The Elite Problem-Solvers
I have always been fascinated by how humans beings are so good at solving complex problems. Since the dawn of humanity, we’ve been inventing new and ingenious ways to solve our daily problems. Our ancient ancestors were physically stronger than us, agreed, but they were nothing compared to the mighty and giant beasts that needed to be hunted for food and fur. Their physical shortcomings didn’t hold them back. In order to be more efficient hunters, our ancestors invented tools and weapons.
No other animals make any kind of complex tools to sustain themselves. Only we humans are capable of it.
This problem-solving mentality has been the main factor which led to both the agricultural and industrial revolutions.
We make revolutions out of necessity. The agricultural revolution was necessary. I imagine that it was very hectic for the ancient people to always rely on their hunting capabilities. They were always on the move; never certain about their next meal. Every day was a test of survival and every move they made was a gamble to live or die. Would you be willing to live like that? I know I wouldn’t. And human beings would surely wipe out EVERY possible species other than themselves if it weren’t for the agricultural revolution.
But every revolution leaves a few dark stains.
- An excess supply of food gave rise to a boom in population growth. People had to put in an insane amount to work to sustain the abnormal growth of societies.
- People started getting really sick and developed deadly diseases. This was mainly because, agriculture forced people and animals to live in close proximity.
Hence, the industrial revolution came out of necessity.
Being the elite problem-solving species, we came up with remarkable inventions that are collectively known as the ‘Industrial Revolution’. Inventions like the steam-engine completely changed the way we produced goods and saved us a significant amount of time.
Nevertheless, we did mess up a few crucial things in the process.
- Pollution came into existence due to the industrial revolution. It is a problem that haunts us to this very day.
- We are losing all our gas, coal, precious metals, clean water, natural beauty at an unprecedented rate to sustain the insane growth in urbanization.
These aren’t ordinary problems. These are some seriously daunting challenges that we need to overcome to ensure the well-being of our species. And let’s not forget that us, human beings…can be quite greedy. Our wants are unlimited. We keep on looking for newer ways to entertain ourselves and to improve our lives. The search for never-ending happiness and a world without any defects led us to invent something EXTRAORDINAIRE and straight out of science fiction movies.
The Search For Paradise
Once humanity found ways of making almost every kind of tools and machines to augment our physical strength, we decided it was time to break the barrier of our intellect and thinking capacity.
The human brain has been our greatest asset so far. It helped us to get to where we are today and has made us the most dominant species on the planet.
But that’s old news!
We are now in fact, at a point in time when being the most dominant species is just NOT ENOUGH. We want more; we want heaven on earth. Humans are going above and beyond our imaginations; turning into something almost godlike. And that is precisely where Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes into play.
Just how cars are an augmentation of our legs, similarly AI is an augmentation of our brains. Cars help us to move at speeds that we could have never reached by running. AI help us to think and process information at a rate that our brains simply can’t process by its own.
But what is AI exactly?
The first time I ever heard the term AI was from the movie, Terminator II: The Judgement Day. That movie didn’t quite paint a very lovely picture about AI. Many people think of AI as monstrous, futuristic and state of the art cyborgs or robots that are infinitely smarter and stronger than us, just how I used to think.
But as I developed an interest in AI and took a closer look, I realized how skewed my ideas about AI were.
In reality, AI is not quite how it is depicted in movies and it is NOT a thing of the distant future and sci-fi movies. AI is already here. Its existence has been eluding us for quite some time now.
One reason why the concept of AI eludes us is because it operates in the background and it’s not visible.
Think of it this way, when you do any sort of physical activity like running or jumping, it’s quite apparent that our muscles, bones and other body parts are at work. We can see our muscles flexing, our veins engorging. But what we can’t see are the millions of neurons in our brains all working simultaneously to make sure that every other body part function properly.
Just how we don’t see what goes on in our brains, the same way we don’t see the algorithmic structure that enables AI, in our computers and phones; power Facebook and Google, yet we use it everyday.
Why Do We Need AI?
The need for AI can be traced back to the roots of human species. We have always had the need to make our lives better. As I mentioned earlier us humans are really good at both solving and creating problems.
We found ways to make artificial strength years ago. But with the coming age of computers and information and critical problems like global warming and resource scarcity, we were pushed to the point that enabled us to take a giant leap and make attempts to invent ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.
Just how the agricultural and industrial revolutions both made our lives more prosperous and troublesome at the same time. The Age of AI will do the same. We are going to solve problems like cure cancer or control global warming, but this revolution will also leave a few dark stains. But no matter what we think, the dawn of a new revolution, i.e. The AI Revolution is inevitable. Because it’s already here. And it’s getting smarter and better every day.