Psychologists have attempted to define human intelligence using varied approaches. While the American psychologist Robert Sternberg understands intelligence as purposeful mental activity shaping real-world environments, British psychologist Charles Spearman calls it a measurable cognitive ability. In terms of a layman, intelligence is simply the ability of an individual to adapt, adjust, and apply relevant knowledge in relevant situations. Although this definition provides a facile explanation of an infinitely complex phenomena, it paints a general picture of the basic mental framework within which humans operate. The debate on intelligence is age-old and ongoing in academic circles, with consensus being a distant dream. However, the academics are unanimous in their opinion about the depth and width of the human intellect and are hungrily exploring the possibility of transferring human intelligence artificially into machines and computers. The birth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the answer to that question.

The Two Pillars of Artificial Intelligence: Machine Learning and Deep Learning

According to researchers at Columbia University, the current form of Artificial Intelligence is narrow in nature because it can perform moderately intelligent tasks. The key to unlocking the true potential of AI will be the development of ‘general AI’, which would enable computers to think in abstract terms and communicate like humans. While artificial ‘general’ intelligence is still a pipe dream, AI has further branched out into two important advancements – Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning. The former refers to utilization of algorithms to analyze data. The unique feature of ML is that the more data it collects and analyzes, the greater is its accuracy. Deep learning, even though seen as a subset of ML, has its own distinct identity. Comprising of multiple layers of neural networks akin to the human brain, the deep learning process involves the weighing of the accuracy of the information-received vis-à-vis the task, with the final decision being made after all the weights are totaled. Thus, AI can be viewed as an umbrella concept under which these technologies have been nurtured and advancements in them can prove to be a game-changer in saving our little green-blue planet.

The Market for Artificial Intelligence

From the above examples, it is clear that the applicability of AI is seemingly boundless and it has spawned an extremely lucrative market. According to Fortune Business Insights™, a notable market research company, the value of the AI market will reach an astounding USD 202.57 billion by 2026. Furthermore, the market will surge at a stupefying CAGR of 33.1% between 2019 and 2026. AI pioneers such as Google, IBM, and Apple are doubling down their investment in AI technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT), to elevate the potential of the market and brightening its future prospects.

Shaping the Future Artificial Intelligence Style  

The ultimate goal of scientific progress is make life of humans more comfortable. Advancements in AI will have sweeping effects on all spheres on life – be it social, cultural, political, and economic. It will aid modernization of backward societies; it will make cultural exchanges easier and efficient; it will empower leaders to make well-thought out decisions due to instance access to information; and nations’ economies will undergo the next wave of revolutionary changes as they become more and more technology-driven. The area of focus for further research will be making AI more intelligent and cognitively-enhanced, paving the way for what the Hungarian-American mathematician John von Neumann called “singularity”, the point of time when humans will have successfully transferred their consciousness into machines. Is this the beginning of the end for humans?

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