What is it?
Artificial intelligence – or AI – is tech that acts in a ‘human’ way. It takes information from its surroundings and decides the answer based on what it learns. It can perform tasks that usually need human intelligence. It’s like allowing machines to think, learn, and solve problems.
AI is becoming a bigger part of our lives as the technology behind it becomes more advanced. Machines are improving their ability to ‘learn’ from mistakes and change how they approach a task the next time they try it.
What does AI do?
AI can analyse lots of data, detect patterns, and make predictions. Phones and social media use AI to learn more about us and what we like. An example is Netflix which uses AI to understand what we like to watch and recommend other shows. It can also make video games more challenging by studying how a player behaves and home assistants like Alexa and Siri use it too. Driverless cars and flight simulators are another example of AI tech in action.
How does AI work?
AI relies on complex processes (called algorithms) to process information and make decisions. An algorithm is a set of rules or instructions that a computer can use to help solve a problem or decide what to do next. Machine Learning is a popular AI technique that helps systems learn from experience and improve over time. By feeding the system with lots of data – it can recognise patterns and make predictions.
Are people worried about AI?
AI could be a powerful tool for positive change. It will play a big role in our future lives, and could help to combat climate change but also address social inequalities and much more.
AI might also lead to computers becoming very intelligent, and they could learn to do jobs that people would usually have to do. This might leave some employees in certain industries or roles being redeployed or retrained in other areas of work.
People have concerns about teaching robots too much and have expressed privacy concerns. Some people think that if AI learns too much about what we like to look at online, it might encourage us to spend too much time on electronic devices.
Other people say that technology will never be as advanced as humans so there is not a danger of it taking over.
ChatGPT: What is it and how does it work?
You might have heard people talking about ChatGPT.
ChatGPT is an AI bot, GPT stands for Generative Pre-Trained Transformer. This means that it learns what to say by taking information from the internet. It is an online service which can try to answer questions but also to write essays, stories, poems and even solve computer coding.
But there are limits to what it can do and sometimes it creates answers that don’t make sense. It also sometimes guesses what the user has asked it and creates a wrong answer.
You might try and use ChatGPT for your coursework. It might answer questions that may help you but it might only sometimes give the correct facts. Your teachers can also usually tell if work isn’t yours as it might use American spelling or grammar that is too advanced for the pupil. There are also online tools that can spot AI-generated work. The SQA announced that it has started using technology to spot cheats. They have said that learners caught using AI might lose their grades.
ChatGPT gets mixed reviews from teachers and lecturers. Some say that young people could use it to cheat on coursework or exams. Other people liken it to the uncertainty around the launch of new technology in the past, such as calculators and Google. But if teachers explain the benefits and downfalls of using AI at school, it could aid learning.