For those who have not yet heard of the “neural network”, it is an explanation of how artificial intelligence operates. The idea behind this technology is that we can use a network of connections, much like how our brain works, in order to make certain decisions. In fact, researchers have already created networks that are capable of recognizing images and even speech.
Today, artificial intelligence researchers are trying to figure out how the brain processes information so that we can also create such a system. When artificial intelligence researchers are able to figure out how the brain functions, they will be able to create neural network artificial intelligence. Just as our brains make decisions based on what is seen and heard, artificial intelligence systems will make decisions depending on what is unseen. This will be especially helpful when manufacturing products, whether we want to make them artificially or with human intervention, such as when creating autonomous vehicles.
So how does an artificial intelligence system make decisions? It does so by analyzing large amounts of data, both real and simulated. It looks at the behaviors that occur naturally, as well as what is artificially introduced into the system. For instance, if a car bumps into a pole and the car breaks into a thousand pieces, the neural network will recognize this as an accident and will prevent any future cars from bumping into poles. Similarly, if it learns that a particular virus causes brain damage, the network will attempt to stop people from being infected with that particular virus, preventing outbreaks.
In the future, such artificial intelligence will allow humans to communicate with one another without speaking a single word. It will be able to understand non-verbal communication such as facial expressions and other signs that the user may post online. Researchers envision an artificial intelligence system that can understand fully what is posted on a social media site by analyzing a photo. It will recognize words in chat rooms and messages on Facebook and Twitter. Such a system will be able to respond appropriately by either deleting the post or making a remark such as “you are cool”.
An artificial intelligence system will have more capabilities than just being able to recognize faces. Researchers envision such a system having the ability to speak, write, process information, plan ahead and learn new things. It will allow an individual to take their brain and “put it to memory” by letting them remember things, develop new skills, and even anticipate new events. The implications of this are astounding. Just imagine being able to plan a trip, a meeting, a wedding, a business deal, and remembering every detail of that event. That is the future of artificial intelligence.
Will such a system work? Researchers are not sure. We will soon find out, as we move into the next century and beyond, just how much technology can be built with the help of computers. If you have any thoughts about artificial intelligence, do your research. You might just come up with an answer to how neural nets work. Then you can go on the frontier of cyberspace and start to plan your life the way it might someday be.