Artificial Intelligence: Present, Future, and Data Center Applications
The similarities between our world and that found in science fiction grows by the year, thanks to artificial intelligence. Affectionately known as AI, this technology has become more than just “new tech.” It represents the way we expect computers to act and interact. We love AI. We fear AI. We hope in AI, and we put faith in AI. Our attraction to AI may stem from the fact that we adore creating as much as we adore our creations; we have an urge within to produce things in our image. But if you want a robot that looks and talks human or if you simply want a better computer, AI has the potential to make your wishes a reality. Here are a few things needed to understand how artificial intelligence is impacting our society as well as how it is already making a difference in the computerized heart of business: the data center.
Artificial Intelligence Is Growing—Quickly
If you think of a graph that represents technological progress, you may imagine a line that is going up and to the right with a steady, straight slope. That’s what’s known as the graph of a linear equation. However, when it comes to the progress of AI, this is inaccurate. In order to understand how quickly artificial intelligence is growing, you have to use a different type of curve: an exponential one. The hundred years that made up the 20th century gave us a lot of progress when it came to AI. However, the years between 2000 and 2014 provided as much progress as the entire 20th century. Analysts are predicting that same amount of progress will be seen over the next seven years after that. This means the advancement of AI will be double what it is now by around 2024.
As new ideas are developed, they are incorporated into current artificial intelligence models. These models are then used to perform the calculations that help establish the next stage of development. These are then used to power the next phase, and so on. We are in a development cycle that is exponentially increasing the abilities of AI.
We Already Use AI All the Time
The fact that we don’t even realize how much we use AI right know was prophesied way back in 1956 by the man who invented the term “artificial intelligence,” John McCarthy. He is quoted as to have explained, “As soon as it works, no one calls it AI anymore.” Thinking back to before AI became an everyday part of life, we can see the truth of his words. If you’re old enough, you may remember when a computer connected to the Internet, there was the infamous dial-up sound from the modem. It sounds similar to the sound a fax machine makes. That was before most people were even talking about AI. But by then, it had already been doing much of our computing for us. The search engines of that era were using AI, just as the ones we use now do. Google, Yahoo, Bing—all are dependent on AI. Siri, Cortana, and their friend, Alexa are also in the AI club. Artificial intelligence is omnipresent.
AI Is Indeed a Threat to Many Jobs
Experts vie back and forth regarding exactly how much AI will be helpful to our society, but there is one thing that is generally agreed upon: most jobs will be performed by AI within 30 years or so. This isn’t exactly bad news. While the jobs that many can do with little or no education beyond high school may be in danger, jobs needing creative, outside the box thinking and interpersonal skills will likely still need the human touch. AI is capable of nearly unlimited computational ability, but when it comes to the creation of something that incorporates the nuanced emotional fabric of other people, AI starts to hit some road blocks. AI also is going to be able to generate jobs simply because it will be able to do things that are currently impossible.
Furthermore, if enough money can be generated by AI—to the point where it significantly impacts a country’s GDP—the possibility of a universal basic income has been proposed by many experts. A universal basic income is one in which citizens are obligated to do essential things like obey the laws and send their children to school, but they won’t need to work in order to provide what’s needed to survive. This money would come from the government. It is already in place in some areas, but it could become more widespread if artificial intelligence continues to increase the GDP of countries who benefit from it.
Artificial Intelligence and Business Intelligence: AI in Data Centers
One of the biggest benefits of AI right now is how it currently works in the confines of a data center. All day, every day, the artificial intelligence in data centers is already helping billions of people. And the sky is the limit on how deep the positive impact will go.
Even now, Google has been able to cut down on energy consumption by 40 percent thanks to artificial intelligence. The processing of data takes a lot of energy. Each computation, each 0 and 1 in the binary digital code requires an amount of energy. With billions of computations performed each second, the average data center is going to suck up a lot of energy. However, as needs are intelligently assessed by AI, the amount of necessary energy is being sliced and diced, saving valuable resources as well as key elements of our environment.
Data Center Management
Work is already well underway on artificially intelligent data center management “robots” that are capable of doing the work a human—or several humans—would be needed to perform. For instance, Dac, by the company, LitBit, is able to perform many data center management tasks. The use of a system that works like the Internet of Things forms a foundation for this type of work. As problems are detected, resources are automatically allocated, and steps are taken to remedy issues—and this works for everything from troubleshooting issues to maintenance solutions.
Data Centers and Deep Learning
Deep learning allows AI systems to use problem solving techniques that leverage algorithms enabling them to learn on “autopilot.” In the context of a data center, deep learning has interesting potential. The tasks necessary to operate a data center largely involve managing problems and creating new opportunities. Deep learning may be able to use predictive analysis to see problems before they occur. This would then enable an artificial intelligence-driven data center to allocate resources ahead of time in order to preempt data center issues. Deep learning will also be able to produce novel solutions to data center management through the identification of inefficiencies—and then create solutions to them, even to the point of scripting applications to tackle important issues.
Artificial Intelligence, despite the naysayers and those who feel the “Skynet” is falling, is here to stay. And not only is its future bright, our current world as we know it would literally collapse without it. We are dependent on AI. And our data center operation is already benefitting, and will continue to do so, years into the future.