When you do a quick Google search for the term artificial intelligence, the results do not just include -as is to be expected- multiple links to a definition of the term
but also to many other links that deal with concerns over the spread of AI and its impact in our lives -in areas such as the economy, the job market, or even human rights. Naturally, some of those concerns are understandable and legitimate, but others are closer to paranoia over a little understood technology that could transform our lives, above and beyond what other recent technological advances have.
However, that fear of the unknown could be easier to overcome if only we knew that artificial intelligence is already here, today, all around us. Some examples:
- if you use Inbox, Google’s new-ish email app, you are using artificial intelligence every time you ask the app to bundle and organize the messages you receive
But in his keynote address at Google I/O 2017 last week, Sundar Pichai made clear that Google is invested in the future of AI -to the point of pivoting the company from a mobile first approach (which still makes a lot of sense, if you ask me) to an artificial intelligence first approach, so that AI will permeate everything Google does from now on.
In that context, this annual developer conference was the logical venue to introduce Google Lens:
Some of the things Google Lens will allow us to do easily are:
- find out what species a flower is just by pointing at it with our phone’s camera
- read a complicated WiFi password through our phone’s camera and automatically log into the network
- find reviews and other information about restaurants or retail stores just by pointing at them with our phone’s camera
When I see/hear/read how much easier our lives will be when this technology is fully implemented and widely available, I can’t help but wonder why some people (who are not otherwise technology-averse) are afraid of artificial intelligence. Personally, I think that the problem with technology is not that there is too much of it, but rather that there is not enough.
But, of course, Albert Einstein said it better:
Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity”.