Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence technology is going to have the greatest impact on computing since the invention of the microchip. The CEO of Google recently shared his belief that AI will do more for humanity than electricity. Putin said, “Whoever wins AI will rule the world.” Gregory C. Allen, a fellow at nonpartisan think tank the Center for a New American Security said, “The US, Russia, and China are all in agreement that artificial intelligence will be the key technology underpinning national power in the future.”

Computers have fundamentally changed everything we know today. Almost all areas of our lives use computers as a tool to learn, test, expand, and improve our capabilities. As computers have gotten faster, man has been able to advance in all areas of business, medicine, science and more. Computers have been unlimited to meet our ability to understand things, and then develop programs to research, analyze and model new solutions. Today we are most limited by the number of programmers available to work on new solutions. Microsoft did a study and forecast that by 2025 we will have one million unfilled programmer positions. Further, the time it takes people to analyze a problem and then develop a solution is generally counted in years. AI changes that – and changes it dramatically! It has been reported that when our government was threatening to sue Apple to get access to it encryption technology to open a terrorist iPhone, that the suit was dropped when a quantum computer broke the encryption in just minutes. In similar interest China has repeated talked about their focus to use quantum computing and AI to break all encryption algorithms so that they can become the world bank with the only encryption algorithm that is secure.

AI has been a concept, at least in the science fiction world, for a hundred years, but the term artificial intelligence was invented at Dartmouth back in 1956 by a group of professors brainstorming about the future. AI had two major limitations to becoming a reality: fast enough computers and large enough amounts of digital data. In a very simple view what AI does is analyze massive amounts data to then model and test unlimited solutions until it finds the optimal solution. Mainframe computers were also invented in the 1950s, but their processing power and the speed at which they manipulated data was far less than AI requires and actually much less than the microprocessor in your phone today. But computers were used to design faster and faster computers, and today, computers are fast enough to support very complex AI algorithms. On the digital data side of the equation, we had to first have computers to create and store digital data, and now we are in the Big Data arena where we producing more than 3 quintillion bytes of data per day. This will result in over 175 zettabyes of data in the digital world by 2025. So now, AI algorithms have the computing power needed and the data needed for AI to be successful at writing its own programs to solve problems we don’t even know exist.

AI is real today and advancing more rapidly than you can imagine. We use it for hundreds of solutions from managing automated call centers, to diagnosing disease, to breaking encryption and hacking into top security data centers. There are over a thousand companies doing AI development projects today. Now the discussion has changed from questioning if AI is real to questioning is it dangerous. Stephen Hawking, the greatest scientist to date, and he predicted that AI will destroy mankind. Today it is a tool and not dangerous, but as computers get faster and faster, and as our amount of data for AI computers explodes, it will become truly dangerous. In the meantime, it is the future of all computing and will produce almost unlimited change. PwC forecast that AI will produce $15 trillion in economic value by the end of the decade. Clearly self-driving cars exist because of AI. The COVID vaccine was developed in months instead of years because of AI. The list of enhancements and new technology solutions introduced by AI is almost unlimited. And yes, it is already becoming the new battleground of future warfare.

Artificial Intelligence – The new BI & More

© 2021 Jack B. Blount

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