Many people confuse artificial intelligence (or machine learning) with what they see in science fiction movies.
What you typically see in science fiction movies is “general AI”, or AI that is comparable (or even superior) to humans – including reasoning, conceptual learning, common sense, planning, cross-domain thinking, creativity, and even self-awareness and emotions. But today’s technology is far from this type of general AI.
Today’s AI is “narrow AI”, or a technology that takes in huge amounts of information from a specific domain (say, loan repayment histories) and uses it to make a decision in a specific case (whether to give an individual a loan) in the service of a specified goal (maximizing profits for the lender).
Think of a spreadsheet on steroids, without programming and simply trained on big data. These tools can outperform human beings at certain tasks. This is already incredibly useful, because narrow AI is fast, accurate, works around-the-clock, and can be applied to many tasks, with substantial economic benefit. PWC estimates about $16 trillion of worldwide GDP will be contributed by AI by 2030. Learn more about today's AI and how it is poised to change industries, jobs, and our everyday lives in AI Superpowers.
How far are we from general AI? We simply don’t know enough to estimate. Because to achieve general AI will require dozens of significant breakthroughs, when the field of AI has only see one big breakthrough in 60 years.
For more information about the capabilities of modern AI and what is to come in the near future, get a copy of AI Superpowers.
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