The Rise of the Thinking Machine

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This year has seen some notable advancements in computer-based brain mimicry, not just on the artificial intelligence (AI) front, but also related to in silico brain simulations. Watson's vanquishing of Jeopardy champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings in February set the stage for the year. The now world-famous IBM super exhibited a sophisticated understanding of language semantics along with the ability to integrate that understanding into a complex analytics engine. Since the Jeopardy match, IBM has been looking to take the technology into the commercial realm, most notably in the health care arena. Meanwhile projects like FACETS (Fast Analog Computing with Emergent Transient States) and SpiNNaker are working to uncover the nature of the brain at the level of the neuron.

When AI dominates, what will we do for a crust?


What does the worldwide head of research at Google tell his kids about how to prepare for the future of work with artificial intelligence? "I tell them … wherever they will be working in 20 years probably doesn't exist now," Peter Norvig says. Be flexible, he says, "and have an ability to learn new things". Future of work experts (yes, it's a thing now) and AI scientists who spoke to Lateline variously described a future in which there were fewer full-time, traditional jobs requiring one skill set; fewer routine administrative tasks; fewer repetitive manual tasks; and more jobs working for and with "thinking" machines. From chief executives to cleaners, "everyone will do their job differently working with machines over the next 20 years," Andrew Charlton, economist and director of AlphaBeta, says.

Cuban: Trump can't stop rise of the robots and their effect on U.S. jobs


Mark Cuban, chairman of AXS TV and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, listens to testimony during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing Dec. 7, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Mark Wilson, Getty Images) Add Mark Cuban to the list of tech visionaries exhorting the need to address the advance of robotics and artificial intelligence. "Automation is going to cause unemployment and we need to prepare for it," Cuban posted on Twitter with a link to an essay about the rise of robots in the workplace. Automation is going to cause unemployment and we need to prepare for it. Employment and jobs have been a hot topic recently with President Trump's emphasis on getting U.S. corporations to focus on jobs at home and his plans of tightening of trade and immigration policies to foster job growth. Automakers including Fiat Chrysler, GM and Ford, as well as Intel and Walmart have recently announced plans that the companies say will create new jobs.

AI has a gender problem. Here's what to do about it


Three of the fastest-growing applications of artificial intelligence (AI) today are a manifestation of patriarchal stereotypes -- the booming sexbots industry, the proliferation of autonomous weapon systems, and the increasing popularity of mostly female-voiced virtual assistants and carers. The machines of tomorrow are likely to be either misogynistic, violent or servile. Sophia, the first robot to be granted citizenship, has called for women's rights in Saudi Arabia and declared her desire to have a child all in the span of one month. Other robots are mere receptacles for abuse. The Guardian in 2017 reported that the sex tech industry, including smart sex toys and virtual-reality porn, is estimated to be worth a whopping $30 billion.

These stocks let you bet on AI and welcome our new robot overlords


On this last day of the quarter, the stock market is so tickled with its Q1 spoils that it's about to give a bit back. That is how it usually goes when the S&P 500 is up nicely for a three-month stretch, note Bespoke Investment Group's number crunchers. They checked out how the last trading day has gone when the S&P is up at least 5% for a quarter. That final session is typically a bust, with the index retreating 0.4% on average, according to Bespoke's look at the last eight years. But who knows exactly how the S&P will close today?