Ever thought, how can your machine understand what you think? Or ever observed the fact that a machine or a device will behave and act as the way you want them to? How is it possible? How can machines have an ability to think and act accordingly? Yeah, don’t be worried, but this is true! Machines nowadays understand and grasp your thinking and your behavior.
Today, answering these set of questions, I’ll explain how machines are turning into smart devices or smart agents. Agents here meaning the ones who understand, act and learn based on human behavior. It’s very cool to know this fact, that machines will act as you want them to or to be precise machines will act according to your behavior and thought process. If you thought process changes, the machines or devices will act in a different way.
Integrating or giving this ability to a machine or a device is not so easy. It’s difficult, not because of its complexity, but because the human brain is filled with countless and infinite thoughts and for the machines to understand each one of them and act accordingly is not so easy. Every time a number of thoughts run through your mind, out of which few of them you discard, few of them you analyze and lastly few of them you actually act upon. For the machines to understand this phase, that is, which thoughts you discard, which you analyze and which you act upon is difficult. But once it understands, it provides you with tremendous value and some great insights.
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This value and insights provided by the machines to human can be in the form of some information, it can be in the form of some actions taken by the machine (actions that humans are tend to take, but now with machine knowing what human wants, they take actions). Such actions and information have higher accuracy and efficiency. Now that’s the basis of how machines work, after becoming smart. That is how they function, once they know and understand the human behavior. The question arises that how they learn? How they know and understand what we think? They learn and understand us by our own actions and work. How?
Let me give you an example. You must have browsed through a website countless to check your emails, to watch videos or to learn some new skill. Consider that you are watching a video on YouTube and on the home screen, it shows you the list of videos which you might be interested in. How does YouTube do that? YouTube keeps asking your feedback and opinion on what kind of videos you like. If you like sports videos, the next time you log in to YouTube, you’ll have a list of sports videos on YouTube. If you like videos with science and tech, you’ll see videos with that subject the next time you log in. It looks simple, but it isn’t. YouTube keeps a track of your likes and dislikes and based on that, it displays a list of videos based on a topic that you have liked. This way, the YouTube recommendation works.
Another example is that of Facebook. From a new generation child to our older generation grandfather, everyone is using Facebook. It is the largest social network creating information for billions of people all across the globe. If you have noticed while scrolling through your Facebook feed, there are various Ads been shown on your feed or any person’s feed, using the social network. That ad is shown based on your interest. How? You have a number of friends connected on Facebook and there are many pages that you might have liked on Facebook. Also, there is a number of other activities that you do on Facebook, like liking a sponsored ad, commenting it, sharing videos and posts based on your interests and much more. Tracking this information and making it useful for the consumer only, Facebook only shows you ads based on your interests and liking.
Making these systems smart and intelligent make use of Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence consists of a number of subdomains, out of which to design smart agents, mostly Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Neural Networks are used. To state in brief, these are some computational math techniques which make use of some information (existing or non-existing) and provides information or performs actions in favor of the humans in order to generate better and productive results. Not going into much details about this technique, as it will involve a lot of technical jargon and math logic. But to summarise it, it makes use of human behavior and actions and performs some processing using AI techniques, and generates a result for the humans itself. Such process makes your systems smarter and better.
Getting your system do the work for you and understand you is a great thing and has a lot of advantages, but yes there a few drawbacks as well. Will list down the advantages and the disadvantages of systems being smart.
Advantages of Smart Systems:
1. Makes things Faster.
2. Efficient, Accurate and Reliable.
3. Gets productive results which are restricted to your likes and your interests.
4. Saves time.
5. Reduces human work to a great extent, to find, think and act.
6. Provides you with results, with a well-defined proof (proof meaning, as to why that result has been chosen by the system)
7. Systems do not get tired and it can keep on processing your actions.
1. Keeps a track of your information. If systems are not well developed, information might be leaked and misused.
2. Systems being smart to a certain level is good, but beyond that will make the world destructive.
3. Understanding human brain is not an easy task. Highly complex, computationally costly and monetary as well. Very costly to build such systems.
This way, a system is bound to be smarter and better. For the above-mentioned examples regarding YouTube and Facebook, if you haven’t observed the pattern of videos and ads based on your liking, then this time take a close look. And check for yourself.
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Till then enjoy reading, and make yourself smarter and better too.
Article written and submitted by: Akshay Rakesh Toshniwal