Artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, unlike the natural intelligence displayed by humans and animals. AI is often defined as being any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals. The term “artificial intelligence” is often used to describe machines (or computers) that mimic cognitive functions that humans associate with the human mind, such as learning, creativity and problem solving.

Artificial intelligence is a field of study that grew out of computer science and, like my module in computer science, this module was included to give me a grounding in a discipline that will very likely go on to define how we co-exist with AI. 

This module was also included to give me an understanding of how AI applications can be used to assist in everyday tasks and more complex creative problems.

While the MOOCs I studied in this module were very useful, I actually found Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies to be an invaluable guide for understanding what AI is and the various evolutions and manifestations it could take in the future.

Overall, Bostrom’s book is a warning about what could happen if we don’t start developing full-proof AI ethics and legal frameworks now that could prevent a sentient AI causing great damage to the human race later on. 

Bostrom is quick to remind the reader, however, that a superintelligent AI with plans to wipe out the human race is not the only outcome and he presents portraits of various different AIs, some that could have very empathetic drives, if they are nurtured in the right way.

AI exists on a spectrum between smarter and dumber manifestations, currently we have less-sophisticated AI, but the likelihood that we will end up with super-intelligent AI is very high and remaining informed about the latest developments is vitally important. 

5 Courses

Neural Networks and Deep Learning

Platform: Coursera

Institution: deeplearning.ai

Started: 05/09/2017

Finished: 15/09/2017

Go to course on Class Central

 

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Platform: Coursera

Institution: IBM Big Data University

Started: 21/04/2020

Finished: 26/04/2020

Go to course on Class Central

 

Getting Started with AI using IBM Watson

Platform: Coursera

Institution: IBM Big Data University

Started: 28/04/2020

Finished: 01/09/2020

Go to course on Class Central

 

Python for Data Science and AI

Platform: Coursera

Institution: IBM Big Data University

Started: 03/07/2020

Finished: 01/09/2020

Go to course on Class Central

 

Introduction to Creative AI

Platform: Coursera

Institution: UAL Creative Computing Institute and Institute of Coding

Started: 03/06/2020

Finished: 01/09/2020

Go to course on Class Central

 

3 Books

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

Author: Nick Bostrom

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Published: 2014

Started: 02/12/2017

Finished: 18/08/2018

Go to book on Goodreads

 

I, Robot

Author: Isaac Asimov

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Published: 2018

Started: 14/01/2019

Finished: 08/02/2019

Go to book on Goodreads

 

The Rest of the Robots

Author: Isaac Asimov

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Published: 2018

Started: 15/05/2019

Finished: 23/06/2019

Go to book on Goodreads

 

Although current AI offers us few ethical issues that are not already present in the design of cars or power plants, the approach of AI algorithms toward more humanlike thought portends predictable complications. Social roles may be filled by AI algorithms, implying new design requirements like transparency and predictability. Sufficiently general AI algorithms may no longer execute in predictable contexts, requiring new kinds of safety assurance and the engineering of artificial ethical considerations. AIs with sufficiently advanced mental states, or the right kind of states, will have moral status, and some may count as persons though perhaps persons very much unlike the sort that exist now, perhaps governed by different rules.

Nick Bostrom & Eliezer Yudkowsky, The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, Cambridge Handbook of Artificial Intelligence, 2011:18