Decades of research in artificial intelligence (AI) have produced formidable technologies that are providing immense benefit to industry, government, and society. AI systems can now translate across multiple languages, identify objects in images and video, streamline manufacturing processes, and control cars. The deployment of AI systems has not only created a trillion-dollar industry that is projected to quadruple in three years, but has also exposed the need to make AI systems fair, explainable, trustworthy, and secure. Future AI systems will rightfully be expected to reason effectively about the world in which they (and people) operate, handling complex tasks and responsibilities effectively and ethically, engaging in meaningful communication, and improving their awareness through experience. Achieving the full potential of AI technologies poses research challenges that require a radical transformation of the AI research enterprise, facilitated by significant and sustained investment. These are the major recommendations of a recent community effort coordinated by the Computing Community Consortium and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence to formulate a Roadmap for AI research and development over the next two decades.
You may remember Nao, a charming humanoid robot, for its exploits on the soccer field, dance floor, or even for its love of amateur dramatics. While Nao has enjoyed chatting with us humans since its maker Aldebaran Robotics added Nuance's speech recognition wizardry in 2011, the pair have today reaffirmed their desire to turn the droid into a true conversationalist. Upgraded cloud-based tech from Nuance will apparently "allow people to have truly natural conversations with the robot" in 19 different languages when the new models become available early next year. Furthermore, Nao has a fresh, distinct voice intended to better represent its "personality" -- one that's programmed never to tire of your trivial discussions. A demo of these new features can be seen below, although Nao mostly lets folks from Nuance and Aldebaran take the floor to talk of the partnership and the future of robot interaction.
Looking over the year that has passed, it is a nice question whether human stupidity or artificial intelligence has done more to shape events. Perhaps it is the convergence of the two that we really need to fear. Artificial intelligence is a term whose meaning constantly recedes. Computers, it turns out, can do things that only the cleverest humans once could. But at the same time they fail at tasks that even the stupidest humans accomplish without conscious difficulty.
It feels like this man needs no introduction, but for anyone who doesn't know who Demis Hassabis is, here's the lowdown. He's the cofounder and chief executive of the London-headquartered DeepMind AI lab, which was acquired by Google in 2014 for £400m. Prior to DeepMind, Hassabis had his own computer games company called Elixir Studios, but his passion for games goes way back. He was a chess master at the age of 13 and the second-highest-rated under 14 player in the world at one time. Catherine Breslin is a machine learning scientist and consultant based in Cambridge.
Automatic speech transcription, Self-driving cars, a computer program beating the world champion GO player and computers learning to play video games and achieving better results than humans. Astonishing results that makes you wonder what Artificial Intelligence (AI) can achieve now and in the future. Futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts that by 2029 computers will have human level intelligence and by 2045 computers will be smarter than humans, the so called "Singularity". Some of us are looking forward to that, others think of it as their worst nightmare. In 2015 several top scientists and entrepreneurs called for caution over AI as it could be used to create something that cannot be controlled. Scenarios envisioned in movies like 2001, a Space Odyssey or the Terminator in which AI turns against humans, violating Asimov's first law of robotics, are not the ones we're looking forward to. Question is if these predictions and worries about the capabilities of AI, now or in the future, are realistic or just fairy tales.