Artificial Intelligence and Why We Should Care

Almost lost out on this week's writing. A lot has been going on with Artificial Intelligence also known as AI, and it seems to be sweeping across everywhere.

Some people have concerns about understanding it, and a lot of people fear they may lose their jobs to it. So in this short article, I'll try to explain what AI is and how we can allay any fears about it, as fears always surround things we do not understand.

First, AI is a field of study concerned with making computers have human-like attributes like understanding language, images, and video contents, and lots more. AI is powered by machine learning(ML), which is a technique of teaching computers how to learn from data without being explicitly programmed. It involves different of mathematical and programming principles. The foundation of all these lies in captured data. It is not rocket science or magic. Computers learn from data and using massive amounts of data, ML is able to identify patterns and make predictions based on that!

One of the most common AI tools openly available today is ChatGPT and Bard; I made a video about that and also made another video here where I shared how anyone with more interest in the subject can get learning content for free.

It's an exciting space because of the huge potential it has to change the way we work. AI is currently handling customer calls and queries even better than some humans and better at identifying diseases from images. It's supporting medical practitioners, weather forecasts, and is going to support us with a lot of tasks.

But major challenges come with this: first is bias. Now, the computers themselves are not biased because they only process what humans who design the AI systems put inside of them. The bias often comes from a lack of diversity in data used to train the model and unconscious bias from a group of people whose own biases influence their perspective on how such systems should be trained.

As humans, we are often biased based on what we are focusing on, what we are used to, and the ties or beliefs we may hold dear to us. We can also be biased when we have limited information or are prejudiced towards a group of people. These inherent biases find their way into the design process and are magnified by the computers.

Therefore, a more diverse group of people who understand this technology is needed.

Another challenge is hallucination, referring to AI systems' ability to generate misleading responses. This means that everyone has to be conscious of outputs from AI systems and double-check that they are accurate.

Lack of data for some challenges AI could solve is another problem highlighting the importance of great data collection practices. If there's no data available, nothing the AI systems can do. There should be more awareness regarding appropriate data collection and management systems.

These challenges mean that more people are needed to pick interest in this technology and play roles in ensuring that multiple perspectives are shared to mitigate bias. Experienced people in any sector need to be able to ensure AI makes less mistakes and more people need to take data capturing/management seriously regarding any problem we may want to solve with AI. This technology is so powerful and capable of a lot that it cannot just be very few people who understand, design, build and implement it. You have a role to play as well!

What's important first is upskilling yourself in this area and understanding more about what it is and how you can use it. The video here is a starting point, but there are plenty of resources you can find about it online.

Why is this on my blog, you may ask? Well, a part of personal development is staying up to date with current trends in the world. It doesn't mean an overload of information or mindlessly scrolling through news. It just means keeping one's ear on the ground and following what's going on or the direction you perceive the world is headed.

AI is coming, and it's coming hard. The best time to have started developing useful skills in this area was years ago; another best time is today.

Develop new tech skills and keep winning!

Your AI supported friend,

Ike :)


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