What are the greatest barriers to technological development? Many people would probably say confusion about what new tech does or skepticism about its benefits or even a general fear of the unknown. But all these issues stem from a deeper problem: lack of understanding. When the general public gets sucked into the myths and misconceptions about a new device or technology, they’re more likely to be afraid, confused, and resistant.
Artificial intelligence is the veritable poster child for this problem. Few innovations have greater potential to revolutionize our society. However, many remain skeptical and some are even afraid advancements in AI technology, so it’s difficult to convince the public of its many benefits. The following five misconceptions are among the most pernicious:
Myth 1: AI Just Means More Powerful Computers
Every year, our computers become a little faster, a little more accurate, and a little better at storing information. It’s common to assume that artificial intelligence is just the end result of this process. If computers keep getting more and more powerful, they’ll eventually be just as good as our minds, right?
Wrong! The difference between human minds and computers isn’t just their speed and power, but also how they process information. Computers rely on a linear process in which they retrieve data, interpret it, and produce a result. But the human brain uses large numbers of neurons that are linked to one another and that process distinct pieces of information simultaneously. When two neurons are each performing a function at the same time, the link between them grows stronger, allowing the brain to perform those two functions more efficiently the next time. This lets the brain recognize images, sounds, and other complex data much more efficiently than traditional computers can.
Artificial intelligence is about re-inventing computers to resemble the human brain. Through parallel processing, AI engineers are designing computer networks with multiple layers that can function simultaneously. This opens the door to processors that can handle information just as complex as the human brain can, do it with significant efficiency and at scale.
Myth 2: AI Is Only For Tech Companies
If that explanation sounds complicated, it’s because it is. It’s not hard to see, then, why so many people believe the second myth: that only companies with specialized tech knowledge can adopt artificial intelligence. As a result, many businesses that don’t have this knowledge never bother to explore AI, assuming there is no way they could use it.
It’s true that AI requires some fairly sophisticated tech work. But its architects are rapidly finding ways to make it accessible to those who cannot perform this tech work on their own. Companies that specialize in AI are creating new sales models for customers to purchase data and tech work as services. This lets clients take advantage of the knowledge and experience of tech workers all over the world. In this way, they can adopt and perfect precision AI technology at low cost and with high prospects for success, all without needing to gain specialized knowledge themselves.
Myth 3: AI Makes Human Workers Irrelevant
In addition to worrying that they don’t personally have the specialized knowledge to use it, many fear that AI will make all human knowledge irrelevant. If developers are really designing computers that mimic and improve upon the processing power of the human brain, won’t they be able to replace those minds entirely? Many people refuse to adopt artificial intelligence for fear that it will eventually make them obsolete.
AI will undoubtedly impact how businesses operate and the roles and responsibilities of workers. It will also lead to increased demand for a wide variety of new areas of expertise. From debugging AI algorithms to producing the vast sets of data that are necessary for those algorithms to learn and improve, humans perform a host of critical functions that make AI possible.
Myth 4: AI Can’t Make Mistakes
The idea that AI can replace humanity is linked to the assumption that it is infallible. But processing errors remain a problem with this technology, and much of modern AI research involves finding ways to reduce the rate of these errors. If artificial intelligence processors are not set up properly, they are vulnerable to bugs, which can lead them to process data incorrectly. And because these processors rely on datasets that are produced by human specialists, they are subject to all those specialists’ biases. Developers are currently exploring ways to reduce these problems, including by using synthetic datasets to cut down on biases. But no one should invest in AI technology with the assumption that it will be right 100 percent of the time.
Myth 5: AI Is An Abstract Technology with Few Practical Benefits
Companies that don’t work directly with AI often assume its benefits are entirely theoretical, and would make no difference in how they do business. In fact, AI offers myriad benefits for businesses, including:
- Increased Accuracy- Though not invulnerable to mistakes, AI devices that are set up properly produce only a small fraction of the errors that humans do. This will allow your business to make more accurate, effective decisions.
- Faster Responses- AI devices process information faster than traditional computers, allowing your company to respond to erratic environments more quickly and flexibly.
- Tailored Solutions- Through machine learning, AI devices can identify your business’s unique needs and come up with carefully-catered solutions. This is critical for things like adopting sustainable energy technologies, which requires a detailed understanding of your company’s specific energy use practices.
For more information on the benefits of artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies, contact Imaginea.Ai today.