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Podcast Episode – Artificial Intelligence

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Show Notes

What is AI?

  • Term coined in 1956 at a conference at Dartmouth College John McCarthy (Co-founder of MIT AI Lab) in attendance
  • Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) AKA Weak AI: Specializes in one area Think of Deep Blue beating Garry Kasparov in chess in 1996
  • Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) AKA Strong AI: refers to a computer that is as smart as a human across the board—a machine that can perform any intellectual task that a human being can. Creating an AGI is a much harder task than creating an ANI, and despite the many different teams, companies and corporations working on it, we are yet to complete it.
    • Turing test: Alan Turing in 1950, of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. Turing originally suggested that the machine would convince a human 70% of the time after five minutes of conversation), the machine is said to have passed the test.
  • Artificial Superintelligence (ASI): Oxford philosopher and a current leading AI thinker Nick Bostrom defines superintelligence as “an intellect that is much smarter than the best human brains in practically every field, including scientific creativity, general wisdom and social skills.”
    • The “singularity” or “technological singularity.” This term has been used in math to describe an asymptote-like situation where normal rules no longer apply.
    • In 1993, Vernor Vinge wrote a famous essay in which he applied the term to the moment in the future when our technology’s intelligence exceeds our own—a moment for him when life as we know it will be forever changed and normal rules will no longer apply.
    • Ray Kurzweil The Singularity is Near as the time when the Law of Accelerating Returns has reached such an extreme pace that technological progress is happening at a seemingly-infinite pace, and after which we’ll be living in a whole new world.

What is happening in AI right now

  1. Last month, the White House announced a series of actions as part of a new White House Future of Artificial Intelligence initiative, designed to learn more about the benefits and risks of AI.
    1. https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/06/27/how-prepare-future-artificial-intelligence
    2. White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has co-hosted two public workshops on opposite ends of the country—the first in Seattle at the University of Washington, focused on the legal and governance implications of AI, and the second here recently in Washington, DC, where we heard about AI for public good. This month and next, we will be in Pittsburgh on June 28 to discuss safety and control for AI, and New York City on July 7 to explore AI’s social and economic implications. You can join these events in person (subject to venue constraints) by registering via the event websites, or you can follow the discussion via livestream and social media, where we will be using the hashtag #FutureofAI.
    1. global economy are being profoundly re-shaped by software technology. Human jobs are being eaten by software, specifically Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms able to ingest and analyze massive volumes of data to inform and remotely control better process management decisions, more efficient outcomes.
      1. The Bank of England estimates that 48% of human workers will eventually be replaced by robotics and software automation,
        1. Examples: uses drones to replace costly work teams driving around in trucks to monitor perimeter security or operations at large worksites like office campuses, mine sites, wind and solar power farms.
          1. this company flies drones autonomously with computer vision — algorithms that gather and analyze such detailed data on the specific site environments that the drones will be able to fly themselves around obstacles.
        1. Visual Deep Learning technology will save lives, by precisely identifying suspected terrorists and hidden ordinance in remotely-recorded video feed
        2. Another of our A-AIaaS companies gathers, analyzes and reports air quality conditions local to the user’s hand-held device, navigating people toward a healthier life.
      2. can tell merchandizers what brands of clothing teenage concert-goers are wearing at Coachella; what is it that viewers don’t like about TV ads that causes them to change the channel.
    2. http://fortune.com/2016/06/15/bank-of-america-job-cuts/
      1. But AI still has many limitations, with AI scientists still not able to “solve the problem of common sense, of endowing a computer with the knowledge that every 5-year-old has,” said Paul Cohen, program manager in the Information Innovation Office at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and founding director of the University of Arizona School of Information’s science, technology and arts program.
      2. There is, however, a class of problems where AI will do “magnificent things,” by pulling information out of huge data sets to make increasingly specific distinctions, he added. IBM’s recent decision to focus its Watson AI computer on medical diagnostics is a potential “game changer,” he said.  “Medical diagnosis is about making finer and finer distinctions,” he said. “Online marketing is about making finer and finer distinctions. If you think about it, much of the technology humans interact with is about putting you in a particular bucket.”
    3. http://www.computerworld.com/article/2692377/enterprise-software/the-future-of-artificial-intelligence-will-computers-take-your-job.html
      1. DARPA now has a project that focuses on using software to assemble code, by pulling from code that someone has already written, Cohen said. Many programmers today focus more on assembling code from resources such as StackOverflow.com, instead of re-creating code that already exists, he said, and DARPA has automated that process.
    4. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2986396/this-is-how-the-future-looks-with-ibm-watson-and-perfect-data.html

AI in Pop culture

  1. In the 1921 play R.U.R. by Karel Čapek, a race of self-replicating robot slaves revolt against their human masters.
  2. In the film Master of the World the War-Robot kills its own inventor.
  3. Skynet in the Terminator series decides that all humans are a threat to its existence.
  4. The Second Renaissance“, a short story in The Animatrix, provides a history of the cybernetic revolt within the Matrix series.
  5. In the Mega Man X series of video games, robots conclude that humans are inferior and decide to go Maverick.
  6. In the Halo universe,
  7. In System Shock
  8. In the 2007 video game Mass Effect, the Reapers, also known as the “Old Machines,” are a highly advanced race of synthetic organisms that harvest all sentient life in the galaxy by their own agenda.
  9. The film 9, by Shane Acker, features an AI called B.R.A.I.N., which
  10. In Marvel Comics’ universe, an AI named Ultron
  11. Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still, a movie of 1951, belonged to a robot police force that was given ultimate and irreversible authority to destroy any aggressors, thus making interplanetary war unthinkable. However, in all other matters, each planet is free to govern itself.
  12. Though still under human authority, Isaac Asimov‘s Zeroth Law of the Three Laws of Robotics implied a benevolent guidance by robots.

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