The trends at work place, the trends in our lives have always changed and they will continue to change.
While computer are busy trying to solve today’s problems, there will be always be new problems and humans will be required to help machines in solving those problems. The new generation jobs will be more focused in teaming up with these machines and help bridging the gap between machines and humans so both of them can live with each other for betterment of our lives. The new generation jobs will be all about man-machine teaming.
Artificial intelligence will certainly change the world, for better and for worse only time will tell — and we need to be prepared for this change.
I am very excited and optimistic about the positives impacts of AI in our lives and the word we live in. The positive vibes comes from examples like self-driving vehicles that could prevent thousands of fatal car crashes each year. But with the introduction of self driving cars, any one with a little economic knowledge can predict that this will also fundamentally change the world’s economy, killing millions of jobs and potentially causing an economic revolution larger than we can predict. So what should we do about it? well there is not much we can do about this as of now, let the time and machines answers this question.
For those who are techies and interested in AI and Machine learning algorithms, I will try and post a simple guide for building a simple chess AI in my next post. Until then good bye and take care. Thank you for reading.