Radar used to be a slow science. Electronic warfare is a blanket term that encompasses the radar signals used to detect an attack, the radios used to communicate that the attack is coming, and the specific radio interference sent to confuse enemy radars as they're attacking. And in the Cold War, every part of this used to be analog. "In Vietnam we learned what an SA-2 radar signal started looking like," Joshua Niedzwiecki, director of the Sensor Processing and Exploitation group at BAE Systems, tells Popular Science. The SA-2 is a surface to air missile that destroyed a lot of U.S. Air Force planes, especially B-52 bombers, over Vietnam.
WITH the recent triumph of the Google AlphaGo program over Go master Lee Se-dol in Seoul, the doomsayers are in full chorus again over the spectre of Hollywood-style artificial intelligence (AI) taking over humanity. It was the same fear in the late 1990s when IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer beat then reigning chess world champion Garry Kasparov. There are a few differences however: Go is considered a much more intricate game than chess, and AI technology has improved quite a bit since then, and we're seeing breakthroughs such as Google's self-driving cars, virtual assistants like Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana, and even IBM Watson's win in popular trivia quiz Jeopardy!. Enough that even sober scientists are taking note. In a December 2014 interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), renowned physicist Stephen Hawking expressed his concerns, saying that AI poses a threat to humanity's existence, despite its usefulness.
NEW DELHI: Artificial intelligence (AI) or machine intelligence has always been a little scary. We picture evil robots controlling the world and making human beings obsolete or, even worse, using us as energy sources as in the Matrix. The defeat by Google's DeepMind – a computer program – of the world champion in Go, an ancient Chinese board game, has reinforced the apocalyptic vision of machines taking over the world in the popular media. Not that this vision is totally wrong. The more we transfer human skills to the machine, the more obsolescence in the work force.
Neon, the artificial human prototype conceptualized by computer scientist and inventor Pranav Mistry, created waves recently. The President and CEO of Samsung's STAR Labs told ET in an exclusive interview that he created Neon because human beings are unable to connect with artificial intelligence (AI) assistants such as Apple's Siri. The Palanpur (Gujarat)-born Mistry, considered one of the best innovative minds in the world right now, said Neon will be a companion to the elderly and to those who are lonely and could even work as fashion models or news anchors. The 38-year-old also spoke about the dangers posed by AI,echoing Google parent Alphabet Inc's chief Sundar Pichai who recently called upon governments to regulate AI. Edited Excerpts: When you started thinking about Neon, what was the problem you were trying to solve?
Allowing machines to select and target humans sounds like something out of an apocalyptic sci-fi movie. But as we enter another decade, it is becoming increasingly obvious that we're teetering on the edge of that dangerous threshold. Countries including China, Israel, South Korea, Russia and the United States are already developing and deploying precursors to fully autonomous weapons, such as armed drones that are piloted remotely. These countries are investing heavily in military applications of artificial intelligence with the goal of gaining a technological advantage in next-generation preparedness for the battlefield. These killer robots, once activated, would select and engage targets without further human intervention.