Hey Siri, what’s artificial intelligence?

Madelena Lapinski, News Editor

Initially, as a species, we decided we had a greater intellectual capacity than any other being, though it is becoming exceedingly apparent that humanity is easily replaceable. We threatened ourselves by creating an inanimate species smarter and quicker than us: Artificial Intelligence (AI). You may know of it, but it is plausible it knows more of you.

In short, AI encompasses any machine or technology that is capable of making sophisticated responses based on real-time data. Since it processes information constantly, it is capable of adapting its responses with every experience. It is eerie how human-like it has become.

One of the most well-known humanoid robots, Ameca, was designed to be used for entertainment and for human-robot interaction. Engineered Arts, the company behind the robot, used easily upgradeable modular technology to create the robot. Not only is it capable of smooth transitions between realistic facial expressions, its mannerisms mimic human behavior to create a lifelike robot. While this has yet to become a “Terminator” epidemic, there are companies making more inconspicuous versions of AI which go unnoticed in daily life, such as Siri and social media software. 

People most commonly interact with AI on their phones using facial recognition software, social media, ad pop-ups and Siri. Just to unlock your smartphone, AI uses small dots to map your face and determine if it matches the image it has in its database. It can even adjust to minor changes due to makeup, shadows or facial hair. 

When you open your phone, click on Instagram. Here’s a list of friends from your contacts you may want to follow! Scroll a bit. There’s an ad for the perfect pair of shoes you were eyeing on Nike the other day. AI works relentlessly to personalize your social media experience to optimize your entertainment. But, who says I’m complaining about it? While it seems a little creepy at first, AI works in a less invasive way to censor cyberbullying and the spread of false news, keeping your feed safe and reliable. Mostly. 

If you have a question, you can always depend on Siri. For example:

Ask Siri, “Are you artificial intelligence?” 

How does she answer? 

“I’m a virtual assistant, not an actual person, but you can still talk to me.” 

Siri is part of a branch of AI called Natural Language Processing (NLP). It analyzes the way humans communicate, including a complex understanding of diction, tone, and other forms of unstructured data.This is done to understand the complexities of verbal language rather than depending on the explicit definition of words. This type of AI is also used in Amazon Alexa and online customer service chats. No, that live chat box on a clothing site you used when you realized you ordered the wrong size probably wasn’t a real person. Trust me, been there, done that. 

The point is, artificial intelligence is everywhere, and frankly it’s a little intimidating. So don’t say anything that could get you in trouble around Siri. Joking obviously but who knows, we could have a security army of Ameca’s in no time.