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Noon Rotarians learn about AI technology


Editor/Consulting Writer

Members of the Opelousas Noonday Rotary Club were introduced on Tuesday to the increasing world of artificial intelligence by a technology expert with familial ties to the city.

Dean Mallory, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, who specializes now in information technology, explained nuances and contexts involved with AI, which he noted has experienced recent international interest especially during the past two years.

Mallory, the nephew of Rotarian Phillip Andrepont, is married to Opelousas High graduate Laurie Darbonne Mallory.

Keith Andrepont, Wayne Andrepont and Andre Andrepont, also related to Dean Mallory, listened to Mallory’s presentation.

In many ways Mallory said, AI acts in similar ways to human intelligence.

“Artificial intelligence learns to solve problems the way that humans do. AI can learn and interact with what you want it to, like writing books, chapters and papers,” Mallory said.

Although interest in AI became more prevalent in 2023, Mallory emphasized that the technology responsible for AI has actually been evident for years.

Mallory said familiar quick reference aids such as facial recognition, spell checking and grammar checking have been integrated for years inside information systems.

Also aids such as Google mapping and the use in the automotive industry.

Home devices such as Alexa and Siri, have incorporated AI technology for years, Mallory noted.

What has made AI more obvious during the past year Mallory said, has been a more active use of generative AI, which he described as the ability for creating images or content through the interaction with words.

Globally private industry has also been investing more frequently in AI, said Mallory.

AI has also become a more significant tool used by industry, such as providing periodical maintenance for equipment and enabling the medical field to better predict situations specifically for emergency rescue personnel at hospitals.

Mallory also acknowledged in answering questions from Rotarians that AI also must be monitored closely in order to provide more ethical applications of that technology.

While AI could possibly be used for malevolent endeavors, Mallory said AI can also be overridden by human interaction.