The Grand Frontier of Artificial Intelligence
There are hundreds of intelligent things that computers are doing that are part of our everyday lives that used to require human intelligence.
In 1950, Alan Turing invented a test for determining a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior. At the time, some predicted that so-called "Strong A.I.," that is, artificial intelligence that matches or exceeds human intelligence, could be achieved in a few decades. Over sixty years later, every machine that has been tasked with simulating human intelligence has failed the so-called Turing Test.
And yet, scientists have become both impressed and alarmed by the tremendous leaps forward in A.I. capabilities in recent years. A.I. has been put into common use by financial institutions, and found promising applications in medical equipment, search technology, games and transportation systems. On the other hand, equal advances have been made in seemingly Frankensteinian creations such as computer viruses and predatory drones, which could prove dangerous if they have achieved what The New York Times called the “cockroach stage of machine intelligence."
The following Top Five list highlights current and promising future applications for A.I.
5. Autonomous Vehicles
Don't try this at home (you can only do it in Nevada): Take a ride in Google's Robocar, which is operated by a machine, not a human. A law passed in June, 2001 made Nevada the first jurisdiction in the world where autonomus vehicles can be legally operated on public roads. Take a test drive here:
4. "Brute Force Computation"
AI programs are able to examine large numbers of possibilities, such as a move in a chess game or inferences by a theorem-proving program. Discoveries are continually made about how to do this more efficiently in various domains. Right now you can buy a machine to play "master level chess." A $200 purchase gets you 200 million positions analyzed per second.
The short documentary below is about computer chess history that focuses in particular on the 1997 chess match between Garry Kasparov and IBM's Deep Blue computer. Watch here:
3. Search Technology
Stephen Wolfram has developed a radical new search engine, which, unlike search engines like Google or Bing, actually computes new knowledge rather than searching through previously published material. Watch Stephen Wolfram on Wolfram Alpha:
2. Nanorobots in our bloodstream.
According to Futurist Ray Kurzweil, the biotechnology revolution will allow us, in the next 15 to 20 years, to reprogram our genes to resist both aging and disease. By mid-century, we may all be kept healthy and young by billions of nanorobots inside of our bodies. Watch Kurzweil here:
If technological progress continues at its current pace, humanity's endgame may be summarized this way: will the machines dominate, or will humans become cyborgs? Cyborgs are basically upgraded humans, complete with cybernetic implants and enhancements. There has already been a human cyborg, Kevin Warwick. Watch here:
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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