Artificial Intelligence (AI) is regarded globally as one of the most technologically advance and transformative creations.

In a presentation that revealed the endless, real-world creativity of this innovation, Gary Ennis, of NSDesign, highlighted some of the possibilities of the latest computer technology available to Hunterston Rotary members.

Gary, from Largs and son of Hunterston Rotarian David Ennis, provided real-time examples of the huge scope of AI including its ability to understand, explore and delivery an astonishing level of creativity, making it one of the most disruptive tools for individuals and industries in the modern era.

Gary set up his Glasgow-based training company NSDesign 25 years ago and now specialises in helping small businesses enhance their digital skills and capabilities.

He demonstrated the seemingly endless possibilities of AI in his 45 minute presentation entitled ‘ChatGPT and the rise of AI: This changes everything!’, describing it as “the latest new tool in the toolbox” and how it should be seen as a “creative friend” helping in the development of new innovations.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: A typical AI-generated image shown to Hunterston Rotary Club members.A typical AI-generated image shown to Hunterston Rotary Club members. (Image: Hunterston Rotary)

Using just his laptop and a connection to the internet, Gary demonstrated the power of AI to produce instantaneous literary, graphic and photographic examples from simple text inputs using AI’s primary functions like that of reasoning, learning, problem-solving and quick decision making.

He showed how this new computer technology can be used to replicate the human voice, simulate it in a huge variety of languages and dialects and be spoken by facial images of anyone the user chooses… much to the amusement of one of Hunterston Rotarian who wasn’t expecting to be on the screen talking to people through his virtual avatar.

AI is trained on knowledge from every corner of the internet as well as books, journals, and more, to provide answers to tasks it is set.

It can replicate human intelligence to a level previously unknown but can also be used to help with basic day to day tasks such as planning events, bookkeeping or composing emails.

He said: “The rapid growth of Artificial Intelligence opened up an amazing range of creative and time saving programmes for businesses and individuals who embrace this fast developing branch of computer science.”

The Rotary talk was held on the same day that world leaders and tech gurus gathered at Bletchley Park for a two-day summit on artificial intelligence, debating both the opportunities and risks involved with a view to increased regulation.

Following his presentation, Mr Ennis was asked if we should be concerned, especially with the power of AI, and the concern if it gets into the hands of those intent on using it for illegal and destructive purposes.

He replied: “We absolutely should all be aware that like any new technology, it will be used for both good and bad.

"While most of us will be able to take advantage of these tools to help with our creative abilities and increased learning, others will seek to exploit it, to create video deep-fakes, more convincing scam emails, and an exponential rise in ‘fake news’.

"We need to be more vigilant than ever.”