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Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Hype or Reality?

  • Neelam Tyagi
  • Jun 02, 2021
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“By far the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it.” — Eliezer Yudkowsky 


Artificial Intelligence is everywhere, it is the theme that everyone has an opinion upon, some people get their information from various resources, and others actually have used AI in the course of their work or research. 


Consequently, there are a lot of hypes, or say misconceptions, or about the fascinating technology. In order to get a better understanding of what AI is, we will discuss some common hype and the reality surrounding it through this blog. 





AI is the ability of computers or computer-enabled robotics to process information and make outcomes in a way identical to thought processes of humans in learning, decision making and problem solving. 


AI systems learn from experience, and use the leanings to address predefined issues. Superficially, the purpose of an AI system is to tackle complex problems in the same ways as humans do with logics and reasonings.


(Must check: History of AI)


With superfluous advancement, there is no doubt that AI and data science embrace a great potential that can transform the discovery and development of any field, as they say, technology or application will evolve over time but always surrounded by a lot of hype.


For example, the below video explains the research conducted by Cambridge University over healthcare sector, and covers “what has been achieved till date (31st March, 2021)? In the next 5 to 10 years what is expected reality and how experts manage such expectations? And how technology and the niche sector collaborate to acknowledge the AI and data science potential?

AI Hype or Reality


With the fact that AI has been hyped can’t deny its capabilities, for example, it is being applied across various industries, and because of its huge potential, AI is adding enormous value to them. 


Presently, AI has become a buzzword in society and is a demand of an hour that carries distinct hypes, are they just hypes or contain some reality? The focus is just to make you aware of AI capabilities which are far away from misinformation. 


Following are some of the AI hyped statements;


  1. AI has an Agency


In today’s technological era, AI is everywhere in the news, they are saying headlines like this;


  • AI can design cities now, but can human beings allow it?

  • AI robots can kill humans, and conquer humanity, have they designed in such a way? Can we regulate it?

  • Would AI be better in governing than politicians?


What these headlines reflect in common is that all speak about AI as something it has agency. These headlines show that AI is performing any action on its own and in terms of its desire without human instructions, in fact these headlines should say “AI has many capabilities such that people can use AI systems to …….”.


Where some people found it very natural and even beneficial to society, some are arguing that it is just catastrophic hype and misconception about AI.


For example, the headline was “AI can design cities”, it is not about some self-conscious superintelligence system that can design cities freely on its own. 


The truth is that a group of researchers are employing machine learning models to enable AI systems designing cities in two ways


  • Firstly, to analyze data survey for what street images people find beautiful or ugly, and 

  • Secondly, to edit ugly street images and make them suitably better to what people find beautiful.   


Therefore, a news headline essentially tried to say “ a group of researchers can use a machine learning algorithm to help in designing cities by examining data in the context of what people like and dislike.”


It is truly the fact that the ascription behind AI agency is masking the human agency behind certain processes. All AI systems are devised by humans, and programmed and calibrated in order to accomplish specific outcomes where these outcomes are the consequences of multiple human decisions.


Owners of AI systems and the data scientists they employ are responsible for the choices made at each stage of development: for the choice of the data, even if that choice was very limited; for deploying the system despite the fact that they could not avoid bias; for not revising their main objective, regardless of the fact that the fair outcome they hoped for could not be achieved; and, finally, they are responsible for choosing to use an automated system in the first place, despite being aware of its limitations and possible consequences.- AI has an agency



  1. AI’s superintelligence to meet human intelligence


While AI systems are approaching or outrunning human beings increasingly over complex tasks, for example, composing music or playing games like Go, they also remain limited and brittle at certain points, and also reflect scarcity of agency or creativity.


It is not AI systems alone that are responsible to compose music, or to create a melody or understand sound to compose music, infact researchers have designed tools (AI systems) in a way that they recognize patterns of melodies and generate outcomes based on similar patterns projected to them.


Currency, these AI systems that could generate melodies aren’t used to compose realistic speeches, even hardly implemented for colouring an image or playing a game of chess.


Thorough research and development are conducted in certain industries to adopt AI in their existing system, techniques such as transfer learning are applied to address multiple problems and of course bringing human beings closer to AI systems.


But AI or machine with human intelligence remains a long way off, and the hype “AI with superintelligence” is far away. 


(Must check: Top AI myths)



  1. AI can solve any problem


In a race with AI misconception and misunderstood technologies, the opinion that AI ranges from one extreme to the next to solve everything is somewhere not less than a huge hype.


While AI and its subsets are powerful tools, they can reshape and redefine a broad spectrum of industries as well as raise people’s living standards, but it doesn’t mean they are the ultimate solutions to mankind’s problems. For example, 


  • AI is changing the way companies interact with consumers, automating business processes but has some limitations. 

  • Emotion AI is a fast growing technology that is applying AI to detect human reactions from web pages to video ads. 

  • AI is being applied in customer services in the form of ML chatbots.

  • Medical industry is also using AI to improve medical diagnostics, including cancer detection, and many more. Similarly, AI has many applications.


But AI has some limitations, not all the problems it can resolve until or unless it has been instructed/designed for a specific purpose accordingly.


For any task to perform, AI is hugely dependent on a massive pool of data to help human beings in certain tasks, if inadequate data, or incorrect data are provided to AI algorithms then we get the adverse results. 


AI can solve any problem with enough data, provided sufficient computing power and data quality. Data quality is a crucial factor along with the AI designing complexities and fine tuning of algorithms. Ignoring these factors can be problematic that leads to delivering accurate results. (Source)



  1. AI is unbiased/objective


AI is unfairly biased, or we can say biasing in AI is the result of man made decisions concluded over how AI applications are designed, examined and employed. 


From employment decisions to credit allocation, many circumstances have witnessed where peoples’ decision making results in unfair consequences for vulnerable classes.


And at the same time if AI are designed and trained to replicate the human behaviour of those human decision makers, and undeniably AI systems also reflect biases in their decision making.


Nonetheless, designing such AI systems that address these biases is challenging, and demands for circumspect consideration and accuracy in particular of technology and societal context where these systems will be implanted. 


Infact, almost well-devised and tested AI systems can restrict such unfair biases, and help society to recognise and cope with biasing in human unfair decision making.


(Related blog: Is AI really intelligent?)



  1. AI will surmount humankind


For AI innovations where data, algorithms, hardware are equally important, it is the human talent that reshape and redefine AI systems to perform exceptionally well. 


AI and its subsets are indeed powerful tools, but these models are literally powerless to imagine similar to human beings, and would scarcely be trained/taught to do so.


In near time, with the support of experts, AI systems will have an optimistic impact globally in enormous sectors, be it finance, education or healthcare. These systems will build innovative business models and bring global communities together and make them skillful.


It is eventually true that the advent of AI and automation will transform the entire business perspective, for example, it has a potential to excel in narrow tasks, and disrupt labour, in many cases it is already doing so.


Taking it straightforwardly, new technologies have increased productivity, created new industries, generated huge employment opportunities, and raised the standard of living. But it doesn’t mean it will conquer humankind. 


In order to reduce day to day tedious work, AI is simply focusing on automating work systems as well as providing opportunities to upgrade people skills and escalate them in their career path at the same time.




"Myths and misconceptions about AI can prevent us from identifying and fixing real problems with these systems."-DANIEL LEUFER


Not a time ago, when people were amazed with the internet, today it has become an integral part of our daily life, and so AI. From communication to banking, AI has made our lives easier. 


The day is not far when AI will become as commonplace in our lives as we regularly browse the web for anything.That time we may look back and wonder why we took so much time to see beyond the hype and understand the real potential of this revolutionary technology.


(Must check: Top AI examples)


On a positive note, this blog discussion has highlighted AI capabilities and its boundles significance in today’s technological environment. From speedy development to deployment, AI adoption has caught the attention at a considerable level in competitive edges. 

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