Pattaya, Thailand – A timely and very interesting presentation at the Wednesday, June 28, meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC). Mikael Lindback spoke about artificial intelligence (AI), a current news media hot topic. Mikael is a Mechanical Engineer knowledgeable in the field of Information Technology. Since 1992, he has been specifically focusing on the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain technology for businesses.
Mikael began his presentation by showing a short ad like video featuring the well-known actor, Tom Cruise. Yes, it was a fake AI generated video. This was followed by a short four question quiz about AI for the audience to set the stage for his presentation about what AI is and what it is not.
He pointed out that AI is not new and it is everywhere from GPS navigation to online shopping recommendations, facial recognition to voice assistants. These are applications using “narrow” AI which primarily performs only one task. But what is new and getting media attention is “general” AI. The potential for “general” AI has not yet been fully realized; it involves the handling of many tasks which normally are done by humans.
He then focused his talk on this type of AI which he mentions is often called a “large language model” by those involved in this technology because it can use language for receiving, analyzing, and answering questions or performing tasks. But, he said, one needs to realize that it is not human intelligence, it is a machine into which information is fed, analyzed, and provides an answer. Thus, the answer will depend on how the question is posed and the data available to be analyzed. Whereas, a human answering the question would probably provide a more diverse rather than specific answer.
Mikael emphasized that when communicating with a machine, you should approach it as if talking to a child. You are telling a machine what to do. What you say is what you get back. An important thing to remember is that AI does not have a conscience – what you get back is from a diverse amount of data. While AI might seem complex, it’s just like teaching a toddler, but instead, it’s a computer. It learns, makes decisions, and gets better over time. AI starts with data, just like we start with at school. It learns patterns, applies them to new data, and can make predictions or decisions, like a student.
Throughout his talk, he emphasized that what AI is not human. It does not have emotions and consciousness, which is a human trait that is applied when arriving at decisions or answers to questions. Whereas, AI relies on data alone.
Mikael then spoke about the good and bad points of using AI technology as well as its potential for future applications. Of prime concern, is ethical considerations which he believes are vital in AI usage. He pointed out the Tom Cruise video he showed at the beginning of his talk, noting that it reveals a major risk because it can become deepfake technology which can be used for business benefits like creating synthetic videos for training, marketing, and customer service.
There are also other issues as AI needs lots of data that can threaten privacy. AI automation can cause job loss as some jobs currently done by humans will disappear. His view is that there is a need to strike a balance between utilizing its immense potential and mitigating its associated risks.
After a lively question and answer session, MC Ren Lexander called on George Wilson to conduct the Open Forum where the audience can ask questions or make comments about expat living in Thailand. To view the presentation by Mikael visit the PCEC’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8Btgo2k0Bo. To learn more about the PCEC and their activities, visit https://pcec.club/.