What is AI, and why has it become such an influential technology of this era?
It is said that in just a few years, the capabilities of humans will be replaced by AI or Artificial Intelligence, created by humans to overcome work limitations and enhance the efficacy and prowess of technology. Initially designed to think and make decisions like humans, AI has evolved. Now, it can exhibit creativity, akin to the left and right hemispheres of the human brain working in tandem.
It is time for us to become acquainted with the digital era's brain to understand what AI is, the history of this technology, and how humans can collaborate with AI for limitless efficiency.
What is AI?
AI is a machine's ability to perform the cognitive functions we associate with human minds, such as perceiving, reasoning, learning, interacting with an environment, problem-solving, and even exercising creativity. - Mckinsey (What is AI?)
McKinsey, a global consulting firm, defines AI as machines' ability to emulate the human mind's cognitive functions, such as perceiving, reasoning, learning, interacting with an environment, problem-solving, and even exercising creativity.
The term "AI" is an abbreviation for Artificial Intelligence. It refers to creating technology capable of learning, analyzing, making decisions, or solving problems, just like human intelligence. Examples of AI in our daily lives include product or content recommendation systems in application or streaming platforms, ChatBot, or personal assistants in operating systems, such as Siri from iOS.
Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning / Deep Learning
3 Pillars Leading to the Creation of Digital Brains
In an era driven by technology, Artificial Intelligence is the key tool organizations use to enhance operational efficiency. The application of Artificial Intelligence encompasses three levels of learning: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Deep Learning (DL).
The foundational intelligence begins with Artificial Intelligence, or AI. This is the process of making machines operate similarly to the human brain by feeding it codes, data, and algorithms so that the system can solve problems autonomously in a step-by-step manner as dictated by the algorithm.
The next level of intelligence is to make machines self-learn, known as Machine Learning or ML. This involves training machine algorithms to become smarter by feeding them large data sets or big data. This allows machines to learn, understand situations, predict potential issues, and make decisions independently. The efficiency of Machine Learning largely depends on the volume of data supplied.
A higher form of Machine Learning is Deep Learning, or DL, which can operate similarly to the neural systems in the human brain. It can decode data, categorize, and continuously link existing data with new data sets through parallel processing.
It can be said that to create technology that functions similarly to the human brain, one must start with Artificial Intelligence (AI) or the emulation of a digital brain. This foundation is then enhanced with added intelligence from Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL). All of these originate from humanity's ability to learn sciences and extend this knowledge to develop and utilize artificial intelligence for increased work efficiency.
Leveraging AI to Drive Business
SCGC, a leading integrated chemical player for sustainability, emphasizes innovation and the continuous adoption of digital technologies. During the era of the Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, SCGC has laid the organizational foundation for using digital technologies. This began with investing in human resources, the cornerstone for successfully applying technology. SCGC sent engineers to learn about the development of artificial intelligence, or AI, in every aspect relevant to its application, encompassing areas such as mechanical engineering, IoT sensors, data science, reliability engineering, and more. This has enabled SCGC to develop a comprehensive system for factory management using digital technology, elevating the level of factory management to smart manufacturing.
SCGC's integration of technology does not replace human tasks but instead assists our staff to work more efficiently. In 2022, SCGC experienced no production stoppages due to machinery malfunctions (Zero Breakdown), and we also became the first olefins factory to be entirely controlled by digital technology throughout the process. This ensures that each technology component works in harmony within the system. The technology we have developed includes a Digital Twin, a virtual factory simulating the production process, a Real-Time Optimizer program calculating the most efficient production methods, and Advanced Process Control, an automated production process control system. Furthermore, SCGC has utilized Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help manage resource usage, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance the business's competitive capability, and ensure efficient plant management.
Generative AI: The Next Step in Artificial Intelligence
Recently, Artificial Intelligence has once again captured the attention of people worldwide. The emerging technologies not only think, analyze, and process but also exhibit human-like creativity. We call this form of Artificial Intelligence "Generative AI."
Generative AI represents the next evolution in algorithms, showcasing the capability to create new content derived from a variety of models. For example, Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) involve collaboration between a Generator, responsible for creating new data, and a Discriminator, which assesses whether the generated data aligns with desired outcomes, pinpointing similarities and differences to ensure the Generator's output is as accurate as possible. Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) mimic the brain's ability to process sequential data. Transformers further undertake more complex processing, allowing for story creation or precise language translation. Autoregressive Models can predict subsequent data based on pre-existing information, and Neural Style Transfer Models aid in blending various art forms, such as image modifications.
Generative AI has the prowess to creatively produce a wide range of outputs, from text, images, and audio to video. The results are determined by prompts or commands inputted by users. Nowadays, the work produced by Generative AI has left humans astonished by its deep processing abilities, surpassing human brain capabilities. This has sparked debates in the art community, questioning whether Generative AI might replace artists' craftsmanship or the experiences created by creatives over their careers.
Suppose we were to compare AI to the human brain. In that case, traditional AI represents the left hemisphere, used for calculations and data analysis, whereas Generative AI embodies the right hemisphere, bursting with creativity. It is up to humans to harness Artificial Intelligence, apply it for maximum work efficiency, propel businesses forward, and relentlessly push the boundaries of technology.