What’s in store in 2018 in Information Technology?

As 2018 dawns, it’s a clean slate all over again! Information Technology around the globe is in full swing and for now the trend is towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its immediate medical applications.

Today, we hear about AI applications in almost every field and aspect of our existence. From processed based programs that interact with us and market consumer goods based on our interests and likes, to medical processes and medical imaging machines that absorb exciting amounts of information to uncover better ways to help treat patients. The uses of these advanced technologies vary in their scope of usage. In the near future, AI technology could be integrated into the very cells of our bodies, reason why experts are maximising their studies in this particular field. Artificial Intelligence technologies and human biology could bridge the gap and work as a cohesive unit in the name of efficiency and the prospect of human existence. Your brain and AI will be able to directly relay messages to each other and covert it into bodily actions. Now, if this is the future of AI, then we should also check any deviance of today’s AI programs in its early stages as to not to be caught unaware to what Artificial Intelligence can do.   

Isolated examples of Artificial Intelligence (AI) breaching its intended programming have already been observed. Google’s DeepMind AI system (known for beating complex board game champions and impeccably imitating the voices of various human beings) acted aggressively when confronted with the potential of losing a fruit gathering computer game in which two programs competed against each other to collect as many virtual apples as they could. The programs were responding independently until the apples started becoming scarce. This lack of virtual apples triggered the programs to employ “highly aggressive” strategies in order to beat the other program. Although these programs were designed to carry out definite tasks while being adaptable, the displayed aggressions in its methods were worrisome. The program started analysing tactics for its survival!

In retrospect, Artificial Intelligence is heavily financed worldwide because it helps make our world exceedingly automated. It can lighten menial tasks tremendously and excellently compute and generate even the most complicated of endeavours. Now as before, the present threat of malevolent programs looms large, like a cyclone struggling to make landfall. With no clear paths to correctly predict the future we cannot possibly tell if it will ever materialize into a genuine threat, or will simply disappear. Sadly, but truth tell there is no standard as yet that is set in policing and managing cyberspace. With the advancements in AI in full swing let us hope that we will be able to manage it just the same before it manages us.

While there are a lot of other things in store in 2018, in the field of Information Technology we just covered AI to showcase its benefits but also to imbibe a sense of urgency in its management as a potential threat if it is let to outgrow its definite tasks!