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AI and Our Future


AI and Our Future

(Part 1)
These days we often hear the word “AI.” At the same time we are sometimes
surprised to hear on the news that chess and shogi champions were defeated by
computers with AI. What is AI? It stands for “artificial intelligence” and literally
means “intelligence created artificially with advanced computers and software.”
The word AI was first introduced as early as 1956.
We tend to imagine that AI works only in large computer systems. However,
simpler types are used in many familiar goods such as smartphones and home
electronics. AI analyzes all data obtained and instantly makes the best decision.
For instance, it helps smartphones find spam mails and sort them into another
folder. It also helps car navigation systems find the shortest route to the next
destination. Moreover, it controls the operation of air-conditioners and
refrigerators to keep ideal temperatures. However, the capacity of AI is not limited
to these usages. It keeps on improving at an amazing speed.

(Part 2)
What has made AI advance so rapidly is the technology of “Deep Learning.” It
was developed by referring to the complex network of the human brain. With this
technology, AI is believed to be nearing the capacity of our brain and to work as if it
were a human brain.
How does “Deep Learning” work? Suppose we want AI to recognize a “cat.”
With the former type of AI, we needed to give the elements that characterize a cat
and make AI learn them. Without such groundwork, it could not distinguish a cat
from other things by itself. However, with “Deep Learning,” AI can learn on its
own. If we give it a large amount of image data on cats, it can understand what a
“cat” is and learn how to distinguish a “cat” from other things.
This process is somewhat similar to the way human children naturally learn
what a “cat” is. More importantly, once AI has started learning, it can learn a lot
faster than human children do. In the near future, it may even recognize the
sounds and the feel of a cat through sensors.

(Part 3)
Many people expect that AI will make our lives a lot more comfortable. At
present, various products with it are being developed. The arrival of automatic
driving might decrease traffic accidents dramatically. Mobile translation
machines could help us communicate anywhere in the world. “AI doctors” with
huge amounts of data could instantly find diseases, which human doctors cannot do.
Moreover, we can see the marked development of robots with AI. These days
they are being used in various areas such as industry, nursing, medical care, and
investigation. In the future, more and more AI robots will do laborious, boring, and
dangerous work in place of humans. With the development of AI robots, humans
may be able to spend most of their time on creative activities.
All of this makes us think only of the bright side of our future with AI. However,
should we really be so optimistic? We need to look at both sides of the coin when
it comes to our future with it.

(Part 4)
Some researchers worry about AI developing too fast. If AI continues to
spread into various industries, it is likely to take the place of humans.
Consequently, many of us might lose our jobs.
However, the problem is not mass unemployment alone. We also have to think
of facing “the problem of 2045.” Some say if AI develops at the present pace, it is
expected to exceed the human brain in 2045. If this happens, it might cause many
problems we have never experienced before. According to a survey conducted in
2014, 18% of AI experts think AI might threaten human existence, and 13% of
them think it could be disadvantageous to humans. One expert gave a very
alarming reply, saying, “AI can potentially become even more dangerous than
nuclear weapons.”
You might have seen the movie The Terminator. It describes a future in which
an advanced AI system suddenly starts to destroy humans. Of course it is a
fictional movie, but it could happen in the near future.

(Part 5)
When we think of AI, we need to consider the relationship of humans and
technology. Indeed technological development has contributed greatly to our
welfare. However, we have to look closely at the negative effects as well. The
latest technology is often used in wars and causes so much misery. We need to
learn a lesson from this and apply it to our future.
We can no longer stop the development of AI. Yet, we can avoid the potential
risks of it and make it beneficial for humans. What is important is that not only
the experts but also the rest of us should pay careful attention to its development.
Dr. Stephen Hawking, a famous physicist, gave the following warning, “Computers
will overtake humans with AI at some point within the next 100 years. When that
happens, we need to make sure the computers have goals aligned with ours… Our
future is a race between the growing power of technology and the wisdom with which
we use it.”

Lesson 9 人工知能と私たちの未来 人工知能と私たちの未来
Part 1
ともあります。AI とは何でしょうか。AI とは「人工知能」を表し,文字通り「進歩
AI という言葉が初めて導入されたのは,早くも 1956 年のことでした。
AI は大規模なコンピュータシステム内だけで動いていると想像しがちです。しか
し,簡単な AI は私たちの慣れ親しんだスマートフォンや家電といった製品にも使わ
れています。AI は獲得したデータ全てを分析し,すぐに最適解を導きます。たとえ
ば AI はスマートフォンが迷惑メールを見つけ,それを別のフォルダに入れるのを手
助けします。また AI はカーナビゲーションシステムが次の目的地までの最短ルート
を見つけることも手助けします。さらに,理想的な温度を保つために AI はエアコン
や冷蔵庫の運転制御をします。しかし,AI の能力はこのような使用法に制限されま
せん。AI は驚くべき速度で発展し続けています。

Part 2
AI をこんなにも急速に進化させたのは「ディープラーニング」という技術です。
があれば,AI は人間の脳の能力に近づき,あたかも人間の脳のように働くと信じら
「ディープラーニング」とはどのように作用するのでしょうか。私たちが AI に「ネ
コ」を認識させたいと仮定しましょう。以前のタイプの AI であれば,ネコを特徴付
ける要素を与え,それらを AI に学ばせる必要がありました。そのような基礎作業な
しでは,AI は自身でネコとほかのものを区別することができませんでした。しかし,
ディープラーニングがあれば,AI は自力で学習することができます。私たちがネコ
の大量の画像データを AI に与えると,AI は「ネコ」とはどういうものかを理解し,
ん似ています。さらに大事なことには,AI がひとたび学び始めると,人間の子ども
よりずっと早く学ぶことができます。近い将来,AI がセンサーを通してネコの鳴き

Part 3
多くの人が AI は私たちの生活をもっと快適にしてくれると期待しています。現在,
さまざまな AI を搭載した製品が開発されています。自動運転の到来は交通事故を劇
意思疎通する手助けをしてくれるかもしれません。莫大な量のデータを持つ「AI ド
さらに,AI を搭載したロボットは急速に発達しています。近年,それらは工業,
の「AI ロボット」が骨の折れる作業,退屈な作業,そして危険な作業を私たちの代
わりにやってくれるでしょう。AI ロボットの発展によって,人間は創造的な活動に
これらの全ては私たちに AI のある私たちの未来の明るい側面についてのみを思わ
AI のある私たちの未来の話となると,私たちは物事の両面を見つめる必要がありま

Part 4
研究者の中には AI があまりにも速く発達していることを心配する人もいます。も
し AI がさまざまな産業に広がり続ければ,人間に取って代わってしまうこともあり
しかし,問題は大量失業だけではありません。私たちは「2045 年問題」に直面す
ることについても考えなければなりません。もし AI が現在のペースで発達すれば,
AI は 2045 年に人間の脳を超える見込みであると言う人もいます。もしこれが起こる
年に行われた調査によると,AI 研究者の 18%は AI が人間の存在に脅威をもたらす
「AI は潜在的に核兵器よりはるかに危険になる可能性がある」と言い,警鐘を鳴ら
進歩した AI システムが突然,人間を滅ぼし始める未来を描いています。もちろんそ

Part 5
AI を考えるとき,私たちは人間と科学技術の関係を考える必要があります。実際,
私たちはもう AI の発達を止めることはできません。しかし,私たちは AI の潜在
的な危険を避け,AI を人間の役に立たせることができます。大切なのは,専門家だ
けでなく私たちすべてが AI の発達に細心の注意を払うべきだということです。有名
ンピュータは 100 年以内のある時点において,AI によって人間を追い越します。そ