BEIJING China (Xinhua) --
The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence
(AI) in recent years has stoked fear that the technology will
one day take control of human destiny. However, experts believe
humans are still able to be the masters of their own fate by
making the machines they have invented work for their benefit.
Given its extensive
application in industrial production and everyday activities, AI
is nothing new nowadays both as a concept and in actual
It not only has
liberated humans from trivial and repetitive work, but also can
satisfactorily accomplish tasks that are otherwise unachievable
for mankind due to either physical or intellectual constraints.
AI’s stunning power
has been demonstrated, for example, by the successive wins by
Google’s AlphaGo over the best human Go players early this year,
which have occupied international news headlines and shocked the
Tech companies have
used the technology’s ability to make sophisticated choices
based on deep learning to facilitate traders in the stock
EquBot LLC, a San
Francisco-based company which launched the world’s first
AI-powered Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) in the New York Stock
Exchange in October, said its product can simulate the work of
equity research analysts and work around the clock in an “almost
fully automated” process.
“The process of
choices is almost as complicated as AlphaGo,” EquBot CEO Chida
Khatua said. “We train our AI models to see how the market will
react, let the AI models look at it and see how they behaved,”
he told Xinhua in a recent interview, explaining the way AI
The AI technology
employed by Equbot can process more data than the portfolio
managers whom it has replaced and “generate unbiased decisions
under a set of investment criteria,” according to the company.
In addition, AI has
also been applied in the diagnosis of skin cancer, in which the
algorithm involved has reached a level on par with professional
doctors in dermatology.
It is also featured
in the latest iPhone’s facial recognition function, and helps
Facebook to target users showing intention to commit suicide so
as to prevent the tragedies in advance.
astounding achievements, experts have pointed out that for the
time being, the use of AI is still limited to isolated fields
and lacks universal applicability.
People familiar with
the AI industry have warned, though, that there will be a time
when the technology will evolve into something mature enough to
break the sectoral confines.
Elon Musk, CEO of
both aerospace manufacturer SpaceX and electric car producer
Tesla, has predicted a future scenario where “super AI” will
pose real threats to the very existence of mankind, and human
beings will have to face that challenge.
Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, views AI as something to be embraced
and not feared.
He said that it is
up to humans themselves whether AI would prove to be an aid to
humanity or end up destroying it. He gave the remarks while
launching his book “Hit Refresh” in London in October, according
to local media reports.
In a 2016 essay
calling for coordination and collaboration on AI, Nadella listed
six principles for the design of AI so as to guarantee that the
technology works together with human beings instead of harming
He said AI must
assist humanity, must be transparent, must maximize efficiencies
without destroying the dignity of people, must be designed for
intelligent privacy, must have algorithmic accountability, and
must guard against bias.
He argued in the
article that rather than spending time on debating “good versus
evil,” people who are closely tracking the development of AI are
better advised to focus on “the values instilled in the people
and institutions creating the technology.”
Similar to Nadella’s
emphasis on human values, Li Feifei, chief scientist of Google
Cloud AI and Machine Learning, also believes that humans have
ultimate control over AI and are able to make it work in harmony
“Machines don’t have
independent value. The value of machines is the value of human
beings,” Li said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua in
In an effort to
champion international cooperation on AI, Google announced in
December that it is launching an AI research center in Beijing,
the first of its kind in Asia. Li said the center will seek to
employ local talents.
“I hope to mobilize
global talents to participate in the research of AI because it’s
such an important science and technology field,” she said.