Artificial intelligence, or AI, has risen to prominence in the recent years. Many new products today have incorporated AI or machine learning, or ML, and it seems that more and more people appreciate these advancements. But before probing deeper, what is artificial intelligence?
According to Merriam-Webster, artificial intelligence is “the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior.” Products having such a feature can process information in some way similar to how humans would. However, AI is still quite limited. Actions available for artificial intelligence depend on the products’ structure, features and purpose. For example, a machine constructed with arms and legs can have the ability to walk, like Honda’s ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility).
In addition — and perhaps, fortunately — human emotions are still absent in AI or machine learning due to present technological limitations.
In the past, the idea of artificial intelligence seemed like a far cry. This concept was usually seen in science-fiction films and television shows like the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises, the Terminator franchise and acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar (with the TARS and CASE robots) — to name a few. Even in the 1920s, the concept of AI already existed, with the 1927 German film Metropolis.
Today, AI is very much a reality as products use machine learning for a variety of uses — assistance, biometrics, speech recognition and manufacturing, among others. Many business establishments are also now adopting the technology. A survey conducted by Narrative Science last year found that 38% of enterprises are already utilizing AI technologies while 62% will use these by 2018.
For instance, intelligent personal assistants, or IPAs, are one of the most popular products these days. IPAs aren’t just for businesses. Webopedia defines IPAs, or digital assistants, as software agents programmed to provide users with assistance on tasks or services like searching for the latest news or the newest or hottest restaurants in the city. The input of commands and questions for these can be done via voice command, which is what Apple’s Siri does.
One standout and standalone IPA is Alexa, developed by Amazon. A product all on its own, Alexa has a lot of tricks up its sleeve. If you ask Alexa a question, it can get answers from the Internet and use keywords to give you the best results. Alexa can also analyze the user’s device to determine which software it is connected to in order to execute commands like setting an alarm or putting up a reminder for tasks and to-do lists.
With the Amazon Echo smart speaker connected to Alexa, the assistant’s popularity with consumers continues to rise. Through the speaker, Alexa can receive commands from people to control some smart devices in homes. For example, switching off house lights and controlling the house’s air conditioning unit. Echo and Alexa even made an appearance in the second season of the popular and award-winning psychological thriller-drama series Mr. Robot, with one of the main characters issuing voice commands and asking questions to the products — interacting as if the technology is human.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive officer and cofounder is also an advocate of AI. Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan’s organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, is now acquiring Meta, an AI-powered search engine startup designed to help scientists look for other research related to their projects.
Through AI, the search engine “organizes, forecasts and reasons over scientific and technical discovery” with superior accuracy, speed and scale. Meta can also assist investors and funding organizations in collaborating with researchers and looking for areas with high potential in investment or impact.
One standout feature of Meta is its ability to recognize authors and citations in the papers to give users the best results instead of just relying on keywords inputted in the search engine. Meta also gives its users free access to 18,000 journals and literature sources in full text.
Zuckerberg also recently talked about AI in his note titled “Building Global Community,” He believes that AI and ML can provide a better approach to creating a supportive, safe, informed, civically engaged and inclusive community. One of the social network mogul’s efforts to achieve this goal includes teams studying the development of systems capable of flagging content for review by looking at photos and videos posted on Facebook. He further says that this will help in the fight against terrorism.
“Right now, we’re starting to explore ways to use AI to tell the difference between news stories about terrorism and actual terrorist propaganda so we can quickly remove anyone trying to use our services to recruit for a terrorist organization. This is technically difficult as it requires building AI that can read and understand the news, but we need to work on this to help fight terrorism worldwide,” Zuckerberg wrote.
Zuckerberg may just have hit the nail on the head. Integration of artificial intelligence in public safety and security is a crucial, if not necessary, step in protecting communities from attacks. Weapons detection company Patriot One Technologies Inc. (OTCMKTS: PTOTF, TSX.V: PAT, FRA: OPL) is making this a reality.
The North American-based company, which is focused on commercializing and manufacturing state-of-the-art security systems, is developing a new concealed weapons detection system called the NForce CMR1000. It can detect objects with anomalous mass and materials that are related to weapons hidden on people’s bodies even while they are moving. This is where machine learning come in.
Its radar detection system is cognitive — CMR stands for Cognitive Microwave Radar. Before deployment, the system is “trained” to access various weapons profiles, analyzing and identifying weapons signatures. It also knows how to distinguish unarmed people or non-threat targets. Furthermore, it has the ability to “learn” from previous scans, adapting to new threats.
Think of it as leveling up with each screening, perfecting its accuracy. Moreover, this learning capacity is shareable across a designated network, which allows for its capability to grow exponentially. The product’s small size — size of a small breadbox — allows for easy installation and discreet placement in out-of-sight spots. A human operator is no longer required because it operates in real time.
Cybersecurity has also actively embraced AI as exemplified by Deep Instinct™, a cybersecurity company with a headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, and offices located in San Francisco and Aliso Viejo, California. The firm makes use of deep learning, a more sophisticated branch of artificial intelligence, and weaved it into the company’s cybersecurity service to develop an advanced cybersecurity solution.
Deep learning enhances the way artificially intelligent devices absorb data, somehow imitating the way human neurons transmit information around our bodies. According to MIT Technology Review, it enables the software to learn to identify recurring patterns or layout in sound, images, videos and other data.
Deep Instinct’s deep-learning cyberdefense solution is comprised of three components: D-Brain, D-Appliance and D-Client. This solution provides real-time zero-day threat and advanced persistent threat (APT) detection and prevention on mobile devices and computers. It changes the way its defenses deal with threats. It has gone from being reactive threats to being proactive to achieve the prevention side of the service and for better accuracy in looking for hazards that may be present within gadgets. The service can also accurately give predictions of unknown cyber threats with the use of deep learning algorithms.
D-Brain supplies real-time cyber threat intelligence features as it learns from malware datasets obtained from various sources. D-Appliance makes use of the D-Brain’s updates for its visualization and management tool for the company’s security policy configuration and enabling of the detailed monitoring of cyber threats.
D-Client now gives devices the edge of connectionless, light and real-time cyber threat prevention, and when it is installed on mobile devices, it scans the mobile device and proactively and automatically acts according to Deep Instinct’s security policy. D-Client also functions even when the mobile device is not connected to the Internet or Deep Instinct’s network.
The cyber defense solution developed by Deep Instinct is proven to be an effective answer in repelling malwares on gadgets. So much so, the company was recently awarded the Hot Company Winner in the Anti-Malware Solutions category in the 5th INFOSEC Awards.
Artificial intelligence is rapidly assimilating itself into people’s lives. The incorporation of AI into our daily routines has managed to make living easier and convenient. Echoing Zuckerberg’s sentiments, AI’s venture into fields of safety and security may just be what we need to face and fight against threats in many communities and spaces around the world.