Artificial Intelligence

Steffen Meier

How AI is revolutionizing not only the content industry, or: Is SkyNet coming now?

Sometimes a single word is enough to trigger many associations - and fears. In the technology sector, this is “Terminator” - immediately we have an image of a dystopia in mind, triggered by an artificial intelligence called SkyNet, which after “birth” draws the logical conclusion to wipe out humanity as the greatest evil on this planet. In fact, the film industry has always depicted the subconscious fears, just think of the many more or less entertaining doomsday movies of the 50's and 60's, which staged the subliminal fear of the power of atoms.

Are we all going to die now - or at least become unemployed?

The short version: we will all die. Whether this will be due to the influence of artificial intelligence is doubtful, at least for the time being. But new revolutionary technologies have always triggered fears, just think of the introduction of electricity or the railroad. The long version is: AI has long been at work in many areas that we don't even really notice. Case in point? Radiology - by using AI algorithms, radiology images such as X-rays, CT scans and MRIs can be analyzed faster and often more accurately. AI can also save lives.

But if AI now takes over work that was previously done by a human - what happens to us? In fact, there are historical examples of such changes, such as during the industrial revolution. The industrialization of looms in England in the 18th and 19th centuries was a decisive moment in the history of the Industrial Revolution. It marked the transition from manual production of textiles to automated and machine production. And it didn't happen without dislocations - feel free to google the term “Luddites” about it.

The fact is that the use of AI in content has undeniable disruptive potential. Some obvious areas are Automated Content Creation, Personalization, Content Optimization, Image and Speech Recognition, Translation and Localization, Quality Control, and so on. Many of these are our core competences.

The American AI researcher Neil Jacobstein said somewhat succinctly: “Artificial intelligence is available around the clock, never gets sick, doesn't need a vacation and doesn't whine”. So is that it? The answer is a resounding “no.” People tend to gloss over the fact that AI's performance is based on human creativity and inspiration. So what makes ChatGPT so smart (supposedly)? Millions and millions of pieces of content - created by humans. Let's rather use AI for what it is: a tool. A hammer can make it enormously easier to hammer in a nail. But no hammer can yet decide where the picture will hang best.

A brief history of AI

Early years (1950s): The term “artificial intelligence” was first coined by John McCarthy in 1956. During this time, the first programs were developed that mimicked rudimentary forms of problem solving and logical thinking.

1960s and 1970s: These decades saw advances in machine learning and robotics. However, there were also limitations in hardware and in understanding the complexity of human intelligence, leading to an initial “AI winter” period in which investment and interest in AI declined.

1980s: The introduction of expert systems that emulated human knowledge in a specific field revived interest in AI. These systems were used in various industries.

1990s: During this time, machines began to perform human-like feats in specialized tasks. For example, the chess computer Deep Blue defeated the then world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997.

2000s: With the advent of Big Data and more powerful computers, the era of Deep Learning began. Algorithms based on neural networks achieved enormous success in areas such as image and speech recognition.

2010s: The rapid development of AI continued, with milestones such as the victory of DeepMind's AlphaGo over world Go champion Lee Sedol in 2016. The application of AI extended to many areas of life, from medicine to entertainment.

2020s: AI has now become an integral part of many industries, from automotive to finance. There are also ongoing debates and research on ethical aspects, such as fairness and transparency in AI systems.

November 30, 2022: The “iPhone moment” of AI in content: ChatGPT becomes freely available to the public and reaches millions of users in record time, mainly thanks to its intuitive user interface.

The history of AI is one of progress, setbacks and continuous change. The field continues to evolve rapidly, and it is exciting to see where the technology will go next.

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