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Sophia

Artificial Intelligence is REAL!

1920 1280 Monirul Haque

I assume that you’ve heard of Sophia, the humanoid robot. Some of you might have seen social media memes about it, particularly following the mega ICT event, Digital World 2017, or watched video coverages on YouTube and online news channels. I came to know about this extraordinary creation by David Hanson from the ‘Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’ on YouTube. Sophia was the guest in one of his episodes and, even though I am a regular viewer of this entertaining talk show, I was left amazed by this particular show having realized that the much discussed topic, Artificial Intelligence (AI), has advanced to create a functioning smart humanoid robot.

Sophia uses a computer program that is similar to ELIZA. The computer program ‘ELIZA’ was created at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1964. It is similar to ChatBot that was introduced by Facebook. Eliza simulated conversation by using a ‘pattern matching’ and substitution methodology that gave users an illusion of understanding on the part of the program.

As you now know about the mechanism behind the “Celebrity Humanoid robot Sophia”, what do you think about the attention it is getting? In my perspective, some group of people overstated its ability. According to the scientific community, Sophia is often presented in a way that theatrically overstates its level of general intelligence. Whereas Hanson, the creator, designed Sophia to be a suitable companion for the elderly at nursing homes, or to help crowds at large events or parks. But her most impressive feature is in her ability to express feelings topped with the witty sense of humor. Once in an interview, Sophia, primarily a machine, said, “My AI is designed around human values like wisdom, kindness, and compassion.”

So what makes Sophia marketable? The right answer would be the social skill generated by its core program. It must be noted that science and technology are taking longer strides to development than they had before. However, in the process of keeping pace with the technological advancements, we must be sure to integrate our morals and values with the aim to make the world a better place.

The core concept behind Sophia is AI. From SIRI of iPhone to self-driving cars, from Smart TV to Google map, AI is in full action! To be clear, AI is the big umbrella that encompasses terms like machine learning and deep learning. The benefits of AI surpasses the unimaginable risk. AI can have a huge contribution in the field of education, healthcare, security and development of a country. For instance, the modern education system needs to ensure an active learning environment that is both enjoyable and interactive. AI execution can help to create a personalized learning environment to match the varying capacities of students. By analyzing learner information, AI can generate groups particularly suited to a certain task, or groups that balance one learner’s weaknesses with another learner’s strengths. Moreover, Virtual Reality (VR)-assisted learning allows for educational support in authentic environments and extends the boundaries of the classroom. Realistic immersion in virtual environments can provide learners with a richer understanding of the material. Using gamification in learning system can motivate learners and help improve retention while making the learning experience fun.

When it comes to business and economy, leaders, CEO, and managers can make smarter decisions with the results and statistics generated using AI. Tracking growth, problem, and market research data with the power of AI technology.

Even though AI has significant threats, they are near to nil if used for the betterment of the human race.  In the context of Bangladesh, AI can bring concrete growth and prosperity. It is going to dictate the quality of life in the near future. From changing our lifestyle to better advanced healthcare system, AI will contribute to every major part of our life. According to the local newspaper, The Daily Star, ‘Some 47.6 million or 30 percent of the total 158.5 million people in Bangladesh are young (10-24 years), and it will be between 10 and 19 percent by 2050’. This means that Bangladesh needs to invest urgently in the human capital of its young people if it wants to reap the benefits of a large demographic dividend. Hence, for this majority to be competent in the future, young people should update their skills in technology so that they can adapt to the rapid transformations made by AI.

As a part of the young population of my country and an avid reader of science fiction, the prospects of AI in Digital Bangladesh excites me. It further rejuvenates my interest to think that I will be able to experience such a revolution.

Until then, like Spock (from Star Trek) would say, may the world “Live long and prosper”.

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