Imagine a machine that can talk to you, write for you, play games with you, and solve problems for you. Sounds like science fiction, right? Well, not anymore. This is the reality of artificial intelligence (AI), the technology that makes machines do things that seem smart. But how smart is AI really? Can it match or surpass human intelligence? And what are the implications of this for society and the future of work? In this article, we will explore these questions and more, and see how AI can be both a blessing and a curse for humanity.
How Smart Is AI and What Does It Mean for Us?
You’ve probably heard of artificial intelligence, or AI for short. It’s the technology that makes machines do things that seem smart, like talking, writing, playing games, and solving problems. But how smart is AI really? Can it beat humans at everything? And what does it mean for us and our future?
What is IQ and how do we measure it?
IQ stands for intelligence quotient, and it’s a way of measuring how smart someone is. IQ tests have different kinds of questions that test different kinds of smarts, like words, numbers, shapes, memory, and speed. The average IQ score is 100, and the higher the score, the smarter you are. But IQ tests are not perfect. They can be affected by things like education, culture, motivation, and stress. They also don’t measure other kinds of smarts that are important for life, like creativity, emotions, social skills, and wisdom. And they are not made for machines. They may not be fair or suitable to test how smart AI is.
How does AI compare with human smarts?
AI is a big term that covers many kinds of machines that can do things that need smarts. Some AI machines are narrow, meaning they can only do one thing well, like recognizing faces or playing chess. Other AI machines are general, meaning they can do many things across different areas, like understanding language or learning new skills. The ultimate goal of AI research is to make artificial superintelligence (ASI), which is an AI machine that can beat humans at everything.
So far, no AI machine has reached general or superintelligence. Most AI machines are still narrow and specialized in their areas. But some AI machines have shown amazing skills that challenge or beat humans at some tasks. For example:
- ChatGPT is an AI machine that can write texts based on a given topic. It can write essays, stories, jokes, explanations, and code. It can also chat with humans on various topics. A psychologist who gave ChatGPT an IQ test found that it was very good at the word questions, giving answers that were better than the right answers.
- AlphaGo is an AI machine that can play the ancient board game of Go, which is one of the hardest and most strategic games ever made. It can learn from millions of human games and improve its own skills by playing against itself. In 2016, it beat Lee Sedol, one of the world’s best Go players, by 4-1 in a historic match.
- DeepMind is an AI machine that can learn to play video games from scratch, without any human help or prior knowledge. It can master games like Atari Breakout, Space Invaders, and Montezuma’s Revenge by using reinforcement learning, a technique that rewards the machine for achieving goals. It can also transfer its skills across different games.
These examples show that AI can be great at tasks that need speed, accuracy, memory, logic, and pattern recognition. But they also show the limits of AI compared to human smarts. AI machines often lack common sense, intuition, emotion, creativity, and social skills. They may not understand the context or meaning behind their actions or outputs. They may also make mistakes or behave weirdly when faced with new or unclear situations.
What does AI mean for us and our future?
AI has many good things for us and our future. It can make us better, faster, and more productive. It can solve problems, create opportunities, and generate value. It can also help us with some of the biggest challenges we face, like climate change, health care, education, and poverty.
But AI also has many bad things for us and our future. It can disrupt our industries and jobs, create ethical dilemmas, threaten our privacy and security, increase inequality and discrimination, and undermine our dignity and autonomy. It may also have unexpected consequences or impacts that are hard to predict or control.
So, we need to make sure that AI is made and used in a good, ethical, and human-centered way. AI should not replace our smarts, but enhance them. AI should not compete with us, but cooperate with us. AI should not harm us, but benefit us.
As Harvard Business Review authors David De Cremer and Garry Kasparov say:
The question of whether AI will replace human workers assumes that AI and humans have the same qualities and abilities — but, in reality, they don’t. AI-based machines are fast, more accurate, and consistently rational, but they aren’t intuitive, emotional, or culturally sensitive. And, it’s exactly these abilities that humans posses and which make us effective. … The real question is: how can human intelligence work with artificial intelligence to produce augmented intelligence.
AI is changing the world as we know it. It can perform tasks that humans find difficult, such as solving complex math problems, recognizing faces and speech, writing essays and code, and even playing chess. But AI is not perfect. It has limitations and challenges that humans do not have. It also poses risks and threats that humans need to be aware of and prepared for. Therefore, we need to ensure that AI is developed and used in a responsible, ethical, and human-centered way. AI should not replace human intelligence, but augment it. AI should not compete with humans, but collaborate with them. AI should not harm humans, but benefit them. By doing so, we can create a smarter, better, and more humane society.