September 2023

5 4 Navigating New Frontiers Artificial intelligence (AI) - you’ve certainly heard of it by now. AI is a world of complex algorithms and potential possibilities that has the power to revolutionize our lives. Imagine living in a society where machines are capable of understanding, learning, and even thinking like humans. That’s what artificial intelligence is all about. To be honest, much of that world is already here. AI is basically technology that mimics human cognition by processing a lot of data to make decisions, recognize patterns, and solve complex problems. It’s like we are crafting digital brains that could reshape industries, transform how we interact with technology, and propel us into the era of innovation. In healthcare, AI has greatly improved the accuracy of medical image analysis, assisting radiologists in diagnosing conditions like cancer from X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. In finance, AI-driven algorithms analyze market data to make difficult trading decisions. Renaissance Technologies’ Medallion Fund is an example that utilizes quantitative AI models for trading and therefore consistently generating high returns. In entertainment, AI can suggest movies, music, and videos based on user preferences and viewing habits. Companies such as Netflix, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and others employ AI to recommend content to subscribers (which I am certain you have experienced and used before). By Jessica Herr, Grade 10, Bellevue Senior High School, Bellevue So, how does AI actually work? It’s a collection of algorithms that learn from data we provide; it is similar to how we consume knowledge, training ourselves to know a certain subject. Similar to the way we study for exams, AI algorithms learn to recognize cats from dogs, play chess like grandmasters, or even sometimes diagnose diseases more accurately than doctors (crazy, right?). This fusion of data and algorithms creates what we call machine learning, a subset of AI that enables computers to learn from experience. This is basically teaching your phone to predict your preferences and respond to your commands— like Snapchat’s new AI bot! However, AI isn’t all perfect yet. It currently raises questions and doubt about ethics and bias. Just as we are influenced by our experiences, AI systems adopt biases or stereotypes that are in the data they learn from. For example, images of cooking or household chores online have more images of women in them, while images of business and work have men in them. If images and data like this are given to the AI for learning, then it will create stereotypes and prejudice, which will affect our world negatively. As young scholars who are doing our part to build a fair world, it’s our duty to ensure that the AI we create respects diversity and fairness that our community wants to embrace. There are people who seem to be afraid of the advances of technology, fearing its replacement of humans. I would like to think that this is not as scary as people think it could be. I believe it’s crucial to understand and appreciate the significance of having a partnership between humanity and artificial intelligence. In this era of innovation, it’s important to understand that the goal of AI isn’t to replace humans, but rather to serve as a powerful tool that helps our capabilities to greater heights. While AI exhibits the astounding ability to go through volumes of data within seconds, it lacks the qualities that define humanity, namely, empathy and creativity. By recognizing how the partnership between humans and technology can complement each other so well, we can unlock the door to a future where innovation flourishes, bright solutions emerge, and the essence of what it means to be human is deepened rather than diminished. How Do Chatbots Become Prejudiced, Racist And Sexist? The news has reported multiple examples of chatbots becoming racist and sexist within a very short amount of time. This is because of the huge amount of data needed to train these chatbots. AI will learn from the examples it is given; and a lot of the data comes from places like Twitter and Reddit. Will Douglas Heaven from the MIT review wrote, “Tools like GPT-3 are stunningly good, but they feed on the cesspits of the internet.” And it isn’t necessarily an easy problem to solve. But, many are trying to do so. For example, earlier this year, the creators of ChatGPT wrote a blog post saying, “the concerns raised ... have uncovered real limitations of our systems.” Learn how they plan to improve ChatGPT.