Violeta Popadic, Online English teacher at Acadsoc.
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Artificial Intelligence: an overview
We call ourselves Homo sapiens—man the wise—because our intelligence is so important to us. For thousands of years, we have tried to understand how we think; that is, how a mere handful of matter can perceive, understand, predict, and manipulate a world far larger and more complicated than itself. The field of artificial intelligence, or AI, goes further still: it ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
And particularly in the coming 10 years, AI will be applied in many industries. Including Education, more precisely, virtual classroom or the online English courses that we are conducting will face the impact. Will online English teachers or other online teachers become the first tier to be replaced by AI and robot? To be honest, I believe most of ESL/language teachers can be replaced so far because there is no education reform in language teaching for quite a long time. Unlike STEM education or higher education, which aims more and more at boosting students’ creativity, thinking and practical skills. In the future, as teachers, we will not only face the pressure from students to customize their curriculums, to bring them better class experience, to learn practical skills instead of memorizing knowledge…we will be chased by AI as well! For most education companies, such as Acadsoc, robots are more reliable (they won’t get ill or emotional), more accurate (they won’t make grammar mistakes) and more ‘Omniscient’ to students’ questions.
Therefore, we shall get closer and better know our competitor in the future, to keep our job and to keep our honour as educators!
AI is one of the newest fields in science and engineering. Work started in earnest soon after World War II, and the name itself was coined in 1956. Along with molecular biology, AI is regularly cited as the “field I would most like to be in” by scientists in other disciplines.
Along with the rapid development of PC and mobile devices, CPU (Central Processing Unit) and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) have become larger in capacity, faster in processing and lower in energy cost in the past few decades.
However, as the first NPU (Neural-network Processing Unit) was firstly attached into a cell phone carried a board in 2017 by Huawei, an international well-known mobile device and telecommunication business, it is a signal: Your devices and robots need to be not just faster, cheaper, more reliable…but SMARTER!
AI potentially encompasses a huge variety of subfields, ranging from evaluating student’s language level, playing chess, speech recognition, facial recognition, driving a car on a crowded street, and diagnosing diseases, etc. AI is relevant to any intellectual task; it is truly a universal field, or another industrial revolution up ahead.
THE FOUNDATIONS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.
To better know AI, we need to know what is the foundation of AI. With no doubt, there are so many developers and researchers working on practical AI at the moment. However, the very basic principle of AI was breed from as early as in ancient Greek. When Aristotle developed his reasoning theory, which indicates a truth: All things are happened due to some reason and all things happened can be analyzed in a certain pattern.
Aristotle (384–322 B.C.) was the first to formulate a precise set of laws governing the rational part of the mind. He developed an informal system of syllogisms for proper reasoning, which in principle allowed one to generate conclusions mechanically, given initial premises. Much later, Ramon Lull (d. 1315) had the idea that useful reasoning could actually be carried out by a mechanical artefact.
• Can formal rules be used to draw valid conclusions?
• How does the mind arise from a physical brain?
• Where does knowledge come from?
• How does knowledge lead to action?
Thomas Bayes (1701-1761),
was an English statistician, philosopher and Presbyterian minister who is known for having formulated a specific case of the theorem that bears his name: Bayes’ theorem.[i]
It describes the probability of an event, based on prior knowledge of conditions that might be related to the event. [ii]
P (A|B) = Possibility that Event A happens under the condition of Event B
If we know prior knowledge of conditions, e.g. P (B) and P (A), then we can calculate and get the possibility of Event A happens under the condition of Event B.
Alan Mathison Turing (1912-1954),
was an English computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist. He was considered as ‘the Father of Artificial Intelligence’.
The Turing test
It was developed by Alan Turing in 1950, is a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. Turing proposed that a human evaluator would judge natural language conversations between a human and a machine designed to generate human-like responses. The evaluator would be aware that one of the two partners in conversation is a machine, and all participants would be separated from one another. [iii]