In'The Terminator' series of action films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, a cybernetic organism (cyborg) is programmed from the future to go back in time and kill the mother of the scientist who leads the fight against Skynet, an artificial intelligence system that will cause a nuclear holocaust. Terrifying and at times comical ("I'll be back", "Make my day") The Terminator cyborg was among the first presentations of artificial intelligence (AI) to a global audience. While numerous facets of AI have been developed over the past couple of decades, all with positive outcomes, the fear of AI being programmed to do something devastating to the human race, of computers "going rogue", continues to persist. On the other hand, AI holds tremendous potential for benefiting humanity in ways we are only just starting to recognize. This article gives an overview of artificial intelligence including some of its most interesting manifestations. The first step is defining what we mean by artificial intelligence. One definition of AI is "the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computers." Such processes include learning by acquiring information, understanding the rules around using that information, employing reasoning to reach conclusions, and self-correcting.
This article is part of Privacy in the Pandemic, a Future Tense series. Since the pandemic began, authorities in New Delhi, Italy, Oman, Connecticut, and China have begun to experiment with fever-finding drones as a means of mass COVID-19 screening. They're claiming the aircraft can be used to better understand the health of the population at large and even to identify potentially sick individuals, who can then be pulled aside for further diagnostic testing. In Italy, police forces are reportedly using drones to read the temperatures of people who are out and about during quarantine, while officials in India are hoping to use thermal-scanner-equipped drones to search for "temperature anomalies" in people on the ground. A Lithuanian drone pilot even used a thermal-scanning drone to read the temperature of a sick friend who didn't own a thermometer.
Last month in Rwanda, a young woman started bleeding after giving birth by C-section. Try as they might, her doctors couldn't stop it. They'd already transfused the two units of matching blood that they had on-hand. They could have called the national blood bank in the capital of Kigali to request more, but ordering it, and sending it the 25 miles over mountainous roads to the hospital would take up to four hours. The woman didn't have that kind of time.
"Please think forward to the year 2030. Analysts expect that people will become even more dependent on networked artificial intelligence (AI) in complex digital systems. Some say we will continue on the historic arc of augmenting our lives with mostly positive results as we widely implement these networked tools. Some say our increasing dependence on these AI and related systems is likely to lead to widespread difficulties. Our question: By 2030, do you think it is most likely that advancing AI and related technology systems will enhance human capacities and empower them? That is, most of the time, will most people be better off than they are today? Or is it most likely that advancing AI and related technology systems will lessen human autonomy and agency to such an extent that most people will not be better off than the way things are today? Please explain why you chose the answer you did and sketch out a vision of how the human-machine/AI collaboration will function in 2030.
Six Army soldiers who were injured in a ballistic missile attack in Iraq in January have been awarded Purple Hearts, and 23 others have been approved for the award and will get them later this week, U.S. Central Command said Monday. Bill Urban said the awards were approved by Lt. Gen. Pat White, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, following a review. About 110 U.S. service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after the Iranian ballistic missile attack at al-Asad Air Base in Iraq on Jan. 8. More than a dozen missiles struck the base in an attack that Iran carried out as retaliation for a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad that killed Tehran's most powerful general, Qassem Soleimani, on Jan. 3. Troops at al-Asad were warned of an incoming attack, and most were in bunkers scattered around the base. Initially, commanders and President Donald Trump said there were no injuries during the attack.