In the last decade, significant progress has been made within this limited vision of AI. The major forces driving the rapid evolution of AI are the development of Big Data databases generated by the Internet, e-commerce, the Internet of Things, and social media. Secondary drivers include the drastic reduction in the cost of computer processing and the growth in the power of processors. And finally, the growth of AI has relied on the refinement of algorithms by tens of thousands of AI software engineers and university AI research centers, along with significant investment from business and governments. There have been few fundamental conceptual breakthroughs in AI in this period, or in understanding how humans think. Many of the algorithms and statistical techniques were developed decades earlier but could not be implemented and refined on such a large scale as is currently possible.
Progress has been significant: Image recognition programs have gone from 25 percent error rates down to less than 3 percent in 2018; natural language speech recognition errors have dropped from 15 percent to 6 percent; and in translation among common languages, Google’s Translate program achieves about 85 percent accuracy compared to humans (Technology Quarterly, 2017; Hirschberg and Manning, 2016). These advances have made possible personal assistants like Siri (Apple), Alexa (Amazon), Cortana (Microsoft), and Now (Google), as well as speech-activated systems in automobiles.
In a famous 1950 paper, computer scientist Alan Turing defined an artificially intelligent computer program as one that a human could have a conversation with and not be able to tell it was a computer (Turing, 1950). We still cannot have a genuine conversation with a computer AI system because it has no genuine understanding of the world, no common sense, and does not truly understand humans. Nevertheless, AI systems can be enormously helpful to humans and business firms.
Source: Laudon Kenneth C., Laudon Jane Price (2020), Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm, Pearson; 16th edition.
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