Fancy of artificial intelligence is no longer just an imagination. The sapiens have already created something so powerful and sophisticated that can successfully imitate numerous functions of human brain. The fascinating quest of seeking innovative methods in order to develop such gigantic electro-mechanical hulks itself tells a compelling odyssey from Artificial Intelligence in early 1950’s to the current and futuristic Pseudo Wisdom…
In fact, the fleeting bursts of Eureka moments which had driven the earlier computer-wizards are now gradually converting into a more subtle expedition. The journey which started from the invention of digital computers is growing to develop an artificial system which can replicate all the 22 billion neurons and 220 trillion synapses of Human Cortex with the aid of Artificial Neural Networks, Genetic Algorithms and Deep Learning.
Here, I’ve listed a few such projects which have been proven to be the milestones in the history of AI development:
- IBM WATSON: < https://www.ibm.com/watson >
(HIGHLIGHTS --> Watson competed on JEOPARDY [a quiz show] in 2011, against former winners “Brad Rutter” and “Ken Jennings” winning the first place prize of $ 1 Million …)
If Cognitive Computing be a religion, Watson is the God! Watson is among those rare machines which can process natural languages so smoothly as if it were a human. It can analyse & interpret unstructured data in the form of texts, images, audios and videos. Watson was developed in IBM’s DeepQA Project by a research team led by David Ferrucci, specifically to answer questions on the quiz show “JEOPARDY”.
But, Watson is much more than that. It’s currently utilizing Machine Learning to grow the subject matter expertise in various applications and systems. Watson is available as a set of open API’s and SAAS products, which can be used for personalized analysis & recommendations.
(Fun --> You can open Watson API for “Natural Language Understanding” from its homepage. Here, you can paste any piece of texts or a URL and Watson will analyse it on the basis of ‘Sentiments’, ‘Emotion’, ‘Keywords’, etc.)
2. Google Deepmind: < https://deepmind.com >
(HIGHLIGHTS --> “AlphaGO” is a computer program, developed by “Google Deepmind” in London in October 2015 that plays the Chinese board game “GO”. AlphaGo became the first Computer Program to beat a human professional Go player without handicaps when it first beat “Lee Sedol” in a five-game match in March 2016…)
Deepmind is a product of “DEEPMIND TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED” – a British Artificial Intelligence Company, currently monitored by Alphabet Inc. Deepmind has created a Neural Network that learns how to play video games in a manner similar to that of humans.
Deepmind uses a Neural Turing Machine- a Neural Network that is capable of accessing an external memory like a Conventional Turing Machine which results in a computer that mimics the short-term memory of the human brain.
Deepmind is currently working to develop programs which possess an internal “IMAGINATION ENCODER”, helping them undertake deliberate reasoning. Researchers are also striving to instigate an enthralling project in order to modify the learning rule so that a program can remember old tasks when learning a new one. It’s a huge step towards enabling Continual Learning in Neural Networks.
3. Pepper: < www.aldebaran.com/en/a-robots/who-is-pepper >
(HIGHLIGHTS --> Pepper is the world’s first emotionally intelligent robot. Remember the good old days of comics and television-series where some cute little household robots used to steal your heart; well they are slightly becoming a living reality...)
Pepper is a humanoid developed by “Aldebaran Robotics and SoftBank”. It is designed to be a genuine day-to-day companion, with the exciting feature of reading emotions by analyzing expressions and voice tones.
This cute creature is much more than a robot. It’s your personal companion who can learn to dance, play and even chat in other languages. You can personalize Pepper by using Software Applications that take your fancy, based on your mood, location an occasion.
4. Siri: < https://www.apple.com/ios/siri >
(Highlights --> Siri is a personal assistant that uses voice queries and a natural language interface to respond to queries, make recommendations and perform specific tasks as per your request. Siri is the best of its kind in that it’s programmed to adapt to the habits of its users. It learns your behaviour over time and personalizes its responses optimizing the search results…)
Siri is a spin-off from a project originally developed by the “SRI INTERNATIONAL AI CENTER”. Its speech recognition engine is provided by “NUANCE COMMUNICATIONS”.
Siri uses Advanced Machine Learning technologies. If you have any IOS version from “iOS 5” / “macOS Sierra” onward or if you own any version of “watchOS” or “tvOS”, all you have to do is say ‘Hey, Siri’ and watch the wonder of artificial intelligence. Whether it be basic phone and text actions, checking basic information, scheduling events and reminders, handling device settings, navigation or search the internet, Siri knows how to please its users.
If you don’t use Apple’s products, don’t worry you got other similar options …Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana are at your service too. Now, you can experience the power of Cognitive Computing at your fingertips.
Welcome to the future folks!
Elon Musk’s Tesla has been a sensation among the AI lovers. It specializes in “Electric Cars”, “Lithium-Ion Battery Energy Storage” and “Solar Panels” through their “SolarCity” subsidiary. Currently it’s working on its own self-driving AI chip with AMD.
Tesla turned worldwide heads towards itself after the production of “Roadster” – its first mass produced Electric Sports Car in 2008; ever since Tesla has provided excellent services to its drivers.
Tesla also builds powertrain components for electrical vehicles from other automakers. “Smart ED2”, “RAV4 EV”, and “Freightliner’s Custom Chassis Electric Van” are some fine examples.
Watching the latest researches in Artificial Intelligence sometimes can be an odd experience. On the one hand, you know that you are looking at cutting-edge experimentation, that will probably (eventually!) mesmerize the revolutionary world of technology, but on the other hand, what you are actually looking at is just unavoidably funny and entertaining.
If you are not much interested in the technical details and just want to feel the beauty of Cognitive Science, you can visit this Google-website for fun experiences without coding:
Main attractions on this website are “Teachable Machine” which lets you teach a machine using your camera- live in the browser and “Giorgio Cam” which uses image recognition technologies to label what it sees in the picture you take with it. Giorgio Cam also turns those labels into lyrics of a song.
What? Are you expecting more text..?? You slugger! Now go and explore the wonderland on your own…
There are times, when you hear a news on channels and the poet inside you starts groaning...Tears spontaneously roll down your cheeks, caressing every expression that they encounter on their way down to some undiscovered-unchartered corner of your heart...And something inside you gets unfolded, scattering itself on the paper with ink...
" ममता की स्त्रोतस्विनी- लिए मगर नयनों में पानी|
युग-युग से चलती आयी- नारी तेरी यही कहानी।।
अंग-अंग में रक्ताभ ज़ख्म- माथे पर सिन्दूर सुहाग।
वाणी के मधुर लावण्य में जैसे घुला क्रंदन का राग ।।
दाग लगा मैला आँचल और सिर पर घूंघट धानी।
युग-युग से चलती आयी- नारी तेरी यही कहानी...
ईश्वर के सृष्टि-सामर्थ्य की तू जीवंत एक गवाही।
कवियों की सूखी कलमों की अमृत-भरी सियाही।।
सुंदरता की प्रतिमूर्ति- जिसकी सारी दुनिया दीवानी।
युग-युग से चलती आयी- नारी तेरी यही कहानी...
कभी खिलौना समझ खेल लिया- मन भरा फ़ेंक दिया।
वासना के अंगारों में निर्दयता से आनन् सेंक लिया।।
प्रेम के पवित्र पन्नों पर व्यभिचारों की अमिट निशानी।
युग-युग से चलती आयी- नारी तेरी यही कहानी...
जीवन के कोरे पृष्ठों पर नयी अल्पना बनानी होगी।
सो गयी है जो युगों से दबकर वो चेतना जगानी होगी।।
धरती पर जीवन को जन्म देती है तू माँ-भवानी।
युग-युग से चलती आयी- नारी तेरी यही कहानी...
सृष्टि के कल्पांत का प्रारब्ध है इन आँखों का पानी।
जिसके सिंचन से प्रस्फुटित होगा धरा पर वृक्ष आसमानी।।
उसकी शाखों पे फिर झूलेगी निर्मल सावन की अमर जवानी।
ख़ुद तुझे बदलनी होगी अब - नारी तेरी ये कहानी..."
That day, he ordered "the same coffee" at "the same restaurant"...Same copy of the "Fault in Our Stars" was in his hand and he was listening to the same old song, "Everything I Do"...
The difference was just of the "year" which changed..."A person by his side", who wasn't there anymore...And "the smile" on his face, which had been replaced by the wrinkles of seriousness...
" ख़ुद की आँखों का नीर पोंछकर ख़ुद ही मुस्काना पड़ता है।
तू नहीं आ सकेगी मिलने दिल को ये समझाना पड़ता है।।
पलकों को होठों से छूकर तू ख़्वाबों की सौगात दे गयी।
लेकिन अब हर रात नींद को हाथ-जोड़ मनाना पड़ता है।।
कल तलक़ हर सुबह एक नयी-सी उम्मीद जगा करती थी।
क्यों ज़िंदा हूँ अब ख़ुद से ये ख़ुद को बतलाना पड़ता है।।
उमड़ आते हैं कुछ आँसू और ये खुशियाँ ग़म बन जाती हैं।
जब निर्लज्ज दर्द के आगे सिर हर रोज़ झुकाना पड़ता है।।
लोग देखते हैं एक झलक- फिर नज़रें फेर लिया करते हैं।
कुछ कहते हैं- मैं सुनता हूँ, बस इतना-सा ज़ुर्माना पड़ता है।।
नज़रों में तेरा चेहरा खिलखिलाता-सा दिखता है 'इशिता'।
तेरी ख़ुशियों की ख़ातिर सारा ग़म पी जाना पड़ता है।। "
“Nothing changes if nothing changes..."
We have heard this quote a zillion times before. No matter for how long we gossip about it, no matter how sorely we yearn for it, but the CHANGE comes only when we plan for it and work for it. Modern India had to face a lot of issues post its independence. Many of those problems are still relevant, whether it be over-population, malnutrition, unemployment, child-labor, etc. which collectively lower the life-indices of our country; or the criminal plights, such as corruption, terrorism, etc. which are responsible for the insecurity and trepidation in the common citizen.
It’s not like we have never talked about these problems before, in fact our daily gossips more-or-less revolve around these topics. We have displayed our resentments through various demurring showcases, like debates, marches, protests, etc. But, it’s rare when we pursue any of these miseries till their authentic solutions are found. Usually, the discussion becomes vivacious when some events (mostly undesired ones) cause a stir in the society, but as the time passes the thunder grounds a sudden death without resolving the matter, whether it be the case of India Against Corruption movement at Jantar-Mantar or something as enduring as the Kashmir Issue.
Here, I’ve enlisted three of such affairs, which have been the center of prim-times on television news one time or another. It’s time we dwell on these issues rather as one nation and find their solutions once and for all…
Wikipedia describes the aim of reservation system in India as, “It is intended to favor historically disadvantaged castes and tribes...The reservation is undertaken to address the historic oppression, inequality and discrimination faced by members of those communities.”
Although, it was a nice idea for a short span to provide some special rights to such communities in order to survive in post-independence era, but now that they’ve been benefited with special treatments for over 60 years, they had more than enough time and resources to not only recover from their poor conditions, but to establish themselves as an integral member of Indian Society.
Now, why our governments still want to live in the history? Why the people who really need help are left helpless just because they weren’t born in some special caste? Why can’t we change the caste-based reservation system to a scheme which aids those who really need it? What could be the possible replacement of current reservation system in our country?
There are many more questions, and together we need to seek answers for all of them, instead of creating sdramatic and (maybe!) unnecessary social/political scenes like the Patidar Aandolan in Gujrat, or the Aandolan for Jat Aarakshan in Haryana.
Kashmir has been the center for all the hatred and envy that India and Pakistan have for each other since the partition. From Nehru’s to Modi’s, Indian Governments have had to face this burning issue, and somewhere they all failed. Today, the common natives of Kashmir find it difficult to trust in National Armies and even the entire Indian Constitutional Processes.
Political Appeasement has poisoned the roots of positive conviction in the people of Kashmir. Whether it be the video of villagers throwing stones at Indian Army, or the event of burning Indian Flags in open, it displays the resentment of Kashmir and its people, who have been victimized by both sides.
We need to regain the trust of Kashmir, instead of posting abuses for Pakistan on social media or debating why India has a claim on that beautiful-historical state. We need to set examples for Kashmir so that it could see for itself why it is better to embrace Indian Republic. Neither India nor Pakistan has (or at least they should not have) the right to make any decision on Kashmir Conflict without Kashmir’s approval. After all we want the people of Kashmir to be a part of Indian Democracy not just the bare lands.
Developing National Character:-
Why is it that people don’t even think before breaking the traffic rules in our country? Why don’t their hands tremble while mixing urea in milk even though they know that it is to be consumed by some little child? Why people are so cold towards other fellow citizens? Why doesn’t our conscience prevent us from being involved in immoral activities?
Well, the answers are somewhat obvious. The continuous and prolonged external and internal attacks on our country since the earlier stage of history have made a greater impact in our hearts. The feeling of economic and social insecurity, which is an outcome of those skirmish battles, is one of the many reasons behind almost every crime in the country.
Cultural, social, economic, religious, and Geometrical diversity has made it difficult for us to unite as a nation, that’s the reason why we fight more on trivial issues- why a person from north/east is not welcomed in southern/western states of our country- why religious differences convert into violent brawls- why we prefer to destroy public properties in the name of protests rather than trying to resolve the issue by logical manners.
As George Washington used to say, “We are either united people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all matters of general concern act as a nation…If we are not [united], let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it.”
We all debate on these issues and more almost every day whether during dinners at home or lunch-breaks at our colleges/offices. Even our Governments have been addressing them on public platforms since ages. But, it’s not enough to whisper about these matters of National Interest. We need to contemplate them together as one nation, because at some level we know that they affect us all.
We all need to participate in the endeavor of finding solutions to these problems, and it must be done soon if we don’t want to lose our ground at becoming a developed nation.
Ah! Indian Politics...The Sweet Mother of all debates in this country… People just love to ramble on about the endless controversies that come with the term itself. From “Nukkad ki chai” to the “rich ambience of intellectual interests”, politics in India has always been a sizzling topic for tittle-tattles.
However, these gossips aren't a complete prattle. You see, India is (so called!) the largest democratic country in the world (Over-Population helps sometimes, I guess!!…). Still, if you have lived in India for nearly as much time as it takes to know a country to its core, you will agree that the term “Politics” has more-or-less become synonymous to delinquency. It’s hard to say what exactly led us to this undesired thoroughfare; moreover, reasons are not of as much importance as the consequences at this point.
Politics was never supposed to be abhorred; instead it was a beautiful concept to implement the idea of good governance, and I think that there’s still some hope at the end of this tunnel.
As Margaret Thatcher used to say, “I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.”
Holding on to this positive side of statecraft, I am suggesting these 5 changes that could possibly be proven a stepping stone in the process of significant refinement.
The thing that bothers me the most in Indian politics is the criterion of eligibility for electoral contests, or rather the lack of it. There’s no absolute qualification needed in order to participate in assembly elections aside from the age and residential constraints.As Henry Cate puts it, “The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.”
Ironically, in the same country, you have to take THE most sophisticated examination, if you want to work under these under qualified, yet elected governments.
Maybe, it’s time to reflect on the value of political elements and re-define the eligibility criteria for running the biggest democracy of the world.
Concept of Negative Voting:
Now, what happens if even a highly-qualified person fails to deliver his/her job after being elected? Well, in current scenario, we usually start cursing the entire system and eventually make our peace with the common conclusion that every politician is alike. But, it’s not an ideal way to deal with this.
Election Commission of India should contemplate the idea of negative voting, instead. Wherein, if an elected government or any of its member behaves inappropriately or if local citizens of respective constituency vote against them in more numbers than they did before in their support, they should be abdicated from their posts and a re-election should be conducted in that constituency.
Classroom-Discipline in Assemblies:
If you have ever seen political debates going on inside the parliament, you can easily relate to my point here. It’s more like watching a fish argue with an eagle on how to run a Marathon. There’s no credibility in such debates and they often end-up without any significant outcome. The role of in-house speakers also becomes questionable during these inconsequential ruckuses.
Indian Legislative Bodies represent the culture of the country. How can you expect common people to live in harmony, when our representatives seem to fail in making a consensus?Justice dies every time the discourse of political debates changes from “what” to “who” and objections are made only because the proposal (no matter how brilliant) was drafted by the opposite party.
Our Political System needs to establish some common principles for participating in a parliamentary debate; so that the profundity of discussion can be maintained (They are more than welcome to visit our academic institutions for that matter, hopefully they will learn some discipline from the 10 year olds attending their Mathematics classes).
Credibility of Political Parties:
On the one hand, our Government claims to fight against corruption and black-money, but on the other hand, it seems to be reluctant to bring the political parties under RTI. Everything from political fund to the process of selection of a candidate for election is under the hood and there’s no possibility for probing into the matter.
Transparency is one of the foundations of democracy, without which you can’t even dream of a populist system of governance. It is expected from a republic country like India, to insure the integrity of its political parties, especially when we are having as many as 1841 of them (7 National, 49 State, and 1785 unrecognized; according to the latest reports of ECI).
Proper Interfaces Between Government and Citizens:
As George Bernard Shaw once said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Government often thinks that making policies, implementing them correctly and finally advertising them is enough to make positive changes; whereas, common people expect the Government to understand all their problems without saying them aloud. None of them is concerned about establishing effective communication channels through which they can actually talk with one another.
We need to create standard social infrastructures throughout the nation in order to maintain the bi-directional communication between the two ends of Indian Politics – “the voter” and “the voted”. It can be in the form of small gatherings of people along with their elected representatives or an occasional two-way radio/television program to discuss various agendas of the government.
It’s a common practice in India to say that politics is not for good men/women. People in our country preferably shun the very idea of being involved in politics (by the way, voting is only a part of politics, not the politics itself!). But, we can’t deny its significance in our lives. We are all affected by the decisions made by our elected Governments, thus it’s our responsibility towards ourselves to make sure that we are being governed by the right people.
As Plato puts it, “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics, is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”
You might be thinking, “Whoa! Dude, tell me something I don’t know…”
I got it; you have been contemplating this for a long time, and trust me you are not alone. Indian Education System has always been a hot topic for debates. From the closed classrooms to open public platforms, the “intellectuals” have dwelled on the insanity of curriculums and structure of the Education System.
But, what if I say that we don’t need to re-form our Education System? Would you agree? Maybe you won’t! Maybe you will say that I am wrong…Maybe you will ask why I wrote this article if nothing’s to be changed..?
Well, my point is exactly opposite. As far as the Indian Education System is concerned, in my opinion EVERYTHING has to be changed. We don’t need to “re-form” our Education System, because we need to “introduce a whole new System for Education”.
Like almost every other student in this country, I too am not fond of the notion of education in India. However, I don’t hate it. In fact, the more I think about it the more I feel pity for it. India’s literacy rate is more than 70% (appreciable given a humongous population of the country!), but the level of education still suffers a great deal. We are teaching people “how to read or write”, but they are not being educated enough to infer “what to read” or “how to think”.
Realizing the gravity of the topic, I decided to read a little bit more about it. And after doing some research, I finally deduced 5 basic reasons, why our Education System has been failing in almost every aspect of evaluation.
1) Problems have been changed so should be the solutions
Over the years, the Sapiens have made a remarkable progress. Now, we don’t use those giant hulking machines in the name of “computers” or we don’t have to worry about “memorizing” all the data in the fear of losing information. But, it doesn’t mean that we have solved all our problems, in fact the more the technology advances the more complex problems are generated in order to maintain and modify that technology.While, on the one hand, our scientists are creating powerful space vehicles, on the other hand our Education System doesn’t seem to recover from its colonial roots. Still, the prime focus of education in India is to make an assembly line production of clerks and servants.
Maybe it's time to re-define the very purpose of our education system. Maybe it’s time that we brainstorm all the current problems as well as futuristic issues like Global Warming and Climate Change, Overpopulation, Poverty, Malnutrition, Decolonization, etc. and focus our Education System on finding the solutions for these problems.
2) There's more out there to explore
New horizons of excellence are being discovered every day. Instead of relying on traditional jobs, people are more interested in creating some fresh ones. Let it be a “Dance Therapist” on YouTube or a “Blogger” on several online platforms, people find it more logical to convert their passions into profession.Unconventional methods are being developed in order to support our new and better life-style, which produce an enormous opportunities for job creation.Our Education system needs to incorporate these changes. As they say, “Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know”. Students should be encouraged to think out-of-the-box, which will enable them to strive for tackling the dearth in demand of traditional fields, like Engineering, Medical and Economics.
3) A threatening gap between little worldlets
A huge gap has been developed among various elements of the society. Communication has always been an issue in Indian culture, given its extensive diversity. But, over the past decade, people seem to become more intolerant than ever.Besides, various Educational institutions have grown distant from each other. It’s like someone has created a number of disjoint worldlets inside a single nation. There’s no effective communication between two scholars pursuing the same course from different universities, which slows down the entire developmental process.
Indian Education System must consider connecting all its segments together by establishing reliable and secure mediums of communication among students and professors throughout the nation.
4) The TALK rule: Think-Apply-Learn-Know
The whole approach to the education of a child in our country starts with teaching them “how to cram those alphabets in order” or “how to patter those multiplication tables in a flow”. This doesn’t change as we move on to the higher grades. Remember how your Chemistry teacher told you to memorize “Lilly's NAna Kills RuBbish CreatureS Franticly” instead of explaining why you need to memorize it in the first place?
We are not living in the 16th Century, where people had to memorize everything because it was the only option to keep the information secure (Papers weren’t reliable when it comes to security as they could easily be tarnished). Now we have powerful machines which can promise a secure storage of information in a long-run. It’s time, when we should be focusing on how to use the information rather than memorizing it.
The essence of education lies in developing the ability to think, as Margaret Mead puts it: “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think”.It will make more sense if our Education System takes a break from classroom theories and encourages us to do more experimental learning through applied knowledge.
5) Education is NOT just a sheet of paper
Examination-patterns are not the real issues, as much the whole idea of evaluating a person’s capabilities on the basis of a single sheet of paper. The entire future of a person shouldn’t be decided on how he/she performed in 3 hours of a particular day. We spend 4-8 months preparing to do well in those 3-hour exam-sessions. Naturally, we are taught to focus on exams and the sole purpose of education dies every time we try to memorize the definition of a machine instead of wondering about and exploring its actual functionality.
Furthermore, I can’t see any logic behind prohibiting a student from learning “Computer Science” in a prestigious institute (say IITs), just because he/she scored less in Physics or Chemistry in the entrance exam (How the hell are those related to each other?).
I am 20 now and I’ve been a part of this Education System since last 17 years. I’ve seen plenty of students suffocating in this dismal structure of schooling; I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the overwhelming methodologies of our Education system. Surprisingly, those complaints barely changed over past decade. The fact that people are distressed about the same frailties of our Education System today, as were they 10 years ago, is rather depressing.
Although, some patches are provided time-to-time in order to make our Education system better, but they aren’t enough. The skeleton itself has been severed with inadequacy and incompetence. NOW, more than ever, is the time to ruminate on the betterment of our Education System if we don’t want to be left behind in the ever-growing quest for development.
After all, “Education is not just a preparation for life; Education is life itself!”