Artificial Intelligence – moving humans forward

Ever since we figured out how to put a computer in every home, someone has been asking the question “will robots or artificial intelligence replace humans in the workforce?” The answer, of course, is yes. They have and will continue to do so as we find areas where a robot can do the work better or where a job is unsafe for a human to do. But the typical robot doing a repetitive job is not necessarily “intelligent”. Artificial Intelligence, on the other hand, is something entirely different.

The theory that computer systems and applications can someday replace humans has been held in both fear and awe. Applications for artificial intelligence, however, continue to drive forward and at a faster pace than ever. As development companies collect user data and build smarter applications, algorithms using that data can make the applications gain abilities making them appear to learn, grow and adapt to surroundings and circumstances. The data can be applied using these algorithms to serve nearly any industry.

Merriam-webster dictionary defines Artificial Intelligence as, “an area of computer science that deals with giving machines the ability to seem like they have human intelligence.”

This means that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not limited to robots or some sort of android type of computer. Pretty much artificial intelligence is a set of code that learns over time. So does this mean AI can really advance to the point where it takes over our daily lives and takes the place of humans in every way? The answer is possibly.

For years we have all worried that we would be replaced by robots and to some extent that has come to pass. So why shouldn’t AI replace us in some fashion in the future?

A few of these jobs might look something like this:

  1. Order Clerks
  2. Data Entry Operators
  3. Library Technicians
  4. Photocopy Operators
  5. Tax Preparations
  6. Telemarketers

PC Magazine published a list of 20 Jobs Likely to Be Replaced by Robots.

But what if instead of removing the need for human knowledge worker, AIs actually enhanced the workplace and made more jobs for humans in the long run. Machines running programs have taken much of the human error out of documenting many types of information and doing precise tasks.

But the need for a human to somehow enter this information into the program still exists. So even though artificial intelligence is capable of “learning” quickly. How do you replace a life time of intuition that a human accumulates in a short amount of time?

Some areas where a life this life experience will still be valuable are:

  1. Recreational Therapists
  2. Occupational Therapists
  3. Healthcare social workers
  4. Physicians and surgeons – even though robots are being used extensively in this field the human touch may still be needed
  5. First-line supervisors of police and detectives
  6. Elementary School Teachers – this may be a grey area also, some technology will move into these jobs but there is still some need for humans.

There is no stopping the progress of this technology and who knows what will happen in the future. We just need to restructure and educate our workforce to compensate so humans and Artificial Intelligence can be put in areas where each are best suited for the job at hand.

Recently, TechRepublic concisely noted some of the most exciting trends in the field even beyond robotic factory workers and driverless cars. Application of AI into customer service, data processing, and even our children’s toys mean that we will see AI in our personal lives and in our work to a greater extent.

Walk through any big-box retailer and observe everyday items connected to the Internet – our cars, our refrigerators, our televisions – the tech companies at the forefront of AI are gathering data on us and how we live, what we like or dislike at heightened speeds and with greater capacity. Using this data, companies can improve our customer experience at a deeper level when computers adapt to understand emotions by listening to the tone of voice and using facial recognition looking for subtle changes in expression.

At the core of our understanding and use of artificial intelligence remains discovery into the ethical issues surrounding the topic. Is it right to replace workers? How much data is too much? Are there risks to continuing this trend? Some of these questions would have highly personal answers. How we respond as a collective may influence the direction this trend takes in the future.

Here is an interesting video from ColdFusion TV – What is Artificial Intelligence Exactly?

Interesting, strange, weird way to ‘save our forests’

Greenpeace India has released an interesting Facebook App where you can add a picture to a video, portraying you as a ‘hero’ saving the forests in Central India from coal mining.

The whole idea looks interesting and you should try it out. Unfortunately, for me, I’m a little confused as none of the menus seem to work. They seem to be just message links. I wasn’t really able to take up the “Challenging Goal” neither could I “Make a Difference”. Let’s hope there is more to it than meets the eye.

Of course, the site reeks of ‘innovative technology’ such as keyframe manipulation and color correction in the Flash Player to embed a static object (picture/image) alongside the video and they have even thrown in a parallax scrolling web design.

Coal mining in Central Indian forests is destroying the habitat of the endangered tiger, other wildlife and displacing lakhs of forests dwellers. Greenpeace urges individuals from all across the country to join the movement to save our last remaining forests, tigers and livelihoods of forest dependent communities.

Personally, I’d like to do something but I’m not really sure all that jazz on the website is the solution! What do you think?

Nonetheless, play with the app, enjoy the video, watch the parallax scrolling – it should entertain you.

’twas an evening of laughter at the Black Dog Comedy Evenings “Uncensored And Unleashed”

Recently, I was invited to attend an event – a Standup Comedy. Well, it was a surprising invitation. I had been invited to lots of events, but there were either technical, blog-related, startups, entrepreneurship and alike, but a Standup Comedy Event! I’m sure the other ‘bloggers’ were equally surprised.

I realized they want to highlight the event and the sponsoring brands to bloggers, but they were not really after us to write about them nor were they specific about what type of articles were written.

Despite all of that, the evening turned out to be a super awesome one for me. I laughed and laughed so much that my stomach hurts for the next two days. However, I’ve to be honest and confess that I’m still new to Bangalore and could not grasp all of the South-Indian specific jokes and punch-lines. Ista Hotel hosted the Black Dog Comedy Evenings “Uncensored And Unleashed”.

Of course, let me warn you that if you follow the likes of Aziz Ansari, Russell Peters, you’ll find them trying hard to be like Russell, Aziz. Nonetheless, I enjoyed them thoroughly. Just leave the expectations at the bar or the door and have an easy evening.

Vulcan Mind Meld for Locked-In Syndrome patients

Anybody who read the classic American tale Johnny Got His Gun has a slight comprehension of what it’s like to live trapped within your own body, incapable to move, nod, speak or even blink. The mind reels; the body does nothing. Unfortunately, this form of communication-stripped torture isn’t a fictional tale but a reality for many with Locked-in Syndrome (it was featured in the House episode with Mos Def guest starring), which is why the new functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanner, Brain Bee, that can translate brain waves into words — is a big deal.

Brain Bee

This new system empowers fully paralyzed and ‘locked-in’ people to mentally select letters of the alphabet in their brain, which are recognized and typed out on a screen, serving as a brain-based, non-communicative communication system for those unable to speak, sign or blink to indicate their needs. Researchers are able to recognize letter-based thought patterns by using characteristic blood flow patterns.

Before you conjure up images of telepathy or Vulcan mind melds though, this technology is a little more difficult than that to use. In order to ‘think’ of a letter the technology divides the alphabet into three rows, nine columns and 27 squares (26 letters of the alphabet plus the space bar). Each row is assigned a mental task, a motor-imagery task, a mental calculation task and an inner-speech task, that the subject must perform to select the row. The letters then cycle through and the subject selects the correct one by performing the task as the letter appears on screen. It is a time-consuming process but the technology is rather easy to learn, with test subjects learning it in under an hour.

The system has passed the theoretical and initial testing stages and has become a concept system. Although it is still in its initial phases — it has already shown promising results.

How-to: Numbered Pagination for your WordPress Blog

There are a bunch of awesome WordPress Plugins that can do Numbered Pagination for your WordPress powered blog. However, it may be noted that WordPress have the option to do it without relying on a plugin.

Numbered Pagination in WordPress

Let’s do a clean, nice and simple numbered pagination as seen on this blog. You can choose to have either the light or the dark version.

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Amazing Google Search Tricks You Need to Know

Google is a name known to almost everyone, even those who don’t use the Internet. Millions of people use this search engine every day for their own purpose. Whatever may be the reason, the possibilities are endless and so are the numbers of result options that Google provides us with. No one can discount the benefits that Google offers to its users.

However, it seems that there might be more to Google than meets the eye.

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