Artificial Intelligence might just get you your Doppelganger

Artificial Intelligence Might Just Get You Your Doppelganger


This post was originally published by at Towards Data Science

The brain of a human being is far beyond what any machine is currently capable of. While it’s true that a computer can perform millions of calculation much faster than the human brain, humans can perform much more complex activities like showing emotions, balancing their bodies in highly difficult terrains, and adapting to changing environments and times. Artificial Intelligence (AI) tries to bridge the gap between what the human brain and a computer can do.

AI is a very difficult topic, but it’s looking promising. By the first half of 20th century, science fiction movies brought in the concepts of intelligent human-like robots and computers. However, enthusiasts didn’t take this just as a work of fiction. By early 1950s, scientists and researchers started taking interest in AI [2]. One such person was Alan Turing, a highly influential individual in the development of theoretical computer science and the famous — ‘Turing machine’. In his 1950 paper, “COMPUTING MACHINERY AND INTELLIGENCE”, Alan Turing asked a question —

Can machines think ?

Turing was curious to discover, that if humans can assimilate information from their surrounding to learn and make decisions, why can’t computers do the same ? Since then, AI research has interested a huge numbers of researchers and received enormous funding across the world. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide spending on AI was $37.5 billion in 2019, and is expected to reach $97.9 billion by 2023 [3].

Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash

Though artificial intelligence directly does not comprise of only neural network methods, however neural network and deep learning have become increasingly crucial for the effectiveness of AI [4]. With the advancements in silicon technology, processors have become extremely power efficient, fast and reliable. Moreover, storage technology has evolved a lot over the last decade, where it has become possible to store terabytes of data in blazingly fast pocket-sized SSDs, which was impossible just a couple of years ago.

Worth mentioning the emerging 5G tech

5G is beginning to emerge as a super fast network, not only for data consumption, but also near real-time remote control — thanks to its low latency. This means a lot of the AI decision can be made in the cloud, without the need for local storage. Storing and computing decisions in the cloud will not only help in a more apt decision by the AI due to the “almost infinite” knowledge available [9], but will also help keep track and control of the AI to not perform illegitimate or objectionable tasks. It is worth taking a look at the potential use cases of remote controlling devices using 5G, which was released by Ericsson.

But how a doppelganger ?

How can the AI think and make decisions like me ?

Have you ever talked to your friend about buying an iPhone, and the next moment you see a Google Ad about the latest iPhone? Or were you ever looking to order food, and your favorite dish came up automatically? Or even LinkedIn suggests you a complete message with which you can reply to a connection?you surely have experienced this!

  1. Cyber threats — Cyber security has been a major concern in the modern era. As people and devices are getting more connected, the vulnerability to cyber-attackers and the potential impacts it may have, is already a startling question. With the sudden influx of AI and its exponential growth, the impacts of cyber-attacks on such technology is not fully known, and the consequences it may have on the society should not be underestimated. Issues such as data privacy also are a major concern, as more and more personal information is used by AI.
  2. Dangers of autonomous AI — As AI is becoming more complex and smarter, it is believed that soon it will require no human input (or what is called supervised learning) to perform a task. It will be programmed to automatically learn from the environment and decide its action to perform a particular task. However, many fear that such autonomous behavior requires a strict ethical norm to be considered in the AI design [12], as it should not cause any harm or devastation in completing its objective. A write up by Stanford University beautifully illustrates this potential issue of AI.

AI is either the best or the worst thing to happen to humanity. ~ Stephen Hawking

I would like to conclude this article by asking a question — What would you name your doppelganger? Do let me know in the comments section. I hope you liked this article and it gave you insights on how AI is becoming smart and more aware about its surrounding, and how the data explosion can lead to personalization to such a level, that your office colleagues may mistake your doppelganger for you ! For discussing this more, feel free to email me at or DM me on Instagram.

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This post was originally published by at Towards Data Science

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