Is Artificial Intelligence really making us intelligent?

Artificial Intelligence is a technology that is changing our everyday life. It includes wide ranging equipment that enables people to rethink how information is integrated, data is analysed, and how the resulting insights are used to improve decision making. It is unlike machines that can only produce mechanical and predetermined responses. With major improvements they are capable of tremendous sophistication in analysis and decision making. It is being used today in diverse areas such as finance, criminal justice, transportation and smart cities. Its application in the world is augmenting the human capabilities in significant ways. But a common question that pings up in every mind is that does artificial intelligence make people more or less intelligent? The answer most people will think is ‘more’; because anything that provides all the knowledge you need within a second will only make you smarter. But looking at it the other way, leaning too much on the AI can make us lose some skills and hence make us dumb. It has already come in with tools like Siri, Alexa and self-driving cars that life seems to be moving on autopilot.

AI has changed how we live lives from shopping to eating, our work has been simplified. With most of our mental functions being performed by it, people can now employ their skills to better their relationships and enhance creativity. It can be thought of as an extension to the human capabilities and performance of activities that saves the time for some other productive work.

It exposes us to a vast ocean of knowledge and information that speeds by us and in order to keep up we require our brains to work faster, this in turn will make us more intelligent. This is popularly known as the Flynn Effect. Researchers have uncovered an interesting phenomenon that, on average, IQ scores worldwide have been increasing. Younger generations are performing better than the older generations and the score rises by 10 points with each generation. It is named the Flynn effect after the person who first documented this research.

However, the case against increase of data flow and information speed suggests that it makes people inhibited to make decisions, and when people are in a situation where there is lack of the aid of information, they are more likely to make mistakes. A study from Fairfield University showed that if a participant took pictures of each object say in a museum, they remembered fewer things and fewer details about them. If they instead carefully observed the objects and did not click pictures, they remembered better. If we employ all our senses to a particular job we retain the learning experience better. It is clear that we have a way to store information, and our memories decide to rely on where it is stored rather than what is being stored.

The part of AI that has made the most progress in solving complex problems like identifying objects in images, recognizing speech from multiple speakers and processing text the way people speak or write it is known as deep learning. Its aim is to find ways in which the computer can understand complex problems of the world and present a generalised result from previously learnt experiences. The principles of deep learning are the same as those of the human brain. Similarly to how the brain receives several signals to analyse at once and develops a link between sensory inputs and intellectual outputs. Human talents are already being enhanced by deep learning. If you use Google services to search the web, or use its apps to translate from one language to another or turn speech into text, technology has made you smarter, or more effective. There is often a fear among people that someday artificial intelligence will get smarter than humans? It is much better than us at only one thing — at matching known patterns. It can only match the patterns it has learned, and it has limited capacity to learn more than just a few patterns.

Humans are designed to learn an infinite number of patterns and then pick the ones we need to deal with whatever scenario we’re in. This is a talent that millions of years of evolution have refined. Humans will always be faster at adapting than computers since that is what they were designed to do. Perhaps computers will catch up to humanity’s capacity to create new categories many years from now, but in the meantime, people will have learned how to use computing to supplement their own natural skills. As a result, we’ll always be wiser than AI.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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