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Artificial Intelligence in the Current Society

From as far as a century ago, there has always been this claim that one day machines will take over the world. Since the time the Greeks claimed of mechanical men mimicking our own behavior to the latest naming of Androids, many people have been very keen on the rapid development of technology and ask themselves whether this is true and if so, when. One of the terms that go hand in hand with this devastating theory is the term artificial intelligence. Most people have a rough idea of what artificial intelligence is all about, thanks to the film industry which introduced science fiction genre to relay what the current population thinks the future will be.

In order to appreciate artificial intelligence in the current society, we first need to understand what artificial intelligence is. However, we also need to embrace the fact that most people tend to confuse artificial intelligence with machine learning. This has been the major cause of confusion to most people wondering why some of the recent inventions are said not to use artificial intelligence yet they involve robotics. While machine learning is the basic idea of feeding machines with data and enabling them to learn for themselves, artificial intelligence is whereby a machine becomes “smart” enough to make its own decisions (Bernard Marr, 2016). Bernard states that in order for machines to be able to make their own decisions, scientists have been trying to program machines to be able to “think” like human beings. With that in mind, it is of great importance to appreciate the presence of artificial intelligence in the current society.

Some people claim they have no idea what artificial intelligence is all about but according to Gautam Narula (2018) “you have probably used artificial intelligence on your way to work, communicating online with friends, searching the web and making online purchases without even knowing it”. When the term artificial intelligence comes up, many people will tend to think of the projects still under research and forget the already accomplished ones. With 9% of the world’s population using iPhone, it is clear that many have come around Siri, Apple’s artificial intelligence powered personal assistance. It uses voice recognition whereby the user can ask for directions to a place, purchase an item online or set reminders for personal events and it will relay information from your phone or send commands to other apps.

However, it is not the only one in the market with Microsoft having released Cortana and Google’s Google Now too being on the market. These personal assistants are not the only ones produced by these great companies with integration of artificial intelligence. Apple released facial recognition software, whereby the phone is set to recognize you as the owner, just like a human being would. Another company, Amazon, which is the most famous online shopping platform currently, has a project which would use artificial intelligence to anticipate the customer needs before they need them. They would then send the items of your desire to a warehouse near them and avoid last minute trip to the online store (Dann Albright, 2016).

The sector that has whole-heartedly embraced artificial intelligence is the entertainment sector ranging from video games to television shows and even music. Dann Albright suggests that video game artificial intelligence is probably the artificial intelligence most people are familiar with since it has been used for a very long time, since the very first video game to be precise. He also suggests that its “complexity and effectiveness have increased exponentially over the past several decades, resulting in video game characters that learn your behaviors, respond to stimuli and react in unpredictable ways”. Music and movie recommendation services are simple artificial intelligence compared to other artificial intelligence systems. Common examples are apps like Spotify for music and Netflix for movies. They all have one goal; recommend what to watch or to listen based on your preferred genres. They do this by analyzing the interests you have expressed and judgments you have made in the past.

The idea of self-driving cars has brought with it a lot of argument to whether it is possible and if it is, whether it should be embraced. Some results have started showing up with Google’s self-driving cars, which would learn to drive in the same way human do: through experience. However, many people have concentrated on self-driving cars and forgotten to appreciate other examples of motion detectors. Nowadays it is virtually impossible to rob a bank due to the installation of motion detectors that detect even the slightest of movements. All of that integrated with facial recognition artificial intelligence, the banks have become safer than ever. Fraud detection is another sector that enjoys the benefits of artificial intelligence. The systems are given large samples of fraudulent and non-fraudulent purchases and asked to learn to look for signs that a transaction falls into a category or the other. After enough experience, the systems easily detect a fraudulent transaction based on the signs they learned.

In addition, information technology has not been left out in reaping the fruits of artificial intelligence. Word predictions are a common phenomenon in messaging services that predict the next word you will use therefore making it easier to relay a message. Another example whereby instead of typing the whole message, you speak out and the system “listens” and relays the information in typed format. Facial recognition has also been embraced in this technology by messaging apps like Snapchat that uses facial recognition and motion detection. What most people do not know however is that artificial intelligence programs can write news stories. Examples of companies that use this technology are AP, Fox and Yahoo. However, this program currently can only write financial summaries and sport recaps and fantasy sports reports that require less synthesis and cannot be able to deal with in-depth investigative articles.

It would have been expected that most people will gladly welcome artificial intelligence revolution but that is not the case. A recent survey shows that “more than 70% of US fears robots taking over our lives” (Olivia Solon, 2017). This is accredited to the fact that automation is currently the largest threat to employment. “World Bank data has predicted that the proportion of jobs threatened by automation in India is 69 percent, 77 percent in China and as high as 85 percent in Ethiopia” according to World Bank president Jim Yong Kim in 2016. However, since it has been proven that we cannot evade artificial intelligence revolution, the only thing remaining is to wait and see whether all the negative attributes associated with artificial intelligence will become true.


Marr, B. (2016, December 6). What is the difference between artificial intelligence and

machine learning? Retrieved from

Albright, D. (2016). 10 examples of artificial intelligence you’re using in daily life.

Retrieved from

Solon, O. (2017, October 4). More than 70 % of US fears robots taking over our lives, survey

finds. The Guardian. Retrieved from



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