AI, CitizenMe and You – Part 2: What Exactly is AI?

AI, CitizenMe and You – Part 2: What Exactly is AI? 300 168 StJohn Deakins

AI, CitizenMe and You. Part 2: What Exactly Is AI (Artificial Intelligence?)

So what Exactly is AI (Artificial Intelligence)?

Firstly – AI is *not* this:

Credit: Terminator (1984)

And AI is *not* this:

Credit: Ex Machina (2014)

There is endless hype – and a fair amount of BS – about computers becoming smarter than humans and, of course, eventually becoming our evil overlords. It makes for great Sci Fi action movies (iRobot, BladeRunner, The Matrix, etc) and clickbait memes.

But in reality we are many decades – and most likely a century or two – away from a computer achieving anything like a human or ‘general’ level of Artificial Intelligence (General AI). So we’re safe from AI catastrophe for this year at least, Phew!

More good news: What we do have is a very good specialist or ‘narrow’ AI, which is rapidly becoming more sophisticated. Narrow AI is very good at specific tasks such as winning a game of chess or recognising a face in a crowd. Its impact throughout this century will be profound. Two hundred years ago the arrival of the steam power heralded the Industrial Age, and in a similar way, AI provides us all with a very powerful set of new tools which will change society and ourselves in the digital information age. If we can collaborate to use it properly, AI will be hugely positive. It could extend our longevity and save lives, and just as importantly, it could help us all be more fulfilled, happy and purposeful. It’ll enable humanity to level-up.

Our ability to harness the power of these new AI tools is expanding so fast that ‘AI’ has now become an umbrella term for anything to do with making computers smarter. This can make it all a little confusing (even the experts argue about what means what). We therefore thought it would be helpful to explain what exactly CitizenMe is doing with AI now and what our plans are for the future.

AI can be divided into five broad categories:

  • Can it Read or Hear (Chat Bots & Voice Assistants)?
  • Can it Move? (Smart Robots)
  • Can it See? (Observing the World)
  • Can it Reason? (Logical Deductions)
  • Can it Feel ? (Emotions & Humanity)

We’ll run through these areas one by one.

Next Post: Can it Read or Hear (Chat Bots & Voice Assistants)?


In this series of 7 blog posts, we explain what Artificial Intelligence does, why it’s so useful for us all, what we’re doing at CitizenMe – and what this means for you.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contacts us:

StJohn Deakins

StJohn founded CitizenMe with the aim to take on the biggest challenge in the Information Age: helping digital citizens gain control of their digital identity. Personal data has meaning and value to everyone, but there is an absence of digital tools to help people realise its value. With CitizenMe, StJohn aims to fix that. With a depth of experience digitising and mobilising businesses, StJohn aims for positive change in the personal information economy. Oh… and he loves liquorice.

All stories by: StJohn Deakins

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