Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence demonstrated by machines, as opposed to natural intelligence displayed by animals including humans. Leading AI textbooks define the field as the study of "intelligent agents": any system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of achieving its goals. Some popular accounts use the term "artificial intelligence" to describe machines that mimic "cognitive" functions that humans associate with the human mind, such as "learning" and "problem solving", however, this definition is rejected by major AI researchers.

AI applications include advanced web search engines (e.g., Google), recommendation systems (used by YouTube, Amazon and Netflix), understanding human speech (such as Siri and Alexa), self-driving cars (e.g., Tesla), automated decision-making and competing at the highest level in strategic game systems (such as chess and Go). As machines become increasingly capable, tasks considered to require "intelligence" are often removed from the definition of AI, a phenomenon known as the AI effect. For instance, optical character recognition is frequently excluded from things considered to be AI, having become a routine technology.

Artificial intelligence was founded as an academic discipline in 1956, and in the years since has experienced several waves of optimism, followed by disappointment and the loss of funding (known as an "AI winter"), followed by new approaches, success and renewed funding. AI research has tried and discarded many different approaches since its founding, including simulating the brain, modeling human problem solving, formal logic, large databases of knowledge and imitating animal behavior. In the first decades of the 21st century, highly mathematical statistical machine learning has dominated the field, and this technique has proved highly successful, helping to solve many challenging problems throughout industry and academia.

The various sub-fields of AI research are centered around particular goals and the use of particular tools. The traditional goals of AI research include reasoning, knowledge representation, planning, learning, natural language processing, perception, and the ability to move and manipulate objects. General intelligence (the ability to solve an arbitrary problem) is among the field's long-term goals. To solve these problems, AI researchers have adapted and integrated a wide range of problem-solving techniques -- including search and mathematical optimization, formal logic, artificial neural networks, and methods based on statistics, probability and economics. AI also draws upon computer science, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and many other fields.

The field was founded on the assumption that human intelligence "can be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it". This raises philosophical arguments about the mind and the ethics of creating artificial beings endowed with human-like intelligence. These issues have been explored by myth, fiction, and philosophy since antiquity. Science fiction and futurology have also suggested that, with its enormous potential and power, AI may become an existential risk to humanity.

Source: Artificial intelligence (wikipedia.org)

AI can predict if it will rain in two hours' time

Artificial intelligence can tell whether it is going to rain in the next two hours, research suggests. Scientists at Google-owned London AI lab DeepMind and the University of Exeter partnered with the Met Office to build the so-called nowcasting system.

Can football-playing robots beat the World Cup winners by 2050?

For football fans around the globe the pinnacle of the sport is the World Cup final. But what if that match was ultimately just the precursor to a game between the best humans and the best robots?

Go master quits because AI 'cannot be defeated'

image copyrightGetty ImagesA master player of the Chinese strategy game Go has decided to retire, due to the rise of artificial intelligence that "cannot be defeated".Lee Se-dol is the only human to ever beat the AlphaGo software developed by Google's sister company Deepmind.

Why coders love the AI that could put them out of a job

"When you start coding, it makes you feel smart in itself, like you're in the Matrix [film]," says Janine Luk, a 26 year-old software engineer who works in London.Born in Hong Kong, she started her career in yacht marketing in the south of France but found it "a bit repetitive and superficial".

AI breakthrough could spark medical revolution

Artificial intelligence has been used to predict the structures of almost every protein made by the human body. The development could help supercharge the discovery of new drugs to treat disease, alongside other applications.

AI: Ghost workers demand to be seen and heard

Artificial intelligence and machine learning exist on the back of a lot of hard work from humans. Alongside the scientists, there are thousands of low-paid workers whose job it is to classify and label data - the lifeblood of such systems.

AI conquers challenge of 1980s platform games

Scientists have come up with a computer program that can master a variety of 1980s exploration games, paving the way for more self-sufficient robots. They created a family of algorithms (software-based instructions for solving a problem) able to complete classic Atari games, such as Pitfall.

Facebook emotion experiment sparks criticism

Facebook is facing criticism after it emerged it had conducted a psychology experiment on nearly 700,000 users without their knowledge. The test saw Facebook "manipulate" news feeds to control which emotional expressions the users were exposed to.

Computer AI passes Turing test in 'world first'

A computer program called Eugene Goostman, which simulates a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy, is said to have passed the Turing test at an event organised by the University of Reading.The test investigates whether people can detect if they are talking to machines or humans.

Fake naked photos of thousands of women shared online

Faked nude images of more than 100,000 women have been created from social media pictures and shared online, according to a new report. Clothes are digitally removed from pictures of women by Artificial Intelligence (AI), and spread on the messaging app Telegram.

Robotic scientists will 'speed up discovery'

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have unveiled a robotic colleague that has been working non-stop in their lab throughout lockdown. The £100,000 programmable researcher learns from its results to refine its experiments.

From The Conversation

This article originally appeared on The Conversation, and is republished under a Creative Commons licence. “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

Facial recognition to 'predict criminals' sparks row over AI bias

A US university's claim it can use facial recognition to "predict criminality" has renewed debate over racial bias in technology.Harrisburg University researchers said their software "can predict if someone is a criminal, based solely on a picture of their face".

Why hasn’t AI changed the world yet?

When Kursat Ceylan, who is blind, was trying to find his way to a hotel, he used an app on his phone for directions, but also had to hold his cane and pull his luggage. He ended up walking into a pole, cutting his forehead.

How your smart home devices can be turned against you

For billions of people around the world, life at home has taken on a new significance this year. Flats and houses have become workplaces, gyms, schools and living spaces all rolled into one by national lockdowns.

Microsoft 'to replace journalists with robots'

Microsoft is to replace dozens of contract journalists on its MSN website and use automated systems to select news stories, US and UK media report. The curating of stories from news organisations and selection of headlines and pictures for the MSN site is currently done by journalists.

US plans 'robot troops' for Iraq

The US military is planning to deploy robots armed with machine-guns to wage war against insurgents in Iraq. Eighteen of the 1m-high robots, equipped with cameras and operated by remote control, are going to Iraq this spring, the Associated Press reports.

Viewpoint: AI will change our relationship with tech

In 1984, Canadian movie director James Cameron imagined a world in which computers achieved self-awareness and set about systematically destroying humankind. Skynet, the Terminator series computer network, was to go live in 2011 and bring the world to an end.

Brain works more like internet than 'top down' company

The brain appears to be a vastly interconnected network much like the Internet, according to new research. That runs counter to the 19th-Century "top-down" view of brain structure.

Can computers have true artificial intelligence?

Is it possible to create true artificial intelligence and, if so, how close are we to doing so, asks mathematician Professor Marcus du Sautoy. It was while I was making my last BBC TV series, The Code, that I bumped into a neuroscientist I knew.

Car or computer? How transport is becoming more connected

While few would blink any more at the sight of a Mini Cooper alongside their own vehicle, some may have noticed a few of their models out and about at the moment that are strangely quiet. And their silence masks some heavy-duty engineering under the bonnet.

Conway's Game of Life

The Game of Life, also known simply as Life, is a cellular automaton devised by the British mathematician John Horton Conway in 1970.[1] It is a zero-player game, meaning that its evolution is determined by its initial state, requiring no further input.

Hitachi unveils 'fastest robot'

Japanese electronics firm Hitachi has unveiled its first humanoid robot, called Emiew, to challenge Honda's Asimo and Sony's Qrio robots. Hitachi said the 1.3m (4.2ft) Emiew was the world's quickest-moving robot yet at 6km/h (3.7 miles per hour).

New York City police stop using robotic dogs

New York City's police (NYPD) say they will stop using robotic dogs following an outcry over their deployment. The NYPD says it has ended a contract with the Boston Dynamics firm for the remote-controlled Digidogs.

What the world can learn from Japan’s robots

Japan is changing: a rapidly ageing society, a record-breaking influx of visitors from overseas, and more robots than ever. That's where the country's young people come in.

Coronavirus: Will Covid-19 speed up the use of robots to replace human workers?

As a pandemic grips the world, a person could be forgiven if they had forgotten about another threat to humanity's way of life - the rise of robots. For better or worse the robots are going to replace many humans in their jobs, analysts say, and the coronavirus outbreak is speeding up the process.

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