In his 1990 book The Age of Intelligent Machines, the American computer scientist and futurist Ray Kurzweil made an astonishing prediction. Working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) throughout the 1970s and 1980s and having seen firsthand the remarkable advances in artificial intelligence pioneered there by Marvin Minsky and others, he forecast that a computer would pass the Turing test – the test of a machine's ability to match or be indistinguishable from human intelligence – between 2020 and 2050.
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.
The United States has on its Aegis-class cruisers a defense system that can track and destroy anti-ship missiles and aircraft. Israel has developed a drone, the Harpy, that can detect and automatically destroy radar emitters. South Korea has security-guard robots on its border with North Korea that can kill humans. All of these can function autonomously without any human intention. Indeed, the early versions of the Terminator are already here.
WORLD superpowers are engaged in a feverish "arms race" to develop the first killer robots completely removed from human control, the Sun Online can reveal. These machines will mark a dramatic escalation in computer AI from the drones and robots currently in use, all of which still require a human to press the "kill button". In a series of exclusive interviews, leading experts told The Sun Online machines making life or death decisions will likely be developed within the next 10 years. Fears are now growing about the implications of creating such smart machines, as are concerns they will fall into the hands of terrorist groups such as ISIS. Locked in this new race for military supremacy is Britain, the US, China, Russia and Israel – all of which have robot programmes of varying advancement.