Our human mind is a powerful organ,and ever since birth it is able to store up to 40 million bits of data from our environment every second. in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and other animals, AI is often understood as machines displaying cognitive functions. So, machines acting as humans: reading, talking, learning. Albeit they do so from learning from sets of data given to them by a human and this is what is called Machine Learning , Although this is not full intelligence some great feet has been covered in the world of A.I.
“Intelligence (A.I AND M.L) is field of computer science that attempts to create machines that reason and act rationally and responsibly a human environment .”
“Just as the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg in the 15th century made scribes disappear, the invention of the computer in the 20th century made typists — and many other jobs — disappear, we often fear AI replacing some functions human fulfill today.” – Zelros.
Generally when talking about A.I , we talk about either:
- Narrow AI. These AIs are very specialized, and limited intelligence. Yes they can learn to solve a task better than any human expert (e.g. detecting tumors in X-rays images), but by no means they have the ability to do anything else.
- General AI. An AI not only having a logical intelligence, but also an ability to use reasoning and intuitions, and learn new tasks by itself. General AI is not available today, and it is not clear if it will exist one day and will reach full consciousness.
Because General AI is so uncertain, many experts believe that AI will not replace people. Instead it’s believed that AI will “augment” humans, and that AI + human intelligence will be stronger than AI alone or human intelligence alone”.
Although this is true to a certain point there’s more need for concern by people, as already some companies like Amazon is replacing fulfillment center jobs that employ millions with robots that pack orders in minutes, and more so here in Africa and Kenya where the rate of unemployment is at 7.4% about 1,435,800, this can have drastic effects on the economy.
No need to worry there’s a solution, there’s a law in physics where for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction, hence for every job that A.I takes another one is created , Some of the fastest growing job opportunities across all industries include data analysts, software developers and social media specialists. Plus jobs that require “human skills” like sales and marketing, innovation and customer service are also expected to increase in demand.
“As Cathy Smith, MD of SAP Africa, mentioned in “The future of work in digital world“, “I have no doubt that the future will not be humans or robots: it will be humans and robots, working side by side. For us, as business people and children of the African continent, we’re on the brink of a major opportunity. We just have to grasp it.”. With respect to 21st-century skills that we need to grasp this opportunity, see also the World Economic Forum’s 21st-century skills article on lifelong learning and skills needed with respect to foundational literacy, competencies (dealing with complex challenges) and character qualities (dealing with changing environments).”
AI has the potential to enhance productivity and growth by expanding opportunities in key sectors for Kenya and the wider continent – include agriculture, healthcare, financial services, and government services.
“Through providing workers, entrepreneurs, and organizations with access to high-quality digital tools, they will be empowered to compete at a global level and be at the forefront of economic transformation,” says Winnie Karanu, Business Development and Program Manager at Microsoft.”
AI is crucially important and if governments can successfully steer the challenges presented, AI can be a driver of growth, development, ‘Artificial Intelligence for Africa: An Opportunity for Growth, Development, ’.