Gulf Business
Artificial Intelligence Image Credit: Gulf Business
Artificial Intelligence Image Credit: Gulf Business

An Intelligent Future: Will It Help Humans Thrive?

It’s easy to let your imagination run wild when discussing the possibilities of artificial intelligence (AI). It can trigger images of Blade Runner or The Terminator, complete with robotic consciousness and emotionality.

Iain Akerman

It’s not difficult to see why. In July an AI system created by researchers at the University of California solved the Rubik’s Cube in just over a second. The same month researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne developed tiny 10-gram robots that can communicate with each other, assign roles among themselves, and complete complex tasks together. Perhaps more significantly, last December an AI program developed by Google’s DeepMind beat a team of biologists in predicting the shapes of proteins, ‘the basic building blocks of disease’.

All of which indicates the huge potential of AI in solving some of the world’s greatest problems and the attention being paid to its development. Google, for example, has gone from being a mobile-first company to an AI-first company, while Amazon, Apple and Facebook are investing heavily in acquiring AI start-ups and building their own capabilities. All view AI as critical to their future.

“We use our investments into machine learning research to make our products more useful to everyone,” says Joyce Baz, a spokesperson for Google MENA. “You can already see this in products like Photos, you can use machine-learning based computer vision to search through your photos for specific objects. In Gmail, machine learning has improved our spam filter. In Google Translate, moving to a Neural Machine Translation system has improved the quality by an average


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