It’s no surprise that people are wondering if machines will someday replace humans with computers stronger than ever and robots popping up on factory assembly lines. But Google executives say that it’s nothing to be afraid of.
That’s because freeing people up to pursue more creative, interesting things, innovations will make the world better and more efficient.
“Some jobs are displaced, but equally new jobs are also created each time a new technology comes along,” Dave Silver, a lead programmer of a powerful Google computer, AlphaGo, said in a TV interview. “There will be big change … but it’s something I’m optimistic will actually lead to more opportunities, rather than less.”
With its machine, AlphaGo, as the most visible success thus far, Google has made a big push with artificial intelligence. Ke Jie, a 19 year old and the world’s best player of Go, an ancient Chinese board game, was beaten twice already this week by the computer.
Given the complexity – there are more possible configurations of the board than atoms in the universe and therefore teaching computers to master the game has long been considered a holy grail for scientists.
And something that happened about a decade sooner than experts anticipated is AlphaGo’s ability to beat the best human masters.
The tech firm is now looking to apply AI to a range of fields, given these rapid advancements. Lily Peng, a trained doctor leading the tech firm’s efforts in finding health applications said that image recognition, for instance, can be used for diagnosing medical conditions.
Peng said that such technology can help physicians cut down the “time crunching through data.” Then doctors can spend far more time “taking care of the patients … [and] understanding what they want to tailor the best treatment for them.”
Jia Li, head of R&D for machine learning and artificial intelligence at Google said that HSBC has even taken on Google services to fight money laundering and better calculate risk, when it comes to finance.
Now, much faster than the six hours it previously took, the bank can generate certain financial reports in six minutes.
“We’re most excited about applying AI to science and medicine … using AI as a tool to improve scientific breakthroughs,” Demis Hassabis, CEO of Google DeepMind, which developed AlphaGo, said. “And also to improve healthcare and maybe eventually help with finding cures for diseases or medical diagnostics.”
Also using artificial intelligence for various applications are oOther firms, like Beijing-based tech firm Baidu. by matching images uploaded to an online platform, Baidu, for example, has used facial recognition to identify and locate missing people, in cooperation with government authorities. So far, the company has been able to successfully locate two missing persons.
(Adapted from CNBC)