The word formulate is often used as a synonym to “invent”.
It is understood to be a creative process that endeavours to create something that doesn’t exist or re-invent the existing. “Formulation” also has its meaning in chemical sciences where it is understood to be the process of preparing something according to a formula. It follows a recipe, understands the raw materials, builds up a unique product according to a process, and then transforms it into its optimal form. Formulation can therefore be cumulatively understood as a process of inventiveness whereby structured thought and process can yield groundbreaking results.
While IBM’s Watson can beat top human players in Jeopardy!, AlphaGo can become the world’s best Go player and Sophia can become the robot ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme, AI still hasn’t reached a level of general intelligence. To fulfil the prophecy of AI curing diseases, bringing about innovation, and filling in for human jobs a long list of objectives yet remain to be met. We still need to break the code of raw materials such as intelligence and rational behavior and develop systems that enable this behavior/thinking in AI. However, the path to attain these objectives has already been blazed by formulation. Formulation allows each invention to be developed in a systematic format no matter how abstract and complex the item may be. A sequence of questions that can lead to revelatory answers. Answers, which can be molded into models and systems, which can then help complex processes to take place.
The advent of AI itself can be traced through the questions that motivated its development. “What is intelligence?”, “How are humans intelligent?”, “Can machines think?”, “Can machines act as intelligent as humans?”, “Does intelligent behavior constitute actual intelligence?”. Each of these questions has to lead to thinking, research, and even the development of technology that contains the answers. These questions have provided the base ingredients needed to develop AI. These base ingredients were then supplemented by processes and methods to make them operational. Algorithms were developed under machine learning, the development of artificial neural networks, probabilistic methods, and logic helped in making AI operational. We now have pattern recognition software (face/ fingerprint/ speech recognition software), complex web searches, self-driving cars, and even AI-powered computer games. The final step of formulation then becomes attaining a broader and more general AI. If the systematic process of formulation is kept up and systematic inquiry and study are continued in the field, general AI may soon become a reality.
The power of formulation lies in its ability to streamline human research and thinking into specific problems which need answering. With a belief in the power of formulation, a great deal of innovation can be brought forth. The formulation process serves as the guiding light for further development in Artificial Intelligence and the technological progress of humans.
At Formulate AI, this belief in formulation is a core principle that permeates all processes and decisions. To read more about the building blocks of formulate AI, please read our next article “Formulate AI DNA”