Just several decades ago, we only daydreamed about artificial intelligence though sci-fi movies and books. We pondered over what it would be like when we finally managed to create intelligent computers. Would our creations conquer humanity and rule over us? Or would AI help make Earth a better place to live?
We still haven’t reached the point where we need to seriously think about these issues. That said, the AI revolution is here and has already become a real part of our lives. Let’s see exactly how far we have come in the last 50 or so years and where we are expected to be in the future.
A Brief Timeline of AI
When did we first start pursuing the goal of inventing functional AI? Also, what are some important milestones along the way? Let’s take a look at the infographic created by Techjury, which outlines the most significant moments.
- 1943 — Alan Turing invented the “Turing Test,” which is used to determine whether a computer has human-like capabilities. A machine can pass the Turing Test if it can successfully convince a human that they are talking to a real person.
- 1956 — John McCarthy coined the term “Artificial Intelligence.” At the time, the main approach to creating AI was to pre-program computers through a top-down approach with the rules that govern human behavior.
- 1969 — The first general-purpose robot, called Shakey the Robot, was built. It could decide what actions to take by reasoning about its own surroundings.
- 1973 — The “AI winter” began. This was a period when millions were spent on AI research with very minimal results.
- 1981 — Researchers started focusing on “narrow AI” instead of trying to create a general-purpose artificial intelligence.
- 1990 — A bottom-up approach was established, differing from the top-bottom one. It aimed to develop AI that can simulate human behavior and learn new skills on its own.
- 1997 — Supercomputer Deep Blue won a chess match against Garry Kasparov.
- 2002 — The autonomous vacuum “Roomba” was created.
- 2005 — The US military began investing in autonomous robots.
- 2011 — A robot named Watson won on Jeopardy against the show’s two best performers.
- 2014 — A robot named Eugene Goostman passed the Turing test.
AI Seen Through the Numbers
As you can see, AI has come a long way since the term was first coined in 1956. We can see precisely how far by looking at some industry-related stats. For example, right now, there are around 4 billion devices in the world that carry an AI-powered voice assistant. In other words, every household in the developed part of the world has at least one. But, this number is expected to grow even more.
The AI market is expected to grow by leaps and bounds in the near future. In 2016, the market was worth just $1.4 billion, whereas its value in 2025 is expected to reach $59.8 billion. This will not benefit just the AI companies but the whole world. Global GDP is predicted to grow to $15.7 trillion in 2030 as a result of the AI industry.
AI’s Future Impact on Jobs
However, AI could take over 38% of jobs in the US by 2030. That said, this could be offset by more jobs being created in the AI industry.
The chances are that AI will take over menial, difficult, and dangerous jobs. The same goes for sales jobs: by 2020, at least 30% of businesses will use AI in at least one sales process in their business.
AI to Boost Internet Security
But, AI will also make the internet a better place by preventing at least 86% of cyber attacks and monitoring cities through public surveillance systems.
Finally, thanks to inventions by Tesla and Elon Musk (along with other car companies), autonomous vehicles are expected to make the roads a safer place. The latest studies already show that Tesla’s autonomous vehicles are much better at predicting and preventing traffic accidents, so we hope to see more of them in the future.
AI in the Future
Scientists and developers have already achieved some incredible results regarding AI. However, where can we expect this journey to take us in the future? Le’ts check out some predictions and expectations.
Fully Automated Transportation
As we have already mentioned, Elon Musk’s Tesla is at the forefront of creating fully automated transportation. According to him, cars that will be able to take us from our home to any other place without any input from us should be ready for sale in a couple of years. They can already ride by themselves, park on their own, and prevent accidents. But, they are still not 100% automatic.
AI Powers Cyborg Technology
AI will help us overcome our physical and cognitive limitations to become superhumans. AI is already used in the medical industry: prosthetic limbs powered by AI can successfully replace limbs.
Eliminating Dangerous Jobs
It’s inevitable that AI will cause some people to lose their jobs. However, the majority of these jobs will be risky jobs that lead to serious injuries or fatalities. For example, AI-powered machines will take over bomb defusing, mining, construction work, search and rescue operations, and so on.
Finding a Solution to Climate Change
As time goes on, it’s becoming apparent that humans are not well equipped to deal with climate change on their own. We need help, and we need it fast. While it’s unlikely this help will come from benevolent aliens who want to save our plant, we’ll most likely have to turn to AI. AI computers can quickly analyze large amounts of data and come up with a potential solution on how to slow down climate change.
Robotic Companions to Ease Loneliness
Even though the overall number of humans on the planet is growing rapidly, highly developed countries are facing a sharp decline in population. Therefore, robotic companions are becoming a reality and are expected to become even more sophisticated in the future.
As one of the most introverted nations, Japan is leading the way in making robotic pets and humanoids that can mimic human behavior and help people feel less lonely.
Exploring Beyond Planet Earth
One of the main challenges in traveling to distant planets and stars is figuring out how humans can survive such long space voyages. One of the solutions is to not send humans at all, but instead sending AI-powered robots who will do the exploration in our place.
Furthermore, AI robots can go to a planet before humans and prepare the site for our arrival, which greatly mitigates potential dangers.