AI Series: Fun Facts about AI
Published on 19 August 2022 by Jeffrey Wan
The application of AI is around us in every way, every day, but for many people, it’s still full of mystery. Here are some fun facts about AI that you probably haven’t heard of!
- Is AI “he” or “she”?
Try to recall how a virtual assistant speaks…is it a male or female voice? You may not have paid close attention—many virtual assistants that operate with AI used to speak with female voices by default, such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana and more…but why? One obvious reason is that female’s higher pitch makes it clearer and easier to listen. Some also claim that it’s because of how female are traditionally framed as “assistants” or “secretaries”. Good news is that following long debate over this issue, the voice of male is gradually becoming available across different virtual assistants. For example, Siri no longer speaks in the default female voice as the latest iOS also offers male voice for users to select.
2. AI Robots can have citizenship
Sophia, a humanoid robot developed by a Hong Kong-based company (our Science Park fella!) in 2016, imitates human gestures and facial expressions and is able to answer certain questions and to make simple conversations thanks to its speech recognition and general reasoning AI system. In 2017, Sophia obtained Saudi Arabian citizenship and became the first AI robot to receive a citizenship of any country.
3. Petting a dog or a cat? Consider AI pets!
Robot dogs are nothing new, but AI pets are probably going to be the new trend because in addition to responding to commands, an AI pet can also learn about the environment and learn to interact with its owner by understanding his/her voice and habits. They also develop emotions, which make them more like living animals. It’s expected that AI pets will be widely available in the market by 2025. The elimination of issues about taking care of real animals together with more controllable “health” conditions and lifespan are probably going to earn them a fan base. Will you consider petting an AI pet instead?
4. AI and robots are different!
It’s a common myth that AI means robots. Although nowadays more and more robots are embedded with AI, like Sophia mentioned above, these two are in fact very different. AI is a system that simulate how human think and solve problems and it can be invisible; in contrast, robots are physical machines that are built and programmed to perform specific tasks, for example, robotic arms in production lines and those used in surgical procedures. Robotics doesn’t necessarily involve AI when they are built to perform simple and repetitive tasks, but it’s expected that the maturity of AI technology will see more combination with robotics and is going to bring disruptive change to our daily lives. Besides, it’s also worth noting that “bot” or “chatbot”, which we often refer to conversation programmes, usually use AI and are not robots due to their non-physical nature!
Another common misunderstanding is that AI is often mistaken as AGI. So, what’s an AGI? We will look into that next time. MythBuster ahead!